The view from here

Completion of the Summit Avenue Corridor Study is the first step toward realization of the Aycock Neighborhood’s vision for itself.  A direct result of the neighborhood’s highly publicized 2003 Master Plan charette involving old-stadium and new-urbanist guru Philip Bess along with a whole team of architects and planners, Aycock’s pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps efforts were rewarded when the City Council authorized the study back in 2004 (it should be noted the neighborhood has paid for much of this study itself).

At the center of the neighborhood’s 2003 self-planning process was the controversial effort toward preserving War Memorial Stadium for minor league baseball.  Although that aspect of the process was unsuccessful, the larger effort – that of enhancing the area surrounding one of Greensboro’s historic districts as one of Greensboro’s most important inner city gateways – is just now being realized with the completion of the Corridor Study and the companion piece to that effort: the work of The War Memorial Stadium Task Force – which completed its work last week.

The Corridor Study examines the feasibility, costs and impact of streetscape enhancements and land use regulatory changes along two major thoroughfares that transect the Aycock Neighborhood: Summit Avenue and Yanceyville Street.

As they currently appear, these two streets are four-lane raceways that divide the neighborhood into quadrants.  To traverse between these quadrants, neighbors almost have to take their lives into their own hands in order to the cross busy, pedestrian un-friendly streets.  The enhancements depicted below will change all of that and also, hopefully, make these areas more appealing to potential commercial endeavors.

Yanceville perspective1.jpg

This view (click for larger) of Yanceyville Street is looking north from the intersection of Yanceyville and Lindsay Streets.  War Memorial Stadium is behind the trees on the right, the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market is out of view on the left.  Reducing this over-built thoroughfare to two lanes is a top priority of this study as well as the finalized plans for creating a park  as the setting around WMS.

SummitAve_perspective11.jpg

In this perspective, your view is of a transformed Summit Avenue looking toward downtown from the Yanceyville Street intersection.  A tree-lined boulevard replaces what is currently witnessed as a large expanse of asphalt holding little asthetic appeal to either hurrying motorists or wary side-walkers.  These streetscape improvements are proposed all the way out to Bessemer Avenue.

Although our City Council will have to balance many, many needs and wants from divergent parties’ requests to have their bond referendum issues placed before the voters this November, implementing the recommendations of this Corridor Study should be a slam dunk.

Like similar recent improvements to the East Market Street corridor, this proposal promises to serve as a catalyst for economic activity in a part of the city that is underserved by commercial endeavors.  By enhancing the area’s land use designations to promote more commercial activity, the Study’s recommended streetscape improvements will hopefully be the ‘kicker’ that convinces potential investors that Center City Greensboro’s eastern edge is the place to be.

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  1. [...] would effectively dim the chances of implementing the development ideas in the city’s own Summit Avenue Corridor Study which tries to lure money and businesses [...]