Recently, the City of Raleigh approved changes in the Downtown core to increase safety for all users.
All streets within Downtown will have their speed limits reduced to 25 MPH, right turns on red will be restricted, and dual turn lanes will be eliminated. These changes will even take affect on the Downtown streets that NCDOT owns which is a pretty big deal.
Usually, when agencies approve things like this, it is months – or longer, before we actually see things implemented. The City of Raleigh however has already been busy making these changes. Almost immediately after the announcement, I started noticing the new signs and altered signals.
The first big one was at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Salisbury Street.
While this particular signal was already no turn on red, there was a double right turn lane and a solid green light while having a forced pedestrian conflict. The updated configuration eliminated the 2nd right turn lane and converted the green light to a flashing yellow arrow to indicate that cars must yield to pedestrians.
Other changes I’ve already noticed are new 25 MPH speed limit signs on many of the Downtown streets including some of our major ones such as Edenton Street and New Bern Avenue.
Unrelated to these changes but still noteworthy is also the elimination of un-warranted signals in and around Downtown. Signals at the intersections of Oakwood Ave at Hill Street, East Street at Davie Street, and West Street at Lenoir Street were recently converted to All-Way stops. While it may seem like a small deal, this also helps with pedestrian safety and slows vehicles down.
It will be interesting to see how these changes affect safety and mobility throughout our city in the coming years. These small changes can help us advance toward the goal of Vision Zero.
Opinions and insights are my own and are not representative of my employer or any organization. Any ideas displayed on this site are purely that – just ideas to help improve the future of the built environment and begin discussions.