The Greensboro Planning Department has released its second annual GSO2040 Comprehensive Plan implementation report.
The report lists progress made on the goals of the GSO2040 Comprehensive Plan. One of those goals is to increase the availability of housing, and the report notes that in the past 18 months the city has approved nearly 8,000 new housing units through rezoning and annexation.
Listed as a highlight in the report is the adoption of a downtown streetscape plan. In 2016, Greensboro residents were told that the downtown was in dire need of a new look that could be paid for with $25 million in bonds to be used for new sidewalks, bike lanes, plantings, street lighting, street furniture and other amenities in what is referred to as streetscaping.
The voters approved that $25 million in bonds so the city could move forward and give the downtown area a new look. Now finally adopting a plan in 2022 to handle a dire need in 2016 is being termed an accomplishment.
According to the “City of Greensboro 2016 Bond Tracker” web page, so far about $5.5 million of the $25 million in 2016 bonds have been spent and another $10.5 million obligated. The estimated completion of the project according to the web page is 2024.
The Downtown Streetscape web page lists December 2017 as the “Project kickoff.”
From that kickoff through April 2021 there were various meetings with downtown stakeholders, community forums, concept meetings, master plans and public meetings.
The final public meeting listed is the April 2021 “Davie Street Streetscape public meeting.”
One part of the downtown streetscape plan that has been was in the works even before 2016 is the conversion of Greene Street from a two-way, one-way, two-way street to simply a two-way street, and according to the city website the construction on that is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023.
When former Mayor Keith Holiday was in his last term in office in 2007, he said that one of his goals before he left office was to have Greene Street converted to a two-way street. Since then numerous city councilmembers have also attempted to have Greene Street converted to a two-way street. So far all have failed, but 2023 may be the year that it actually happens.
The whole city needs a “new look”, not just your part of it.