Waaait a minute, so they want to completely disconnect Ashe Avenue from Western Boulevard. That solves the greenway connection issue but otherwise I’m not quite sure I buy it. What about connecting Ashe to Bilyeu with a bridge over Western and this park connection?
Staying in that area, buying out the Kirby-Bilyeu neighborhood should really be on the table. According to Imaps, it’s just 32 units spread out over 25 single-family structures and one seven-unit condo building (615 Kirby). Having a low density neighborhood like this at literally the nexus between Spring Hill Precinct, Centennial Campus, Pullen Park, and NCSU’s main campus just seems like such a let down. This would be one of the most important gateways to the park. Same for that little gas station across Western Boulevard from there. My estimate for these buy-outs: about $10 million total.
Also I’d really like to see some movement toward getting the railroad out of there, and using its right-of-way for an awesome connection to downtown. I happen to think this is possible, while keeping the railroad happy at the same time, by building a connection near I-40 from the NCRR line toward Clayton, to the NS line towards Fuquay. Cost: about $50-75 million?. A long-term goal for sure, but it definitely should be on the radar.
Other remarks: there’s some really good stuff there. I love the reuse of existing buildings. I like the greenway connection under Centennial Parkway. I also agree with the public feedback that the “Event Hub” in the promenade loop should be something more than just five small parking lots and four basketball courts.
I think they should try (per the Dix 306 vision) to have a “hard” edge on the west side, rather than the jagged edge that is proposed right now.