South side of the 100 block of East Franklin Street from University United Methodist Church (150) to McCorkle Place


This section of right-of-way is 480 feet in length and extends from the south side of the intersection of East Franklin and Henderson Streets to the University Methodist Church. Adjacent land uses are institutional, including University buildings and University United Methodist Church. Existing street trees are growing at or slightly above sidewalk grade, rather than in raised planters.


Proposed improvements include installation of the underground utility duct bank, which would complete the conduit system in the 100 block of East Franklin Street. The existing curb and gutter would be replaced and the sidewalk of brick pavers would be replaced with a 10-foot concrete sidewalk. Brick pavers would be installed in the amenity strip between the sidewalk and the curb. Of the 12 existing street trees, 4 maples in poor condition and one Chinese elm damaged during the 2002 ice storm are proposed to be replaced. Two new street trees would be added. Where conditions permit, new trees (including replacements) would be installed in raised brick planters.


In this section, an opportunity exists to realign the curb across from the intersection of Henderson Street, in accordance with the 1993 Downtown Streetscape Master Plan. Extending the curb on the south side of the street approximately 5 feet into the intersection would create additional pedestrian space to serve several functions including enhancing pedestrian safety at the crosswalks by creating a landing and improved visibility. As was the case with previously constructed curb extensions, the plan for curb realignment would be subject to approval by the NC Department of Transportation.


The estimated cost of construction for this project is $150,000.


Advantages of the Recommended Project:


        Very high visibility location;

        Completes all improvements in the 100 block of East Franklin Street, including the underground conduit system needed to facilitate the extension of lighting improvements;

        Provides an opportunity to enhance pedestrian safety by constructing a curb extension at the Henderson Street intersection.


Disadvantages of the Recommended Project:


        Replacement trees will appear small compared to the existing larger but declining trees that they would replace;

        Design of curb extension requires review/approval by others; and

        High pedestrian and vehicular traffic would make construction logistics difficult.