Downtown South development

Exactly… I’m ok with that too. The developments (and let’s not forget farmers market that will eventually be redeveloped) are just SO close together without it being connected in some way to avoid car use. Just something. My mind just goes back to the Dreamville concert and the Sunflower festival that really became a test to evaluate the best way to move people in and out of Dix Park efficiently. I feel as though mobile connectivity of some sort was and will be the missing piece moving forward.


I attended a meeting yesterday afternoon of people trying to force Downtown South into something called a ‘community agreement’. Remember folks, there’s no existing community in this property, it’s mostly industrial property. Community agreements are legal contracts, fyi.

Yes, the usual suspects attended including Stef.

I sympathize with the organizer in regards to stormwater issues but I suspect once the talks really start the ‘NO’ coalition will start to inject themselves into the mix and derail the original organizers attempts to improve the project.


What were the concerns? (as if I can’t guess)

Stormwater issues, lack of diversity, affordable housing. I believe someone was spamming ‘genocide’ a lot on the comments.

Stef didn’t comment but his mob promoted re-activating CACs on the comments.

I don’t get the diversity and affordable housing arguments. By building more housing where there is currently none, it increases housing supply.

Stormwater is a legitimate concern with any development, but can be mitigated with sound design and planning.


Same. I’d like to hear more on what diversity means. In development terms, that sounds like mixed-use which this project clearly is.

Anything that resembles gentrification gets some folks to come out like that, chanting “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing”. Complicated issue for sure but not an effective tactic IMO. Active discussion on that here: Gentrification and Displacement

As for Affordable Housing, the former CAC advocates, and we’ve discussed this somewhere around here, think that rezonings should be carrots to developers to supply stuff the city needs more of. They think upzoning downtown with the UDO back in 2014(?) gave away that power that council could stick it to them with the rezoning process.

It’s just one example, sure, but Smoky Hollow will provide affordable units, per the last council (the CAC council) but the terms are extremely weak. Something like 80% of average income for 5 years.

So far, this tactic just isn’t working. Time for a new approach.


North Hills hasn’t become NoHi, instead, the area actually appears to be truly morphing into ‘Midtown’…

I live near all this and the lack of non-car connectivity makes me nuts. I’ve never been part of the “What about the traffic!!??!!” contingent that always pipes up at the first hint of a new development, but if there’s no plan to provide safe and convenient non-car connectivity then the “What about the traffic!!??!!” crowd will be right to complain about the increase in traffic.

A stunning stat from the Oct. 5 Downtown South Town Hall meeting linked above is that 40% of car trips made from I-40 north on S. Saunders are people driving through downtown to destinations north. Essentially using McDowell as a cut through. As long as NC DOT is in control I don’t see that changing. If anything it’s only going to get worse.


Genuinely curious… why is that stunning? Seems ok to me - unless I’m missing something?


I’d like neighborhood names like MoFo and HoHo, maybe YoYo or MaPa. Seriously I hope this trend STOPS lol


Agreed, i mean the roads are meant to be driven on, right? Are some destinations or roads more noble than others? I don’t understand @Brian’s point either.

His point is that drivers choose McDowell instead of the marginally quicker 'round the beltline route.

Admittedly, I sometimes choose to drive through DTR instead of around the beltline to look at downtown developments :grimacing:


I am also guilty :cry: as I prefer the DTR route for the view… :upside_down_face:


I guess I live in Eadora.

The couplet pair of roads (south on Dawson, north on McDowell) were the compromise to plowing a freeway through downtown 50 years ago. It sounds to me like they are working as intended.


Yeah, Raleigh in 1965 was planning to build THIS NORTH/SOUTH FREEWAY thru downtown just east of Person right thru the historic Oakwood neighborhood between Bloodworth and East Street. The Oakwood neighborhood had a celebration in 2012 back celebrating its defeat viewable here. The actual planning document is downloadable here. Here are some pics from it. I got no problem with people driving McDowell for wherever they’re going: local, cuttting thru, avoiding traffic, whatever. This failed N/S freeway thing looks like something that belongs in downtown DC. The planning document “NC State Capital Plan 1965” adopted by the state capital planning commission, seems like Disney’s tomorrowland: the future that never was LOL. I read somewhere that this planned freeway that was never built is the reason the I-40 Person street interchange is so unnecessarily massive today…designed to take tons of N/S traffic thru downtown that now goes other ways.



Thanks for sharing these. The proposed Beltline looked like it was going to make Western Blvd part of it. Is that what it’s showing?


@John it looks like you’re right. There’s NO MENTION of interstate 40, just a BIG ASS interchange off of “western” at an intersection near Person St for the N/S freeway that never was. That entire planning document looks like something Disney planned for Epcot to be, with a downtown government campus with ACRES of water in downtown lakes and open green spaces. Kinda wild, isn’t it?


It’s very weird indeed. The only state capital city that seems to have followed some weird 60’s plan is that dystopian Empire State Plaza in Albany.


The stat about trips through DTR doesn’t surprise me either, but I also don’t like it. Perhaps I’m supposed to like it better than the alternative highway cutting through downtown but I don’t accept that’s still the only option. I think we discussed a while back trying to make DTR safer specifically around the context of McDowell and Dawson. Because people use them for a through-way to get north of or south of DTR, they’re taking the route as fast as possible. The timing of the lights to move traffic more efficiently through DTR also create a challenge for those familiar with the route (those taking it regularly to get north of and south of DTR) so it becomes a freeway almost. Those roads essentially segment DTR and make pedestrian traffic unsafe. The light timing needs to change, speed limit minimized, and hopefully GPS apps like Waze stop making the downtown route more desirable. We want traffic downtown but for those destined for downtown, not passing through as fast as they can.