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Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point The Triad Area
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:11 AM
 
528 posts, read 452,685 times
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One of the things mentioned by Jarrett Walker at the transit meeting Monday for Raleigh/Wake County is that increased transit is a method that can be used to combat sprawl, but that is not enough. Just like the Triangle, the Triad is one of the most sprawling regions in the U.S., and in the long-term that can be very environmentally dangerous. Not only that but it promotes social isolation, limits social mobility, and is an economic strain in the long-term to the community (yes, sprawl creates high short-term profits to certain companies and individuals, but that's only in the short term).

So what other steps does the Triad need to take to reduce sprawl? And are you willing to see that through?

I for one find it to be ridiculous that it is practically impossible to walk to Hanes Mall in Winston (due to Hanes Mall Boulevard, Stratford Road, and Silas Creek Parkway all being pedestrian deadly), even if you live in the western half of the Ardmore neighborhood (i.e. around Bolton Street).
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
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I think there should be a greater focus on infill development. The days of building suburban malls are just about over. Hopefully Greensboro and Winston-Salem can get to a point where retail comes back to the center-city but the two cities haven't reached the critical residential mass for stores like the urban Targets and urban Home Depot ect. That kind of retail doesn't even exist in uptown Charlotte yet. So I'm sure the Triad is many many years away from that. But that doesn't mean the two cities can't attract more small locally owned retail establishments to their downtowns.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsoboi78 View Post
I think there should be a greater focus on infill development. The days of building suburban malls are just about over. Hopefully Greensboro and Winston-Salem can get to a point where retail comes back to the center-city but the two cities haven't reached the critical residential mass for stores like the urban Targets and urban Home Depot ect. That kind of retail doesn't even exist in uptown Charlotte yet. So I'm sure the Triad is many many years away from that. But that doesn't mean the two cities can't attract more small locally owned retail establishments to their downtowns.
Good point. Have county and city governments amended zoning regulations to allow for more in-fill development? Even if the economic forces are in place, legal forces can stop that from happening.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:31 PM
 
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GSOboi hit the nail on the head. Infill center city development is critical to reducing sprawl and promoting livable, walkable city cores. Toward that goal, the Triad should do all they can do to pursue a comprehensive light rail system.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tarheelhombre View Post
GSOboi hit the nail on the head. Infill center city development is critical to reducing sprawl and promoting livable, walkable city cores. Toward that goal, the Triad should do all they can do to pursue a comprehensive light rail system.
Do you think it will be possible to get funding for a light rail or BRT system? The Triangle has had enough difficulty as it is, and the Triad's importance as a metro is seen a step below that of the Triangle.
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
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In Winston-Salem, there is already discussion and planning for a streetcar system from Winston-Salem State, west thru the WFIQ and downtown, to the West End and WFU Medical Center. This line, as the one here in Charlotte has already, will help create density and more development along the path. There is already development along the proposed route in every sector of the city, especially in the research park, and in the West End at West End Village.

The best thing that people who want easier access to shops, restaurants and the like can do is to support the initiative for this streetcar by attending meetings, contacting city leaders, and promoting positive feedback to others who might be able to take advantage of easy transportation.

There is also discussion, long term, of light rail on existing rail lines from Hanes Mall thru downtown to Union Station, then east to Kernersville and Guilford County. That initiative will definately take more cooperation among the Triad's cities than currently exists.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wsnc62 View Post
There is also discussion, long term, of light rail on existing rail lines from Hanes Mall thru downtown to Union Station, then east to Kernersville and Guilford County. That initiative will definately take more cooperation among the Triad's cities than currently exists.
How practically feasible do you think this is in terms of actually being realized?
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:02 PM
 
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I think sprawl is being reduced in both WS and GSO. Most of the interesting development in both cities is in their respective downtowns, including a great deal of residential development. There is also greenway expansion taking place in both cities, and I know that sidewalks are being expanded in Winston (and I assume the same is true in GSO).

There are years of crappy planning to undo, but I think both cities are moving in the right direction. Transit could help, but the ROI is harder to rationalize given the high costs and relatively low current demand.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:32 PM
AT9
 
Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma
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The Triad can combat sprawl the same ways most other places can:

-Add good bike lanes/sidewalks
-Create incentives (tax or whatever) for infill type projects, whether new construction or re-use (the renovation and re-use projects in Winston are pretty awesome right now)
-Invest in non-car dependent transportation (sadly, the huge beltway underway around Winston is a step backwards towards combating sprawl and is money that could be spent on rail, bike/pedestrian lanes, bus improvements, etc...)
-Change zoning laws that require exceptional amounts of parking for certain buildings
-Create/change zoning laws that help induce more pedestrian-friendly developments

Basically, it comes down to infill and transportation. I haven't spent much time outside W-S since moving to the Triad, but W-S isn't as sprawly as where I came from and there seems to be a lot of good happening within the city.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:13 PM
 
528 posts, read 452,685 times
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Originally Posted by AT9 View Post
Basically, it comes down to infill and transportation. I haven't spent much time outside W-S since moving to the Triad, but W-S isn't as sprawly as where I came from and there seems to be a lot of good happening within the city.
Great!
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