New Hanover County and the Wilmington Urban Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) are partnering to develop a Future Street Plan for northeastern New Hanover County. This plan will study the existing street system in the northeastern area of the county and develop a framework for a future street system to serve residents better.
The county and WMPO are working with a transportation consulting firm to study how well the existing transportation system performs in the northeastern area of the county and create ways to integrate land use and transportation development. For example, it will include recommended street design guidelines that include opportunities for walking and biking.
The plan will consider the impacts of the street network on public health, traffic safety, emergency management, and access for existing and future residents.
The planning process is expected to conclude by Fall 2017
The plan will seek input from residents and property owners in the area through two public workshops and multiple stakeholder interviews. A survey will also be available for residents to provide feedback. In addition, a Technical Advisory Panel, made up of representatives from the county, WMPO, NC Department of Transportation, and other organizations, will help guide the planning process.
The first drop-in public workshop is planned for Tuesday, April 25th between 4 and 7 p.m. in the David Paynter room at the Northeaster Library (1241 Military Cutoff Rd.). staff and consultants will provide information on the project and will get input from residents about their goals for improving transportation in the northeastern section of the county.
Until the adoption of the county’s first Comprehensive Plan — “PlanNHC” — in August 2016, the majority of the northeastern area was outside of the county’s urban services boundary. This meant that public utilities were unavailable. Now that water and sewer can be extended, there will be more opportunities for future development.
When areas are developed before a comprehensive transportation network plan is in place, it can cause traffic congestion and reduce the quality of life. So, this plan is important and can help avoid those issues in the northeastern area of the county.
North Carolina does not provide a mechanism for counties to develop road infrastructure like those available to cities and towns. Because New Hanover County does not build or maintain roads, developing a street network is a collaboration between many partners, each with a different role, including:
The planning process will allow these stakeholders to figure out the best way to coordinate the process for developing a street network that will meet the needs and goals of citizens.