This is the fourth post in my series about converting the Durham Freeway into a city Boulevard. If you haven't read the series, start with part 1 here.

Originally, my series on converting 147 to a boulevard was going to be three parts. However, recently, Phil Veasley, a transportation engineer posted on the forums that he was interested in taking a crack at the design.

My original design had some major flaws AND I am certainly not a transportation engineer. Everyone on the forums welcomed his design (you should join the forums if you want to be part of these conversations).

I was thrilled with Phil's work. You can view the entire design on his website. Here is the image from one section of the conversion:

This is the stretch that goes by the Durham Bulls stadium as well as the future American Tobacco Campus expansion project. Here are my initial thoughts:
  • Great idea to actually split the road into two boulevards here. Once the American Tobacco Campus expansion is complete, there will be a great mix of uses on the northern boulevard split and a mix of greenway and commercial space on the southern split. This also solves the problem in my original design of intersections being too close together.

  • I love that there is a cycle track included and that it follows the southern portion of the boulevard. "Complete Streets" doesn't mean that all streets have to accommodate all modes, just that all modes have close access. There could be a discussion about combining the greenway and cycle track or leaving it as-is.

  • Durham Crossing Park (big green space in the middle) could redefine what is considered the epicenter of the city. The large park across from the ballpark could feature places to gather, places for kids, create new monuments/tributes to historical events, and places to display art, all while having commercial uses nearby.

  • The more "intense" side of the split boulevard faces downtown and the less "intense side" faces adjacent neighborhoods, creating great context transition.
Thank you to Phil. To me, there is a clear next step. Anyone out there want to create a rendering of what it would be like to be in Durham Crossing Park, looking at the new commercial boulevard?

And to discuss Phil's design, join the conversation in the forum here.

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To engage with other Durham enthusiasts, visit the forums here!

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