Raleigh to look at improving Capital Boulevard corridor

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The City of Raleigh will launch a study into improving Capital Boulevard between Interstate-440 and Interstate-540.

City planning staff said the corridor is the busiest urban highway in Raleigh.

The study will examine the functionality of the stretch and connections to adjacent neighborhoods and amenities.

“As far as people getting to us, it’s not a big deal. Traffic could be better, but because there’s so much traffic, people do see us,” said Peter Lamb, a co-owner of Flying Squirrel Music, Inc.

His business is along one of the busiest stretches of Capital Boulevard near I-440.

In 2015, 75,000 cars a day passed by his business – up more than 10,000 in a two-year period.

Jason Cicero lives along the stretch of road.

“It’s stricken with people out here who are homeless, people who are begging. As well as buildings that are eyesores,” he said.

The City outlined in its presentation on the study that the proportion of African American residents in the area was 9 percentage points higher than Raleigh as a whole in 2015.

Hispanic or Latino residents accounted for more than 20 percent of the total population in the area – compared with 11 percent in the whole city.

“We picked this location partially because the price is right and also it’s so close to the beltline, but also the diversity – it’s nice,” Lamb said.

The city’s study will look at transportation, streetscapes and economic development.

“This is the centerpiece of the jewel that is Raleigh. If you want to make that centerpiece shine, the rest of Raleigh will shine with it. It all starts with the center and spreads out,” said Cicero.

The study will cost $400,000 and will kick off around March.

It could be up to two years before the city makes any recommendations based on the study.

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