Build A Better Boulevard
Location: Catawba County NC
The Wilkinson Boulevard Corridor Plan, commissioned by the municipalities of Belmont, Cramerton and McAdenville in North Carolina, began as a study to identify landscape and signage improvements aimed at transforming the commercial boulevard into an attractive gateway. Metrocology quickly determined that the corridor not only needed a new look but, more importantly, it needed a strategic plan. Calling the project “Build a Better Boulevard,” Metrocology delivered a comprehensive list of interventions to re-envision the boulevard’s role within the regional transportation system in addition to improving its appearance and function within the three municipalities.
For the Plan, Metrocology facilitated a first-ever strategic planning conversation between the State Department of Transportation, the local Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the three Municipalities. During the course of the year-long project, the collaboration identified three categories of study: Management, Policy, and Design. Within these categories, Metrocology developed fourteen interventions aimed at a more robust Wilkinson Boulevard, structured to improve the appearance and performance of the corridor through planned phasing that ensures avoidance of costly reconstruction. Management interventions addressed upgrades to traffic signalization operations and police and fire rescue incident management protocols. Policy interventions addressed improved corridor function, including parallel and alternate roads, upgrades to nearby I-85 access, signage, and land-use. Design interventions addressed the physical changes proposed to the roadway itself, including lane widths, landscape enhancements, pedestrian and bicycling improvements, driveway cuts and intersection rebuilding.
The Build a Better Boulevard Plan was unanimously adopted by all three municipalities, as well as by the Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln MPO. The Plan’s fourteen interventions were drafted for inclusion in the State’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, and the results have been impressive. Design interventions have been included in schematic designs by the State DOT Interstate I-85 improvements for new interchange and road re-alignments . Management interventions are being studied by the State DOT and the proposed Adaptive Signal System technology is scheduled to be introduced within the next 18 months, in order to better coordinate traffic flows along the corridor. The Build a Better Boulevard Plan was honored with the prestigious 2015 Marvin Collins Award, the highest planning award of the North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association.
Build A Better Boulevard area plan
Build A Better Boulevard project funding schedule
Build A Better Boulevard approved interchange redesign
Build A Better Boulevard opportunities and constraints
Build A Better Boulevard marvin collins award