A plan to make Blount and Person streets more bike and pedestrian friendly is moving forward.
Raleigh City Council members voted July 16 to approve the recommendations of the Blount-Person Street Corridor study. This decision provides city staff with the policy guidance needed to begin the first phase of the project, but funding remains uncertain.
The corridor would be overhauled with the aim to create a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly environment that encourages economic growth and preserves neighborhood and historic character. Funding for the project would come from the transportation bond going before Raleigh voters this fall.
The plan area includes Blount and Person streets from Wake Forest Road, near its intersection with Capital Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, south to the Interstate 40-Hammond Road interchange.
Plans for the project were developed with input from residents at workshops, an open house, Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) meetings and one-on-one interviews.
The plan has three phases, the first of which is road re-striping. Re-striping is the least expensive of the three proposed phases because it is typically done when a road is already scheduled for resurfacing.
The new striping will re-define travel lanes, add bike lanes and define on-street parking. The estimated cost for this phase is $730,000.
The second phase is streetscape improvements, including the completion of missing sidewalks, landscaped bulb-outs at intersection corners, pedestrian crossings and landscaped medians. Phase two is expected to cost about $7.5 million.
The third phase involves analyzing the restoration of two-way traffic to Blount and Person Streets. If city officials decide to pursue this, phase three would create the transitions from one-way to two-way streets and the necessary sign and signal changes. This phase of the project is estimated to cost $4.2 million.
Councilors are positive about the project’s potential. Councilor Russ Stephenson, partially quoting Transportation Planning Manager Eric Lamb, said, “Community design is about understanding and implementing community values. I think that’s what this process has really done.”
Funding for phase one of the Blount-Person Street Corridor Project has been recommended as part of the $75 million transportation bond referendum that will be decided by voters in October.
No decisions have been made about funding for phases two and three.