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Residents suggest improvements for Polo Road area in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Residents around Wake Forest University hope the area can get a face lift. Residents and city leaders are meeting with a consulting firm this week to come up with ideas on improving the area around Polo Road and Cherry Street.

The area has seen an increase in vacant buildings and stores no longer in business ever since round 2,000 jobs were cut at the nearby RJR Whitaker Park plant.

“I really like the ideas that they've come up with,” said lifelong resident Kent Stroupe, who attended a meeting Wednesday night to see drawings that included proposed parks, more business and even an open market.

But a top priority for most neighbors including Stroupe is speeders on Polo Road.

“It’s difficult to get in and out or to cross the street,” he said.

The firm suggested to neighbors narrowing Polo Road, adding bike lanes, walking paths and a grass median could force speeders to slow down.

“I think traffic calming would be a wonderful thing," said resident Richard Murdoch, who lives on Polo Road. “By the time I pull out of my driveway somebody has come up thinking I've pulled out in front of them."

All the ideas will be presented to neighbors and city leaders on Friday. City leaders hope the final report will help in seeking grants to make the ideas a reality.