A place to DREAM of what YOU would do in Raleigh

There’s no reason why Kane’s building at phase 3 Smoky Hollow can’t look like this building.


My current big dream is that they do the BRT right. Truly separated lanes, grade separated pedestrian crossings, bridges to stops located in medians. The council needs to totally relax all zoning at the stops and do everything they can to promote density at those nodes.

After that I’d like to see a true bicycle highway started. They need bike bridges in some places, like the greenway crossing at Gorman and Trailwood. I’d first look at the spots where you have a long greenway run with only a few road crossings and then work to grade separate those crossings. Id like to see bike highways to downtown where the bikes don’t have to share lanes with cars and never have to cross a street.


Small but reasonable. I would like to see the “Time Light” tower moved to the center of one of the traffic circles.

We paid good money for that art piece and in its current location it’s not capable of generating any appreciation - let’s move the damn thing!


They should put that thing on the triangular lot @ Hillsborough and West. Or even better, in the circle @ union station.


What do you think of it @OakCityDylan?

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It’s a ton of space but very well activated and parallel to Newbury St which has lots of shopping all in one area (take note DTR).


This would stay packed YEAR round. Great idea

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The ingress-egress problems with the Central Prison site are so severe that this would be a terrible location for a stadium of any kind. There is only one road with access in and out of the location, and it’s bounded by two railroads, a residential neighborhood, a 300-acre park, and a spindly little side street next to another major park.

Like, if Raleigh got a magical money grant to build a stadium under the condition that it had to be built on the site of an existing prison in Raleigh, I still wouldn’t pick Central Prison as the location. Even you limited your universe of redevelopment opportunities exclusively to prisons in Raleigh, it’s still not even remotely close to being the best option for a project that would routinely require moving tens of thousands of people into and out of the site in a short period.

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we get it. your DREAM is for private financed stadium surrounded by three highways. shoulda just said that instead.


I would build more playgrounds for kids downtown so that families have more public spaces to bring their children for playtime. I’ve seen great public playgrounds in places from DC to Vancouver, and they really help activate a neighborhood and make it easier for families to remain in an urban core through all phases of life rather than schlepping out to the suburbs when they have kids and embarking on a car-centric lifestyle.

Dreaming bigger, I’d like to see both prisons in Raleigh closed down. Those two prisons are eating up a ton of really valuable land. Being the normie that I am, I would probably just sell of the land to developers at market rate prices so that they could build high-density housing for people to live in, and then use the proceeds to subsidize a really great network of public transit options, which are currently egregiously lacking in Raleigh. (Oh, and if we bought the N-S line to Fuquay and turned into a greenway, that would increase the value of the Central Prison land and create a large site for TOD right next to the RUSbus in addition to creating a lengthy greenway.)

Well, I mean, the thread is titled “A place to DREAM of what YOU would do in Raleigh.”

I have a dream in my heart that can’t be constrained, and it is for a message board where people debate ideas rather than attacking posters who disagree with them, and also I dream of passing something like Seattle’s Initiative 91 to prevent the city from spending public money on stadiums for privately owned businesses run by billionaires. (Also, three highways seems excessive. Two highways seems like an optimal number, one running N-S and one running E-W. I’m not even sure where the third highway would go, honestly.)

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

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It’s supposed to be a dream of what you would do in Raleigh. You are dreaming of what NOT to do in Raleigh. If one can dream of a stadium at the prison site, why can’t you also dream of light rail on the railroads that you dream of being a detriment and not an asset. Dream of improving the access to the new stadium by elevated bridges or tunnels, possibly even an elevated pathway from the train station and/or downtown to get to the stadium? Dream bigger. Not smaller.


Well, the reason I don’t dream of building light rail on heavy railroad tracks is that the dream fundamentally misundertands the difference between light rail and heavy rail.

Light rail typically runs on streets, on space that otherwise would or could accommodate car traffic. It’s thus similar to streetcars or trams in that light rail will have smaller cars, going more slowly, and making more frequent stops, over shorter distances.

Commuter rail is essentially what most people would envision when they hear the word “train.” It will have larger cars, going faster, and making less frequent stops over longer distances. More prosaically, commuter rail goes “choo choo” while light rail typically goes “ding ding,” if that helps.

The line from F-V to DTR is about 17+ miles, runs through an extremely low-population area, has almost no at-grade crossings, and, most importantly, it has train tracks. There will never, ever, ever, ever be “light rail” along this line. The end.

Now, you could do heavy rail along that line if one were so inclined. Commuter rail from F-V to DTR seems kind of unrealistic, but, hey, we’re dreaming here. Regional rail is still ambitious, but certainly more realistic. Intercity rail from Fayetteville to Raleigh is realistic enough that the NC Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is literally studying it at this very moment. My guess is that the line through Selma is going to end up being the better option, but, yeah, if they start running intercity rail on that line, it’s probably never going to get turned into a greenway, and that’s fine; stuff happens, and it would be good to have intercity rail from Raleigh to Fayetteville. But you really, truly can’t do “light rail” on that line.

More fundamentally, though, I’m a big believer in the power of small, achievable dreams. Sometimes the best dreams are small dreams, like turning a gravel lot into a pocket park, or renovating an abandoned building into a food hall or something, or creating a bike line, or starting a street calming project. It’s fine to say that no dream is too big, but by the same token, no dream is too small if the dream is good enough and it would make the city a better place to live.

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The gondola idea from Dix to DT over Western would be pretty sweet.

Make Western/Saunders at grade.

Pedestrian bridges! One over capital connecting Mordecai to 5 points.

River walk along pigeon house branch, start at devereax Meadows heading north, with pop up vendors instead of permanent structures.


Oh, and expand the convention center with red hat amphitheater on the 10th floor roof


Riverwalk, Observation Tower, Soccer Stadium and Hockey Arena, an ACC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum that includes the broadcasting studios for the new ACC network, restoring the Sir Walter to a 5 star hotel, make better use of City Market, build an iconic 40 story hotel with a revolving restaurant/lounge on the top floor, create some pedestrian area commercial districts or turn a road like Glenwood (in GS) to a pedestrian mall on Friday and Saturday nights with the advent of more bars and restaurants, and expand horse/buggy rides and trolley rides for both sightseeing and getting around.

Gotta dream big. “It’s better to burn out than to fade away”.


I dream of removing on-street parking in targeted corridors like Fayetteville St., Glenwood Ave, plus West and Harrington in both the Warehouse and and Smoky Hollow Districts. Expand the sidewalk and landscaping to create an opportunity for a better sidewalk experience.


I’m genuinely shocked how many people “dream” of evicting all of the low-income people from Sir Walter in order to turn it into a hotel for rich tourists. I realize it’s not being explicitly framed that way, but it’s impossible to turn the Sir Walter into a 5-star hotel without evicting all of the people who currently live there in affordable housing, so in practice this is what the “dream” entails. And not a single one of the “dreams” even proposes an idea for where those folks would go. They just seem to be a nuisance to be gotten rid of. I hope this “dream” forever remains just a dream.

On the other hand, I really, really like John’s dream of less on-street parking and better sidewalks. That strikes me as a really good dream.


Some people don’t have a problem with public funding and aren’t looking for a debate on the issue. When you aggressively respond to the idea of public funding for a stadium, it feels like you’re the one doing the message board attacking.

Nobody has ever said it wouldn’t be better for a stadium to be privately financed. It’s when they mention that they’re open to the possibility of either a public or privately funded stadium you’re there to let them know where they’re wrong, or it’s interjected into another thread somewhere. Some people think it’s a worthy expense for the public to build a stadium in certain situations and no amount of debate will change their mind. When you won’t let it go or respect the difference of opinion, it becomes aggressive.


The issue of whether the Central Prison site would be a good place for a stadium (of any kind) is a completely separate issue from whether public funding for a stadium is or is not a good idea. My post about the prison site never mentioned financing in any way; @mike was the one who raised the issue.

FWIW, there are also a lot of stadium proponents who post on this topic a lot. I obviously disagree with some aspects of their position, but I’ve never, ever once on this forum even so much as implied that people who support a stadium should cease making posts about it because they’ve had their say or whatever, nor would I ever do this.