Greensboro leaders ask public’s help to make new vision for city a reality

GREENSBORO, N.C. – City leaders have a vision for what Greensboro will look like in a few years and they're asking your help to make it a reality.

It's part of the city's Downtown Greensboro Streetscape Master Plan that's been in the works for several months.

Greensboro city leaders want the downtown to be easier to walk and bike around. While the downtown area is attracting new shops, restaurants and businesses, it's still struggling to draw people.

“This is the first time coming down here as free time other than working," said Brandon Pickering, who works in downtown Greensboro.

“We don’t come downtown a ton. I grew up in Greensboro and it’s been cool to see it kind of come back," said Chris Foster, whose family lives in Guilford County.

City leaders want to make spending time downtown more appealing to everyone, from young kids and families to seniors and everyone in between.

“To provide a playful place, so that everyone can enjoy downtown," said Denice Conway, a transportation engineer with the city who's heading up the Streetscape Project.

The city's spending the next month asking for input on the $25 million project through a unique online survey.

If residents don't have a computer at home, city officials suggest heading to the public library. People can also attend two public workshops on Tuesday, March 27 to give input in person. They take place at "The Public" at 433 Spring Garden St. from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The survey focuses on a group of "corridors," including Elm Street, Davie Street, Church Street, Market Street, and Bellemeade Avenue, but residents add input on other areas downtown too.

Ultimately, the city wants to create a downtown that draws people there and makes them want to stay.

“Have a space for the space for the kids to run around and play. If you want to shop. If you want to relax somewhere go. Go to a restaurant, go to a Grasshoppers game. To be able to do that all within walking distance would be a really cool thing.”

Nearly 97 people have left more than 470 comments on the survey in just the past week. The city says it plans to keep the survey up for about another month.

Once the survey is closed, a consulting firm will use the data to draw up visual designs of what people in Greensboro want the downtown to look like. Those designs will be presented to the city and the public this June.