Mayor Meeker’s plan to put a series of charming English-type traffic circles on Hillsborough Street – just sank like the Titanic.
The Mayor, for several years, has been pushing to transform Hillsborough Street by widening the sidewalks, putting a seven foot median down the center of the street, and reducing the traffic from four to two lanes. His solution to the subsequent traffic jam – 19,000 cars drive down Hillsborough Street a day – was roundabouts.
It’s been a long time since the Council told the Mayor no on any of his pet downtown projects – but last week something unusual happened. The Council said no to roundabouts. Maybe the Mayor’s grip is slipping. Councilman Phillip Isley said the Mayor’s plan was like “giving a shot of penicillin to a person with diabetes.” Councilwoman Jesse Taliaferro – one of Meeker’s fellow Democrats – was kinder, but equally firm, explaining that she had tried but “could not find another example of a roundabout in a place with on street parking.” (News and Observer; 1-13-07).
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