Link Peace Street is a resident-organized vision for the area immediately around the intersection of Capital Boulevard and Peace Street. The State of North Carolina is studying plans to replace the aging Capital Boulevard bridge over Peace Street while the City of Raleigh is studying a street improvement plan for the Peace Street corridor in the same area.
Our vision encourages both parties to study the possibility of removing, rather than replacing, the bridge and construct an at-grade intersection in order to better support linking Peace Street to the surrounding areas.
Link Peace Street calls for public investments to create a livable community and spur private investment, increasing the amount of retail, commercial, and residential presence that is consistent with the Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Though the city is not considering this vision at this time, our aim is to add the at-grade intersection alternative to the bridge replacement proposals which are now being studied.
After the latest discussions with the city's Comprehensive Planning Committee, the Link Peace Street group has continued to raise awareness for the area’s potential for redevelopment around a future walkable city grid in and around Peace Street. The future Devereux Meadow Park and West Street extension have turned into key components towards an urban place around Peace. However, after in-depth study by Raleigh city staff and feedback from the development community, the at-grade intersection vision did not merit enough quality for the future Capital Boulevard corridor.
In addition to the studies around the at-grade intersection, the future Devereux Meadow Park has risen in importance for Peace Street. The latest draft of the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study now includes the park as an important asset for redevelopment in this area:
"Properties along West Street that front on the park will gain a major new amenity, strengthening the economic case for redevelopment."
The conversations by members of the Raleigh City Council continue to revolve around improving the pedestrian environment on Peace Street. While the vehicle traffic pattern of the coming decades will include a new bridge for Capital Boulevard, Link Peace Street will hold planners accountable to deliver a bridge design that balances the environment for all users. The Capital Boulevard Corridor Study now states:
"To provide for a pleasant pedestrian experience befitting a downtown location and set the stage for new residential and mixed-use development in the area, the Capital Boulevard bridge needs to be as attractive as possible, and should not look like a typical highway bridge. Fourteen foot sidewalks, vertical abutments, the use of retaining walls rather than slopes, and architectural cladding are among the recommendations to improve the aesthetics of the bridge and minimize its footprint."
As the plans of the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study are adopted by the city council, Link Peace Street has made them aware that this area is very important to Downtown Raleigh. Publicly funded infrastructure can spur redevelopment in a way that later on will benefit the city as a whole. We hope to see continued attention to Peace Street in the coming years as the Capital Boulevard Vision is realized.
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