The 2019-2020 fiscal year ended June 30 and the 2020-2021 fiscal year began July 1 and Greene Street is still a one-way street through the middle of downtown Greensboro.
What is amazing about that seemingly innocuous fact is that when Keith Holliday was in his last term as mayor in 2005, he said that one of his goals before he left office was to make sure that Greene Street was two way.
President of Downtown Greensboro Inc (DGI) Zack Matheny, while serving on the City Council from 2007 to 2015, said numerous times that all the pieces were in place to fix Greene Street. As president of DGI, Matheny has also been working to end the confusing traffic pattern.
North Greene Street is two way to Bellemeade Street, then it becomes one way going south for five blocks, and South Greene Street is two way south of Washington Street.
But a better example of how long this relatively simple fix of a bizarre street pattern has been in the works is the career of retired City Manager Jim Westmoreland. When Holliday was trying to get Greene Street fixed in his last term as mayor, Westmoreland was Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) director. He resigned from that position in 2008 and went to work for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Westmoreland came back to Greensboro as the deputy city manager in 2012 and was named city manager in 2014. Westmoreland retired as city manager in 2018 and Greene Street remains a two way-one way-two way street.
Adam Fischer, who served as GDOT director from 2008 until retiring in August 2019 said before he retired that once the streetscaping plan was approved the work on Greene Street would begin.
And the streetscaping is an issue. From block to block the street lighting, sidewalks, sidewalk furniture and plantings can change dramatically.
However, the cost of streetscaping the entire downtown with one plan is far more than the $25 million in bonds approved in 2016 for the downtown area.