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Neighborhood Streetscape Program

Last updated Jun. 29, 2016 - 11:27 am
Neighborhood Streetscape Program

If you are interested in streetscape planning for streets of city-wide significance—such as Oberlin Road, Hillsborough Street, and East Cabarrus Street visit the Streetscape Capital Program page.
If you are interested in existing or adopted streetscape plans, please visit the Streetscape Plans page.

The goal of the Neighborhood Streetscape Program is to improve street safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists while improving the living conditions for residents along a street. Treatments to the street enhance the appearance and slow down motor-vehicle traffic. The Neighborhood Streetscape Program is part of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program. When a citizen requests a traffic calming evaluation, Neighborhood Traffic Management Program staff evaluates citizen concerns by looking at five critical areas:

  1. Vehicle speed
  2. Amenities that attract pedestrians (schools, greenway trails, parks)
  3. Accident history
  4. Volume of traffic
  5. Roadway Geometrics (physical characteristics of the street)

Streets wider than 31 feet are evaluated for the Neighborhood Streetscape Program; streets narrower than 31 feet may qualify as Minor Traffic Calming Projects. If it is determined that your street meets the qualifications for the Neighborhood Streetscape Program, then it is ranked on the list according to need. Neighbors along the highest scoring streets are invited to an informational meeting and asked to submit a petition to have a Neighborhood Streetscape Project developed. If 75% of the residents support the project, then the project moves to the next phase. There are no fees or assessments for Neighborhood Streetscape Projects; they are funded by the Transportation Bond and Capital Improvement Funds.

View Neighborhood Streetscape Projects

Process

Neighborhood Meeting and Workshop

At this meeting staff provides an overview of the program and review traffic calming devices. Participants discuss concerns and identify problem areas on a map.

City of Raleigh Staff Work on Design Solutions

Staff uses the information gathered from the initial analysis and the neighborhood meeting to develop solutions that slow traffic and enhance the visual appearance of the street. Popular treatments include, but are not limited to: mini-traffic circles, chicanes, medians and curb extensions. Treatments such as speed humps or other vertical deflections are not generally considered for Neighborhood Streetscapes. Staff creates schematic plans (drawings) that are presented at the second neighborhood meeting.

Second Neighborhood Meeting

City staff presents an overview of the results from the first meeting and design solutions for discussion. If needed, staff revisits the design and finds solutions that satisfy the desires of the neighborhood.

Final Steps

The modifications are painted on the street to help the neighbors understand where the changes will occur. A public hearing is held and City Council hears from concerned residents about the project and if approved, the project will move to the construction phase. Most projects are completed within two years after the first public workshop.

Maintenance of the Completed Project

The vegetation on curb extensions and chicanes is treated much like the grass verge between the sidewalk and the street - it is the adjacent homeowners’ or relevant Home Owners Association’s (HOA) responsibility to care for the plants. For treatments occurring in the road such as a median island or traffic circle, the maintenance is the responsibility of the City of Raleigh.

Traffic Calming Treatments

Traffic Calming Toolbox

Traffic Calming Toolbox - Examples of Possible Traffic Calming Treatments

Neighborhood Streetscape projects can include a number of other improvements, such as bike lanes, sidewalks, transit enhancements, improved stormwater management, and improved lighting.

Project Priority List

City Council adopted a priority list for the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program on November 5, 2014. The project priorities are set by a quantitative scoring methodology. Street segments must score 30 or more points to appear on the list. The Office of Transportation Planning invites citizens to submit petitions to have a Neighborhood Streetscape Project during an Information Session. The sessions are held in order of priority ranking.

Narrower streets are eligible to be Minor Traffic Calming projects under the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program. These projects are managed by Transportation Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are these projects funded?

  • These projects are included in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and are funded mostly through voter-approved transportation bonds. There are no fees or assessments for Neighborhood Streetscape projects to adjacent residents or property owners.

Q: Who is responsible for the maintenance of landscaping?

  • For landscaping placed in the middle of the street, the City is responsible. For landscaping on the sides of the street, either adjacent property owners or homeowner associations are responsible.

Q: How long is the process until construction?

  • From the first workshop to finished construction is expected to take between 18 and 24 months.

Q: Why can’t we just install stop signs or put more police on the street?

  • Research shows that drivers speed up to make up for lost time at stop signs. Compliance can also be poor at unwarranted stop signs, which can create a safety concern. Traffic enforcement by a police officer is costly and is typically only effective when the officer is present.

Q: How is on-street parking affected by the traffic calming treatments?

  • Most projects do not impact the majority of on-street parking, but some limitations may be necessary in the immediate vicinity of individual traffic calming treatments (i.e., there would be no parking next to a median island as a parked car would block the travel lane).

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