A stretch of Capital Boulevard is getting sidewalks, which will likely make it safer for pedestrians to navigate a busy area near Triangle Town Center.
Crews will build sidewalks along Capital Boulevard between Spring Forest and Old Wake Forest roads.
The area has seen an increasing number of pedestrians, said Eric Lamb, the city’s transportation planning manager.
“It’s a pretty simple project that’s going to accomplish a lot to get the basics of pedestrian accessibility in place,” he said.
The project includes about a mile of sidewalks, landscaping and a transit amenity such as a bus shelter or bench. It will cost about $1 million, funded with Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization grants and city funds.
The sidewalks are temporary, although they will look like normal sidewalks without curb and gutter features.
The city has plans to build permanent sidewalks in the area, but it could be several years before that project moves forward, Lamb said.
When that area of Capital Boulevard started to develop in the 1980s, sidewalks weren’t included in building plans, and the city didn’t require developers to include sidewalks.
“This was out on the edges of the city at that point, and people didn’t think about sidewalk needs in those corridors,” Lamb said.
The city later created corridor plans for most of Capital Boulevard, which typically included filling in sidewalks.
But the area of Capital Boulevard between Interstate 440 and Interstate 540 does not have a corridor plan, and there likely won’t be one until at least next year, Lamb said.
In many cases now, the city requires new development to include sidewalks. But the area near Triangle Town Center has seen lots of redevelopment, Lamb said. If it’s a small enough project, the city may not require sidewalk construction.
Raleigh is getting more sidewalks all over the city.
“We’re spending more on building new sidewalks in the next two years than we have in the last 20 years,” Lamb said. “That’s a pretty significant commitment on the city’s part.”
The Raleigh City Council approved several sidewalk projects in April that are funded by a 2011 transportation bond. Plans include just under two miles of sidewalks throughout the city for a little under $1 million.
That figure doesn’t include other projects that will construct bike lanes, expand roads and add sidewalks.