Above - West Gate City Boulevard

                   Above - Protected Bike Lane in Tuscaloosa Alabama

Below - Amersfoort Netherlands: Protected bike lanes, in a city of 160,000 where 28% of residents bike to work daily.

Gate City Boulevard Conceptual Design Project

 

Project Purpose

To help the community reshape West Gate City Boulevard from Coliseum to Elm into a bike, transit, and walk-friendly street.

 

Our Vision

We are building upon a 2008 plan by conducting a local visioning and design process to develop an alternative bike- and pedestrian-friendly concept for West Gate City Blvd from Coliseum to Elm, by the community for the community.  We are bringing together a coalition of professionals and volunteers who want to proactively create a community-driven plan for building a better Gate City Blvd and who have skills important for this project, including for walking, bike, and transit design, planning, engineering and advocacy, as well as GIS, grants, marketing, landscaping, public art, and housing alternatives.  We are working with local stakeholders, including the affected neighborhoods, UNCG students, faculty and staff, public agencies, community activists, LimeBike, local nonprofits, developers, and landowners, to direct this project and use its results to affect city decisions and effect changes to city policies and long-term planning.

Project Goals

- To create a community-driven vision of how West Gate City Boulevard ought to both look and function after it is rebuilt.

- To design West Gate City Boulevard as safe and pleasant to cross, to bike through, to walk along, and to use transit as it is to drive.

- To redesign West Gate City Boulevard into a neighborhood main street for all residents and businesses, including the students at UNCG and for the surrounding neighborhood residents of Warnersville, Lindley Park, Glenwood, and College Hill, with a mix of amenities and affordable and market-rate housing and business rents.

 

Street Design Goals

- We want to create a streetscape specifically for people rather than for cars, that includes a unified and cohesive design, with a mix of foliage, public art, and sidewalk public spaces, including sidewalk cafes, pubs, and meeting spaces; and
- Compatibility with "best practices" for street design, with complete "Vision Zero" safety and comfort for bicyclists and people walking both along West Gate City Blvd and crossing it, including "protected" intersections; and

- Create better transit service, connections, and amenities along the corridor; and
- Support and promote local businesses and jobs along the corridor; and

- Study and implement strategies to mitigate local involuntary economic displacement from gentrification; and
- Promote the corridor as the preferred link between UNCG and Downtown Greensboro.

 

Community Coalition

- Neighbors who envision West Gate City as a positive asset for the whole community, including neighborhood leadership concerned about rapid gentrification and minimizing involuntary economic displacement of local residents and businesses; and

- UNCG staff, students, and faculty who want to see West Gate City Blvd as a vibrant community well-connected to all neighborhoods and downtown for all modes; and

- Bicycle and pedestrian advocates who want protected bike lanes for maximum user safety, including for LimeBike bike share users; and

- Transit advocates who see that West Gate City Blvd is already an important multi-modal connection; and

- Local land and business owners who want West Gate City Blvd to have a positive image as a place people want to be, rather than as a high-crime area.

Why Now?

West Gate City Blvd was recently rebuilt from the Coliseum to I-40 for $13.5 million.  We believe the city will rebuild the inner portion of West Gate City Blvd within the next 10 years, with over $12 million already being lined up through bonds and state project funding, using the same design as the already rebuilt portion.  In spite of a significant reduction of traffic using the street between 2005 and today, as well as rapid gentrification, many important stakeholders still see this street as a high-speed arterial roadway fit only for cars and heavy trucks.  With the recent growth of the LimeBike bike share program by UNCG and the city is already impacting the politics to allow and encourage changes towards “active transportation” infrastructure corridors that would have been unthinkable even a year ago.

UNCG, Bikesboro, and Transit Alliance of the Piedmont (TAP) are sponsoring a Downtown Greensboro West Gate City Design Charrette, which will take place on Tuesday March 13th from 1:30 to 4:30 pm at the UNCG Center for Community-Engaged Design at 842-B West Gate City Boulevard at Tate Street. The intent of the design charrette is to initiate a community-based remake the West Gate City corridor as a thriving transit-oriented development with excellent walking and bicycling facilities that connect UNCG to the coliseum and downtown.  A well-designed, multi-user corridor will lead to a new wave of high quality economic development for Greensboro. The design charrette is an opportunity for UNCG and the Glenwood neighbors to jointly create a collective vision along with the larger community of what their shared main street could be in a way that satisfies the needs of everyone.

 

Sponsors of the design charrette event include the UNCG Center for Community-Engaged Design, TAP and the community advocacy group Bikesboro. They are working with the local communities who use West Gate City Blvd as a transit, walking and bicycling corridor. The project grew from a group of grassroots advocates who felt more could be done in the community to accommodate bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users on city streets. The project will attempt to create a vision of what Gate City Blvd should be based on the multi-million dollar investment that has already been promised to rebuild the street.

 

The West Gate City design charrette is part of the 5th annual UNCG Novem Mason Symposium. Interested participants are requested to download free tickets for the event at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-novem-mason-symposium-for-community-engaged-design-tickets-43278118016 or through the UNCG Novem Mason website: http://www.novemmasonsymposium.com.

Project Posters

Project Partner Organizations

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