2015 Project of Year Award: Six Forks Road Corridor Study
Project Owner: City of Raleigh Urban Design Center
Planners: Design Workshop & Stantec
The impetus for this project was the desire of the City of Raleigh to create an implementable and broadly supported plan for the Six Forks Road corridor. This plan should provide the basis for the transformation of Six Forks Road to a safe, multimodal, and attractive corridor with an identifiable image, an image that clearly defines Midtown Raleigh. Six Forks Road provides mobility for a large number of cars, but is also used to access numerous neighborhoods, schools, churches, businesses, and shopping amenities. However, improvements to the roadway have been piecemeal, with narrower and wider roadway cross-sections at different locations along the corridor.
The plan creates a consistent cross-section for the corridor that accommodates bicycles, pedestrians, transit-riders, and vehicles safely and comfortably, while also enhancing the appearance and image of the roadway through diverse design elements. Each mode has a dedicated area, which improves safety, while design elements, such as street trees, attractive paving materials, and public art installations create a sense of place along the corridor. Before any improvements, the Six Forks Road corridor had a crash rate 2.86 times the state average. By adding access management measures and medians, the crash rate is forecast to decrease by 40 percent.
In the end, this project is really about enhancing Midtown Raleigh. People’s lives can be substantially improved through good design; this project would enhance neighborhood livability by providing safe and convenient accommodation for all modes and people of all ages and incomes, reduce congestion, stimulate real estate development, particularly development that supports vibrant street life, and reduce pollution and environmental degradation by providing innovative stormwater treatment and by planting numerous street trees.