The Southern Gateway corridor, of S. Saunders and S. Wilmington Streets, into Raleigh provides one of the best skyline views of the city. However, those roadways and adjacent land uses along this approach to downtown lack a cohesive character and identity. Recognizing the importance of this gateway into downtown Raleigh, the city’s Urban Design Center conducted a Visioning Workshop in the Summer 2013 as Phase 1 of the Southern Gateway Corridor study. Community workshops were convened to develop a vision for the character of the roadways and adjacent land uses. The community’s input and observations were clearly documented in a Visioning Summary and Briefing Book.
Building on the 2013 Visioning Document, the City of Raleigh’s Urban Design Center embarked on Phase 2 of the Southern Gateway Corridor Study in March 2015. The multi-disciplinary consultant team, led by JDavis, was commissioned to carry out specific directives that emerged from the 2013 Vision Document. The following report outlines the process, analysis, framework ideas, and focus area development strategies that resulted from an iterative design effort that included the Raleigh Urban Design Center, city departments, members of the Southern Gateway district business community, and area residents. From March through November of 2015, approximately 8 meetings were held with over 200 participants.
The resulting recommendations reflect not only the input of the engaged public, but the thoughtful analysis of the consultant team, evaluating the existing image and character; the transportation and street network; the bike, pedestrian and greenway connections; the market realities of this district and the region as a whole; the interface between the district and the future Dorothea Dix Park and, the potential for transformation with new private development and infrastructure improvements. The plan also identifies how plan recommendations correspond to specific elements of the city’s Strategic Plan and Downtown Experience Plan document.