Midtown Raleigh News

News Briefs

Soccer park to get synthetic fields

The WRAL Soccer Complex in North Raleigh will offer sturdier fields to accommodate more tournaments starting this summer.

The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday approved the final plans for two synthetic turf fields at the Perry Creek Road park. The switch from grass fields will allow for more games because the turf won’t get worn down as easily.

The construction will start in June and cost about $2.5 million. The Capital Area Soccer League is seeking grants to cover its $300,000 contribution to the new fields. The city will pay for the rest using bond money.

Staff writer Colin Campbell

Wake Forest maintains AAA bond rating

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services said March 1 it has reaffirmed its AAA long-term rating and underlying rating on the town’s general obligation debt. The rating is the highest S&P gives and shows the firm considers the town in good financial health.

The AAA rating reflects factors such as the town’s planning process to manage growth and low overall debt burden, according to Wake Forest officials.

S&P also rated the outlook for the town as stable, which means the rating is unlikely to change during the next two years.

Staff writer Sarah Barr

Rainwater Road stop signs approved

Drivers on North Raleigh’s Rainwater Road will soon be coming to a stop four times in less than a mile.

After residents of the street complained of speeding cars, Raleigh traffic engineers developed a series of traffic-calming devices that would have included small traffic circles, curb extensions and medians. But after the designs were released, the neighborhood was bitterly divided over the plan.

The controversy led to a heated 90-minute hearing at the Raleigh City Council last month, with Mayor Nancy McFarlane proposing stop signs and electronic speed monitoring signs as a compromise measure.

On Tuesday, the council signed off on places for stop signs on Rainwater at Briarforest Place, Bellechasse Drive, North Ridge Drive and Weybridge Drive.

The city plans to buy four solar-powered speed monitor signs at a cost of $25,000 to $50,000. The signs, which show drivers their speed, are relatively new to Raleigh.

Staff writer Colin Campbell

Traffic slowed on Brooks Avenue

The city council on Tuesday signed off on plans to drop the speed limit on Brooks Avenue between Wade Avenue and Lake Boone Trail.

Crews will soon replace the 35 mph signs with a speed limit of 25 mph. The move comes at the request of Brooks Avenue residents; 75 percent of them signed a petition supporting the change. That’s the city’s requirement for traffic calming measures.

Residents of the West Raleigh neighborhood have been pushing for new measures to slow drivers who use their streets as a shortcut. Just to the north of Brooks on Lake Boone Trail, the city recently installed a series of speed humps that have already drawn fire from some drivers.

The new humps – added to a number of neighborhoods throughout the city in recent months – have proved controversial, with critics saying they must go well below the posted speed limit to comfortably cross the humps.

Staff writer Colin Campbell

Museum named most popular site

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences was the most popular museum or historic site in the state last year, surpassing the Biltmore mansion and grounds in Asheville.

It’s the first time the museum has topped the list that the Biltmore has dominated since Carolina Publishing Associates began compiling visitor data nine years ago.

The company found that 1,220,814 people visited the science museum in downtown Raleigh in 2012, compared with 1,123,144 at the Biltmore. The museum’s numbers were boosted by the opening last spring of the Nature Research Center, a new wing that emphasizes the work of natural scientists.

Charlotte’s Discovery Place, the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro and Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach rounded out the top 5 attractions. Other local attractions included Marbles museum at sixth, the N.C. Museum of History at 13th and the N.C. Museum of Art at 14th.

Based in Matthews, Carolina Publishing Associates publishes the Carolina Heritage Guide, Carolina Field Trips Magazine and the African-American Heritage and Visitor’s Guide. From staff reports