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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Please, no giant squirrels ... or, Raleigh's book of "Big Ideas"

Posted by on Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 12:45 PM

They've got it covered over at the Raleigh Philosophical Society.

Raleigh planning director Mitch Silver and his gang collected everybody's "big ideas" and threw in a few of their own. At the back of "Big Ideas" book, they've listed the 20 19 ideas (I'm not gonna count the squirrels) worthy of serious exploration. I've copied them below.

■ Redevelop Capital Boulevard as a real boulevard, using Pigeon House Creek for a river walk.

■ Build light rail to run through the Glenwood Avenue corridor, connecting downtown with airport, RTP

and Durham. Glenwood Avenue outside of Beltline to become a high intensity mixed-use corridor “Glenwood North.”

■ Extend the downtown grid southward. Replace freeway aspects of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard with walkable streets. Designate a location for a new arena.

■ Create an “emerald necklace” of parks and greenways, including “urban greenways.”

■ Redevelop Five Points with mixed uses/entertainment, traffic circle, iconic sculpture in a roundabout.

■ Emphasize the natural terrain of the city. Daylight all streams and use these and ridges as a natural conduits of health and creativity.

■ Use trolley cars to connect Glenwood South, Five Points, Crabtree, Brier Creek, North Hills and beyond (on Six Forks) and Fayetteville Street.

■ Reinvent the edges of downtown. Avenues should connect downtown with neighborhoods.

■ Develop a transit/green print/sustainable village across rail tracks from State Fairgrounds.

■ Illuminate and define downtown with LED lights.

■ Create a manmade lake west of the performing arts complex, ringed with an esplanade or boardwalk and a mix of uses (nightlife, restaurants, retail, and housing).

■ Build “Triangle Towers” monument project: group of three tall landmark structures to mark downtown, using light and having an observation deck.

■ Make the squirrel the city mascot and scatter squirrel statues (all very eclectic) around the City of Raleigh.

■ Reestablish downtown library and grocery store. Arts initiatives: installations and murals. Distinct downtown districts.

■ Erect a giant digital screen for outdoor video gaming competitions.

■ Build a pedestrian and bike-friendly loop road around Crabtree Valley.

■ Install a giant digital screen announcing all cultural events.

■ Erect a ferris wheel or world’s first ferris wheel/roller coaster combination.

■ Build a doll house village.

■ Create a theme park near I-540.

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