by Sam Hieb
I’m honestly not sure how many ‘consultant plans’ have been recommended for High Point over the years. But here’s another one: ‘pedestrianize’ downtown streets:
The High Point Metropolitan Planning Organization received a federal grant to develop the plan, which was authored by Charlotte-based architectural and urban design firms LandDesign and Creech & Associates.
It includes recommendations for bicycle and pedestrian improvements based in part on past studies like the Ignite High Point and Core City plans.
“I think their objective in looking back was to try to pull out different pieces and put together something that’s cohesive and achievable in one plan,” said High Point Transportation Director Mark McDonald.
The plan’s top recommendation to the city: “Pedestrianize” Main Street from Gatewood to Commerce avenues.
This half-mile, five-lane stretch of road carries 15,000 cars per day, which is well below its capacity, according to the plan’s authors.
Reducing it to a two-lane road with angled parking and landscaping would make it safer for pedestrians while maintaining its current traffic volume, they argue.
Also part of the MPO’s plan is making the former parking garage known as ‘the pit’ a ‘public space,’ which is easier said than done, considering the ‘legal and regulatory challenges’ the city—which owns the lot— would face.