North side of the 500 and 600 blocks of West Franklin Street from Chapel Hill Tire to Crook’s Corner


This section of right-of-way represents the western limit of the Downtown Streetscape study area adjoining the Town’s jurisdiction line with Carrboro. Possible Future Project 3 is 440 feet in length and is located on the north side of the 500 and 600 blocks of West Franklin Street from Merritt Mill Road to Roberson Street.  Adjacent businesses include restaurants and auto services between Crook’s Corner (610) and Chapel Hill Tire (502).  There are two driveway cuts crossing the sidewalk in the 600 block.


Proposed improvements include installation of the underground utility ductbank and replacement of the concrete curb, gutter, and sidewalk.  The sidewalk would continue across driveways to improve pedestrian safety.  In the 500 block, there is more pedestrian traffic between the curb and sidewalk due to the location of on-street parking and a bus stop at the curb. In this area, brick pavers and raised planters would be used in the amenity strip along with new bench groupings, bike racks and trash receptacles. In the 600 block, there is no on-street parking. The area between the sidewalk and curb would be landscaped with ground covers around existing trees growing at the grade of the sidewalk. Brick pavers would be used as needed at corners and beneath street lights and new furnishings.  Of the seven existing trees, one in poor condition will be replaced and three trees added. A new kiosk is also proposed as part of the improvements.


The estimated cost of construction for this project is $106,000, including the 1% for public art. 


Advantages of Possible Future Project 3:


·        High visibility at the entranceway to Chapel Hill from Carrboro;

·        Poor condition of existing sidewalk and tree lawns; and

·        Would complement improvements across Franklin Street at Jiffy Lube, the Chapel Hill News, and at the Orange County Skills Development Center.


Disadvantages of Possible Future Project 3:


·        Grade changes at existing doorways present design and construction challenges; and

·        Replacement tree will appear small compared to the existing larger but declining tree that it would replace.