Lisa Dove: Bring Walnut Street back to its roots

December 6, 2013 

Bring Walnut Street back to its roots

Two stretches of road in an older part of Cary create an impression on travelers as they approach our town: Cary Towne Boulevard, with its bland landscaping and cement median, fails to offer a welcoming vibe. And then there’s Walnut Street.

Recently, the town revealed two options for a Walnut Street redo. I was relieved to see a Plan B that resembled a place in which many of us would actually like to live. It would have a median that slows traffic, buffers noise and creates a general feeling of residence and beauty.

My thoughts have always been with the homeowners along Walnut Street in the tidy ranches and colonials that have greeted visitors since the 1950s.

In recent decades, Walnut Street neighbors have tolerated 45-mph commuters. To many, Walnut is nothing more than a through road; they forget that those homes were here before Cary became the vibrant city is is today.

Walnut Street residents have enjoyed town parades, a nice stretch of sidewalk and unmatched accessibility to the most vital parts of Cary.

Reclaiming Walnut as a residential street with a buffering median will bring back Cary’s core ideal of neighborhood and landscape. A median will remind travelers and visitors that people live, walk, bike and watch parades on this street.

Walnut Street can be our hallmark. Our parades will march on, our pedestrians, cyclists and even motorists will breathe easier, and finally, Walnut Street homeowners will once again live on a street that looks like a neighborhood.

Lisa Dove


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