Raleigh leaders recently took their annual visit to a major city (“ Indy trip leads to talk of downtown Raleigh bike trail,” May 1 new story). Their takeaway? A downtown bike trail.
Somehow they missed the downtown Indianapolis Zoo, Circle Center Mall, Lucas Oil Stadium (football), Bankers Life Fieldhouse (basketball), Victory Field (baseball), a natatorium, a track stadium, a canal walk, four distinct museums, two hospitals, supermarkets, a banking and industrial center.
In the 1980s, Indianapolis branded itself “Amateur Sports Capital of the World” then went about attracting the NCAA headquarters, USA Gymnastics, USA Diving, USA Track & Field. Meanwhile, Raleigh’s takeaway is a cultural bike trail. Never mind our existing beautiful greenway connector through Woodcrest, Madonna Acres, past St. Augustine’s to the Walnut Creek Wetland Center. Apparently, this trail doesn’t feature enough “culture.” What are we missing?
If recent successful updates to the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and Pullen Park tell us anything, area residents and visitors yearn to come downtown. Raleigh needs leaders to step forward – doers with vision willing to make bold moves.
It’s time for professional baseball and a retail destination downtown. Both can be accomplished off South Blount Street.
Let’s think bigger than a bike trail.