South side of the 400 block of West Franklin Street from Kenan Street to the west side of Parking Lot #3


This section on the south side of West Franklin Street is 405 feet in length and is located between Kenan Street and the former Chrysler auto dealership (419). Adjacent land uses include restaurants, specialty shops, and a Town-owned public parking lot.  In the western half of this segment, the owners of 411 West Restaurant have recently rebuilt and landscaped 70 feet of right-of-way adjacent to their property in conjunction with an addition to the building.  The Recommended Project includes sections on either side of 411West.


The section of sidewalk between Kenan Street and the Streetscape portion rebuilt at 411 West is 300 feet in length.  Proposed improvements include installing the underground utility ductbank and replacing the concrete sidewalk and the concrete curb and gutter. The concrete sidewalk would extend across the two existing driveways on each side of McDonald’s to improve pedestrian safety.


Approximately 90 feet of existing brick retaining wall would be reconstructed in front of the businesses from 401-405 and a set of brick steps added near the middle of the retaining wall to improve access to the sidewalk from on-street parking spaces. Existing bollards and the split-rail fence in the right-of-way in front of Patio Loco (407) and McDonald’s (409) would be replaced with approximately 150 feet of ornamental metal fence installed above a new concrete curb wall adjacent to the proposed 8-foot wide sidewalk.


Across from the entrance to Patio Loco, there is also an opportunity to consolidate multiple newspaper racks located in the public right-of-way.  During the 2001 and 2002 Streetscape construction projects, modular newspaper racks were purchased and installed by the Town to replace individual privately-owned racks for free publications at specific locations. In addition, individual coin-operated newspaper racks were standardized in appearance and placed in locations designated by the Town. These improvements would require ordinance amendments which will be provided to the Town Council prior to Streetscape construction.


In this area, two existing damaged sugar maple trees would be replaced and two new street trees added.  In the portions of this section where there is on-street parking and a need for pedestrian access to and from the curb, the “amenity strip” would be surfaced with brick pavers. Where there is no on-street parking adjacent to the curb, the area between the curb and sidewalk would be landscaped with low evergreen shrubs and groundcover or left as mulched area around existing trees.


In the 105 feet of right-of-way between 411 West and the former Chrysler dealership (419), proposed improvements adjacent to Parking Lot #3 would be similar to those in the eastern portion of this section including new curb and gutter, underground utility duct bank, a 7-foot wide concrete sidewalk, and a brick amenity strip between the sidewalk and the curb. One damaged linden tree is proposed to be removed and two new street trees added. 


The estimated cost of construction for this project is $96,000, including 1% for public art.


Advantages of Possible Future Project 1:


·        Replaces a section of downtown sidewalk that is in particularly poor condition;

·        Opportunity to improve area adjacent to Town-owned property at Parking Lot #3;

·        Opportunity to integrate newspaper racks into Streetscape improvements;

·        The portion between Kenan Street and 411West would complement improvements made across West Franklin Street during the Streetscape demonstration project in the mid 1990’s; and

·        Relatively lower pedestrian traffic would make construction logistics easier.


Disadvantages of Possible Future Project 1:


·        Grade changes between doorways and between buildings and the curb present design and construction challenges; and

·      Numerous existing right-of-way encroachments, including bollards, stoop and fences are difficult to coordinate into an attractive and functional plan.