South side of West Franklin Street adjacent to University Square


This section of proposed improvements extends approximately 800 feet on the south side of the 100 and 200 blocks of West Franklin Street from the west side of the University Baptist Church property to the intersection of Mallette Street.


Existing conditions - There are currently four driveways that access the University Square property from West Franklin Street. One driveway is located at the intersection of Church Street which is in the process of receiving mast arm traffic signal poles and crosswalks. There is a bus stop located at the curb on the east side of this intersection. The existing sidewalk is only in fair condition due to several places that have been pushed up by the roots of mature street trees.


Panera Bread at the corner of West Franklin and Mallette Streets has two one-way entrances on Franklin Street and a two-way entrance on Mallette.


There are almost no pedestrian amenities remaining in this 800-foot section, except two brick trash receptacles.


When Franklin Street was resurfaced in 2004, a full bicycle lane was not striped, although the outside east-bound lane was left wider than the other four lanes to accommodate bicycle traffic.


Proposed improvements include a new 8-foot concrete sidewalk adjacent to the existing brick wall that separates surface parking at University Square from the right-of-way. The sidewalk is being moved to the edge of the right-of-way to be consistent with previous sidewalk replacements downtown and to allow more room for street trees between the sidewalk and the curb.


Streetscape construction in this section will necessitate removal of 7 mature Bradford pear trees growing between the wall at the edge of the right-of-way and the sidewalk. The crowns of these trees have suffered damage from ice and wind and the effects of being planted too close together. Two smaller trees and two mature elms growing between the curb and the sidewalk are in declining health and will be removed during demolition. 5 larger existing street trees may be retained between the curb and the sidewalk.


New raised brick planters are proposed in the amenity strip to accommodate 10 new street trees. In addition, bench groupings, trash receptacles and bicycle racks will be included to make this section of downtown more user-friendly for bus riders, pedestrians, and cyclists.


The length of this section of improvements will likely necessitate the use of some contract labor as in the most recent Streetscape construction project. The cost of contracting portions of the project is included in the total estimate. The approximate cost of Streetscape construction in this section is $280,000.


Lighting – Following completion of Streetscape construction, including the underground ductbank, a Specialty Lighting Request could be submitted to Duke Power Company for installation of 6 custom pedestrian lights and 3 street light-pedestrian light combinations. The approximate cost for lighting improvements is $80,000.


Advantages of the potential sidewalk reconstruction project