I’m looking forward to the Peace Street Streetscape Project, mentioned earlier in this post. As well as the street being upgraded, the owner of the McDonald’s that sits on Peace and Boylan wants to tear down the restaurant and re-build a more modern one. This plan was proposed in November, 2006 and has been going in and out of city council meetings.
I bring this up because the N&O has an article on the situation and how the final decision has been delayed yet again to approve the plan. The article states that some members of the council are pushing toward a more pedestrian friendly design while others, including a frustrated council member James West, seem to want to approve a design and move on.
Faced with the prospect of delaying the approval of a new McDonald’s, council member James West said Wednesday that enough is enough.
Declaring that the Raleigh City Council has a bad habit of “putting things in committee and committee-ing them to death,” West took a stand for expeditious government review.
“I see no sense in us delaying this another two weeks,” he said.
I can agree with both sides of this argument. I applaud the mayor for calling for more pedestrian friendly designs near downtown but is it necessary to delay this for so long? I also agree with Mr. West, he is practically calling out the council’s “do-nothing” attitude of discussing and fine-tuning designs. There needs to be a more take-action attitude instead of delaying decisions and inevitably delaying progress downtown. If Raleigh has a council with this kind of attitude then developers may be less inclined to work with them.
A pedestrian friendly design would consist of the new McDonald’s to be built right up next to the sidewalk. The original Streetscape plan does not look like this will be the case. Below I have the current sidewalk and the planned sidewalk.
You can see that there is no real change. The lanes going in and out around the island tell me that there will be lots of traffic. There also may be parking spots lining the sidewalk. This is just speculation and to be honest I cannot think of a good way to accommodate the McDonald’s and pedestrians. How do you think it should be built? Could a 3 or 4 story building with the restaurant on the ground floor with condos or office space work at this location?