Southern Gateway Project

South Saunders Street and South Wilmington Street form the southern gateway to Raleigh, an entry point into downtown that is known for its iconic skyline view. The city is embarking on a corridor study that will provide recommendations for transportation improvements for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. These improvements will take into consideration the changing landscape, which includes new mixed-use development and apartment living. These roads are also major transportation corridors that connect the community to Downtown and I-40. Help the City craft a vision for how the corridor should evolve in the coming years.

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City of Raleigh Poll:
Raleigh seeks to improve the city's Southern Gateway along South Saunders Street. Which one of these could help most?
Zoning changes to encourage new development
25%
Improve the Streetscape (sidewalks, lighting, trees, etc.)
24%
Make it easier to bike and walk
24%
Install public art
9%
Create a great public place
8%
Improve the park and greenway connectivity
7%
Improve to the road and traffic patterns
2%
Maintain existing neighborhood character and roadway connections
1%
Poll Closed | 85 Responses
KavierThis area is woefully lacking in greenway connectivity. I feel very isolated living in South Raleigh with no way to access the Greenway system this city touts as one of its biggest achievements.
Reply Flag Agree2 years ago
LovetheTriangleNCThis is a scary place to walk/bike, but it's also scary to drive, so improving traffic patterns would be nice. New development would be helpful, especially since this area serves as the southern gateway to the city.
Reply Flag Agree2 years ago
russ mcclureBeing a current resident within the corridor (South Park/S.Wilmington St.) I want to see mixed use shared residential commercial buildings within the neighborhood allowing more accessible variety of retail/services/restaurants/multi unit housing allowing residents ability to work, live, and play in their own backyard without needing excessive traveling.
Reply Flag Agree2 years ago
Ben AdlerSoccer stadium!!!!
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Jennifer DeanImproving bike and pedestrian crossings would help this region connect more with the downtown districts, and bring more economic investment in the area!
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Brandon Dale MooreNew development along the corridor would probably lead to all of the other items on the list. The most fundamental way to encourage it would probably be through zoning changes.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
John BertkeIt is disingenous to ask a multiple choice question and allow only one choice when in fact multiple items each represent an urgent need. That said, we need CROSSWALKS YESTERDAY!!! People are getting frightened and in some cases struck while trying to cross South Saunders. The city council approved an urgent need for South Saunders crosswalks in February 2013. It is now almost 20 months later. Where are the crosswalks?
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Quincy DinnersonIt would be nice to see a sports complex but in the area its in the planning phase this need to be a priority. In order for us to keep the hurricanes and attract major concerts and tournaments. PNC need to be nc state the whole area by the PNC should be call nc state sports complex
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Quincy DinnersonAlso make room for the lite rail that always make cities look grand when you can see the rail from the highway
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Quincy DinnersonEncourage more development to expand the downtown sky line making the city have a grand appeal from 40 also make the greenway more pronounce that it highlight the historical shaw university
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
TJ FirebrookCombo of all choices.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Leo SuárezThe area going north/south is very easy to go through so most people are probably just traveling compared to stopping. Its also difficult to go east/west. I say improve the east/west connections for better walking/biking, beautify the north/south vehicle heavy routes but add comfortable bike/walk routes to downtown, and encourage new development to create a mixed-use destination. Wouldnt hurt to re-think the Western Blvd bridge either. Can it be removed and brought to grade?
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Sterling MaxwellI think the priority here should be safe crossing areas for walkers who live across from these centers. Ive seen too many people hit while trying to cross. There are no good crossing areas to access safely.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
City of Raleigh Poll:
Should the city improve the bicycle & pedestrian experience along South Saunders Street, even if it meant traffic delays?
Yes
82%
No
18%
Poll Closed | 72 Responses
Scott LanePeople in this corridor arent necessarily walking or biking for the joy of it - many are doing it because they use these transportation options. I teach children from lower income families (and moderate and higher-income families) how to ride bicycles safely from a community center in this very corridor, and can vouch that many of my students will and do use their feet and bicycles to get around, especially before they are of legal age to drive a car. As far as paying a highway use tax, a good majority of cyclists do actually own a car and pay all the same fuel, sales, income, and property taxes that support the construction, maintenance and enforcement that automobile travel demands - its just that when people choose to ride a bicycle then they are reducing pollution, congestion, and wear-and-tear on the roadway compared to when they drive a car (think of the damage a car or, even more, a truck does to a roadway surface compared to a bicycle - hey, you bike riders should really mail in that nickel for the year...). Put these facilities in to encourage more walking and biking; make those options safer for children and adults alike; and give people options in a corridor that needs them and will always need them regardless of how much roadway capacity we ram in to a corridor that is already one of the ugliest gateways in the country. Auto drivers (like me) suffer from too many people driving cars, not from too many people walking and biking.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Dennis P WienerThe optimal scenario a dedicated bike lane separate from auto traffic that runs along the less traveled Wilmington Street to downtown and connects with Saunders at the merge just north of Chapanoke Rd. A dedicated bike lane would add accessibility and potential reduce traffic long-term with more people choosing that over auto.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Jennifer DeanCyclists and pedestrians should be able to cross this road SAFELY without being hit. More crossing areas would give them more options of safe places to cross, so theyre less likely to cross the street outside of a crosswalk and endanger themselves and drivers.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Mark EndsleyNo, south Saunders is more of an artery road to transfer suburbanites/visitors to and from the freeway. It would create bottlenecks where there are plenty of other roads that can be retrofitted to promote bike and pedestrian offerings. If needed, create a walk or a bike path off the road running parallel.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Brandon Dale MooreThis goes back to the redevelopment question. If you do something to cause more traffic delays, will it encourage redevelopment along the corridor?
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
John BertkeIt is disturbing to even see this website from the city, because we have ALREADY held wonderful, well-attended visioneering sessions on this very subject. This website seems to be UNAWARE of all the time already invested by Southwest Raleigh citizens who cared enough to come together IN PERSON (not as easy as posting here).
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
John BertkeAn overwhelming consensus of those who attended the Southwest Raleigh Visioneering Sessions in 2013 was that a road diet and full bicycle lane on WILMINGTON STREET would most suit the needs of citizens wishing to bicycle between neighborhoods and downtown Raleigh - as opposed to attempts to accommodate bicyclists on South Saunders, which is an absurd idea.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Nicholas McleanYes. They should
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Anthony T EllisYes. Absolutely. There will be traffic delays no matter what you do. :)
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Anthony T EllisAlthough, this intersection looks like Chapanoke @ South Saunders. At this intersection, people have a tendency to crash into each other for no apparent reason. Good luck with this. --- {edit} Yes, Ive seen many who failed to acknowledge that theres a stop light there. So they end up plowing into another driver who actually stopped at the light.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Rahsaan GriffithNo
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Paula McHugh BeaudoinYES!!!
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Jimmy MonroeThey will still run you over
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Chris CharetteYes! It desperately needs improvement.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Tom AlexanderNo. All we need are MORE delays of people trying to get through downtown. Most people use cars. We do not need to inconvenience them further to appease a small niche group.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Rusty SharpePpl on bikes dont know the rules of driving a bike just like ALL these illegals driving an automobile dont know the rules......I blame the DMV!!
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Trey OliverWho in the hell would want to walk or ride a bike in that area. And someone please explain to me what possess a person to ride a bike in 5 ooclock traffic!
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Willie W Clark Jr.Sore subject. If bikes want to ride on the road then pay a highway use tax like we all do on every vehicle we own. NO!!
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Krizz Ramz Reyesyes
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Clair KrugYes. But more importantly we need to retrain drivers to be conscience of foot and bike traffic through the whole city.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
City of Raleigh Poll:
What brand or theme would distinguish the city's Southern Gateway from other gateway corridors?
Poll Closed
KavierI like the idea of a SanFrancisco type feel with light rail going into downtown. I also like the idea of giving this area a park-like feel with better landscaping and a connection to the greenway system.
Reply Flag Agree2 years ago
LovetheTriangleNCI vote for the "Big City with a Small Town Feel" idea.
Reply Flag Agree2 years ago
russ mcclureBig City, High end ammennities, with Small Town feeling where everyone knows your name.
Reply Flag Agree2 years ago
Deniz EnderWorking with local artists and city planners would help. Having art scattered along the sidewalks would add color and charm to this part of the city.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Kathy Campbell StancilTo me, South Saunders is an eye sore. It almost prevented us from moving into Ren Park. We were told the area was going to change for the better, but nothing has changed. Our neighborhood is a beautiful area. I would like to see the entrance to downtown reflect the beauty of our community. We have a beautiful skyline. Lets improve with the list of all the items listed in the first question !!!!
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Cheryl Biggers MarklandI would love to see that area cleaned up of the overgrown weeds and vines, sidewalks added and more desirable shopping.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Jessica Greer MarchandConnectivity would be the theme that I think would encompass the many benefits of being so close to downtown. This could mean connecting us to downtown by foot or bike, connecting us by driving and connecting us by our location.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Jennifer DeanEncouraging more connectivity between S. Saunders and downtown is important. Better bike-ped connections will help this, but we also need to refresh the Southern Gateway so that it inspires people to stop and experience Raleigh, rather than just drive past it on roads like S. Saunders/MLK.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Mark EndsleyBy far the most important link to downtown from I40 and the airport where visitors enter. A heavy emphasis should be placed on the aesthetics to from the Saunders exit to MLK. Id line the street with oaks and force the businesses to keep their upkeep. Buy up as much land as possible and create a parkway thar follows Saunders.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Brandon Dale MooreEnc
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
Catherine HofmannThe gateway should prime visitors for the experience we want them to have. Lets encourage people to walk, ride the R Line, take a pedicab, bring a bike, and EXPLORE Raleigh. Walk [Your City] could be a theme unto itself. If Raleigh branded itself as a dense, walkable/bikeable, urban center, visitors will park their cars and get on their feet as soon as possible. They will better enjoy Raleigh and all the local shops and restaurants were so lucky to have.
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago
John BertkeI believe that pedestrian and bicycling enhancements to the Wilmington Street corridor represents the best and most realistic opportunity for the citizens in the southwest Raleigh area to have unfettered access to downtown - which is very important to us all. Wilmington Street is the only thoroughfare that provides an uninterrupted pathway between neighborhoods and downtown (no highway interchanges to block access, and only a fraction of the vehicular traffic now using South Saunders).
Reply Flag Agree3 years ago

Past Project Activity

What brand or theme would distinguish the city's Southern Gateway from other gateway corridors?
KavierI like the idea of a SanFrancisco type feel with light rail going into downtown. I also like the idea of giving this area a park-like feel with better landscaping and a connection to the greenway system.
Reply Agree2 years ago
LovetheTriangleNCI vote for the "Big City with a Small Town Feel" idea.
Reply Agree2 years ago
russ mcclureBig City, High end ammennities, with Small Town feeling where everyone knows your name.
Reply Agree2 years ago
Deniz EnderWorking with local artists and city planners would help. Having art scattered along the sidewalks would add color and charm to this part of the city.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Kathy Campbell StancilTo me, South Saunders is an eye sore. It almost prevented us from moving into Ren Park. We were told the area was going to change for the better, but nothing has changed. Our neighborhood is a beautiful area. I would like to see the entrance to downtown reflect the beauty of our community. We have a beautiful skyline. Lets improve with the list of all the items listed in the first question !!!!
Reply Agree3 years ago
Cheryl Biggers MarklandI would love to see that area cleaned up of the overgrown weeds and vines, sidewalks added and more desirable shopping.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Jessica Greer MarchandConnectivity would be the theme that I think would encompass the many benefits of being so close to downtown. This could mean connecting us to downtown by foot or bike, connecting us by driving and connecting us by our location.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Jennifer DeanEncouraging more connectivity between S. Saunders and downtown is important. Better bike-ped connections will help this, but we also need to refresh the Southern Gateway so that it inspires people to stop and experience Raleigh, rather than just drive past it on roads like S. Saunders/MLK.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Mark EndsleyBy far the most important link to downtown from I40 and the airport where visitors enter. A heavy emphasis should be placed on the aesthetics to from the Saunders exit to MLK. Id line the street with oaks and force the businesses to keep their upkeep. Buy up as much land as possible and create a parkway thar follows Saunders.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Brandon Dale MooreEnc
Reply Agree3 years ago
Catherine HofmannThe gateway should prime visitors for the experience we want them to have. Lets encourage people to walk, ride the R Line, take a pedicab, bring a bike, and EXPLORE Raleigh. Walk [Your City] could be a theme unto itself. If Raleigh branded itself as a dense, walkable/bikeable, urban center, visitors will park their cars and get on their feet as soon as possible. They will better enjoy Raleigh and all the local shops and restaurants were so lucky to have.
Reply Agree3 years ago
John BertkeI believe that pedestrian and bicycling enhancements to the Wilmington Street corridor represents the best and most realistic opportunity for the citizens in the southwest Raleigh area to have unfettered access to downtown - which is very important to us all. Wilmington Street is the only thoroughfare that provides an uninterrupted pathway between neighborhoods and downtown (no highway interchanges to block access, and only a fraction of the vehicular traffic now using South Saunders).
Reply Agree3 years ago
Should the city improve the bicycle & pedestrian experience along South Saunders Street, even if it meant traffic delays?
  • 59 82% Yes
  • 13 18% No
Scott LanePeople in this corridor arent necessarily walking or biking for the joy of it - many are doing it because they use these transportation options. I teach children from lower income families (and moderate and higher-income families) how to ride bicycles safely from a community center in this very corridor, and can vouch that many of my students will and do use their feet and bicycles to get around, especially before they are of legal age to drive a car. As far as paying a highway use tax, a good majority of cyclists do actually own a car and pay all the same fuel, sales, income, and property taxes that support the construction, maintenance and enforcement that automobile travel demands - its just that when people choose to ride a bicycle then they are reducing pollution, congestion, and wear-and-tear on the roadway compared to when they drive a car (think of the damage a car or, even more, a truck does to a roadway surface compared to a bicycle - hey, you bike riders should really mail in that nickel for the year...). Put these facilities in to encourage more walking and biking; make those options safer for children and adults alike; and give people options in a corridor that needs them and will always need them regardless of how much roadway capacity we ram in to a corridor that is already one of the ugliest gateways in the country. Auto drivers (like me) suffer from too many people driving cars, not from too many people walking and biking.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Dennis P WienerThe optimal scenario a dedicated bike lane separate from auto traffic that runs along the less traveled Wilmington Street to downtown and connects with Saunders at the merge just north of Chapanoke Rd. A dedicated bike lane would add accessibility and potential reduce traffic long-term with more people choosing that over auto.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Jennifer DeanCyclists and pedestrians should be able to cross this road SAFELY without being hit. More crossing areas would give them more options of safe places to cross, so theyre less likely to cross the street outside of a crosswalk and endanger themselves and drivers.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Mark EndsleyNo, south Saunders is more of an artery road to transfer suburbanites/visitors to and from the freeway. It would create bottlenecks where there are plenty of other roads that can be retrofitted to promote bike and pedestrian offerings. If needed, create a walk or a bike path off the road running parallel.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Brandon Dale MooreThis goes back to the redevelopment question. If you do something to cause more traffic delays, will it encourage redevelopment along the corridor?
Reply Agree3 years ago
John BertkeIt is disturbing to even see this website from the city, because we have ALREADY held wonderful, well-attended visioneering sessions on this very subject. This website seems to be UNAWARE of all the time already invested by Southwest Raleigh citizens who cared enough to come together IN PERSON (not as easy as posting here).
Reply Agree3 years ago
John BertkeAn overwhelming consensus of those who attended the Southwest Raleigh Visioneering Sessions in 2013 was that a road diet and full bicycle lane on WILMINGTON STREET would most suit the needs of citizens wishing to bicycle between neighborhoods and downtown Raleigh - as opposed to attempts to accommodate bicyclists on South Saunders, which is an absurd idea.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Nicholas McleanYes. They should
Reply Agree3 years ago
Anthony T EllisYes. Absolutely. There will be traffic delays no matter what you do. :)
Reply Agree3 years ago
Anthony T EllisAlthough, this intersection looks like Chapanoke @ South Saunders. At this intersection, people have a tendency to crash into each other for no apparent reason. Good luck with this. --- {edit} Yes, Ive seen many who failed to acknowledge that theres a stop light there. So they end up plowing into another driver who actually stopped at the light.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Rahsaan GriffithNo
Reply Agree3 years ago
Paula McHugh BeaudoinYES!!!
Reply Agree3 years ago
Jimmy MonroeThey will still run you over
Reply Agree3 years ago
Chris CharetteYes! It desperately needs improvement.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Tom AlexanderNo. All we need are MORE delays of people trying to get through downtown. Most people use cars. We do not need to inconvenience them further to appease a small niche group.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Rusty SharpePpl on bikes dont know the rules of driving a bike just like ALL these illegals driving an automobile dont know the rules......I blame the DMV!!
Reply Agree3 years ago
Trey OliverWho in the hell would want to walk or ride a bike in that area. And someone please explain to me what possess a person to ride a bike in 5 ooclock traffic!
Reply Agree3 years ago
Willie W Clark Jr.Sore subject. If bikes want to ride on the road then pay a highway use tax like we all do on every vehicle we own. NO!!
Reply Agree3 years ago
Krizz Ramz Reyesyes
Reply Agree3 years ago
Clair KrugYes. But more importantly we need to retrain drivers to be conscience of foot and bike traffic through the whole city.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Raleigh seeks to improve the city's Southern Gateway along South Saunders Street. Which one of these could help most?
  • 21 25% Zoning changes to encourage new development
  • 20 24% Improve the Streetscape (sidewalks, lighting, trees, etc.)
  • 20 24% Make it easier to bike and walk
  • 8 9% Install public art
  • 7 8% Create a great public place
  • 6 7% Improve the park and greenway connectivity
  • 2 2% Improve to the road and traffic patterns
  • 1 1% Maintain existing neighborhood character and roadway connections
KavierThis area is woefully lacking in greenway connectivity. I feel very isolated living in South Raleigh with no way to access the Greenway system this city touts as one of its biggest achievements.
Reply Agree2 years ago
LovetheTriangleNCThis is a scary place to walk/bike, but it's also scary to drive, so improving traffic patterns would be nice. New development would be helpful, especially since this area serves as the southern gateway to the city.
Reply Agree2 years ago
russ mcclureBeing a current resident within the corridor (South Park/S.Wilmington St.) I want to see mixed use shared residential commercial buildings within the neighborhood allowing more accessible variety of retail/services/restaurants/multi unit housing allowing residents ability to work, live, and play in their own backyard without needing excessive traveling.
Reply Agree2 years ago
Ben AdlerSoccer stadium!!!!
Reply Agree3 years ago
Jennifer DeanImproving bike and pedestrian crossings would help this region connect more with the downtown districts, and bring more economic investment in the area!
Reply Agree3 years ago
Brandon Dale MooreNew development along the corridor would probably lead to all of the other items on the list. The most fundamental way to encourage it would probably be through zoning changes.
Reply Agree3 years ago
John BertkeIt is disingenous to ask a multiple choice question and allow only one choice when in fact multiple items each represent an urgent need. That said, we need CROSSWALKS YESTERDAY!!! People are getting frightened and in some cases struck while trying to cross South Saunders. The city council approved an urgent need for South Saunders crosswalks in February 2013. It is now almost 20 months later. Where are the crosswalks?
Reply Agree3 years ago
Quincy DinnersonIt would be nice to see a sports complex but in the area its in the planning phase this need to be a priority. In order for us to keep the hurricanes and attract major concerts and tournaments. PNC need to be nc state the whole area by the PNC should be call nc state sports complex
Reply Agree3 years ago
Quincy DinnersonAlso make room for the lite rail that always make cities look grand when you can see the rail from the highway
Reply Agree3 years ago
Quincy DinnersonEncourage more development to expand the downtown sky line making the city have a grand appeal from 40 also make the greenway more pronounce that it highlight the historical shaw university
Reply Agree3 years ago
TJ FirebrookCombo of all choices.
Reply Agree3 years ago
Leo SuárezThe area going north/south is very easy to go through so most people are probably just traveling compared to stopping. Its also difficult to go east/west. I say improve the east/west connections for better walking/biking, beautify the north/south vehicle heavy routes but add comfortable bike/walk routes to downtown, and encourage new development to create a mixed-use destination. Wouldnt hurt to re-think the Western Blvd bridge either. Can it be removed and brought to grade?
Reply Agree3 years ago
Sterling MaxwellI think the priority here should be safe crossing areas for walkers who live across from these centers. Ive seen too many people hit while trying to cross. There are no good crossing areas to access safely.
Reply Agree3 years ago