2017 R ena i s s anc e P l an U pdat e | T own of W ak e F or e s t
6.2 Festival Street (Owen Avenue)
In order to connect the center of activity on White Street with the center of civic activity at Town Hall, we look to the obvious physical connection — Owen Avenue. It directly connects the plaza in front of Town Hall to White Street as well as all of the parking on Taylor and Brooks streets to the retail on White Street through a high quality people-first public space. Currently, Owen is comprised of an inconsistent mix of vacant lots, parking lots, contemporary and historic homes, and single story commercial structures. Prioritizing infill development on Owen Avenue should be a short and long term strategy. Owen Avenue is ideally suited for being transformed into an iconic festival street. Starting with temporary improvements, the
Town could simply paint the street with unique patterns or public art murals. A series of tactical projects could be tried on Owen, which could give the Town a chance to try different treatments and street designs temporarily to see what works best. This approach would also build consensus and social capital among Wake Forest residents and businesses. Longer term investment should follow the tactical projects. Festival streets are shared streets; cars are allowed, but the streets are primarily designed for bicycles and pedestrians and are typically curbless. By blurring the lines between the sidewalk and the street, we create a much larger public space that is easy to program and more comfortable for people.
T own H all
S S Existing urban fabric – White Street, Owen Avenue & Town Hall (Robby Johnson, Taylor Medlin – Wake Forest Downtown Design Studio)
S S New buildings fill the gaps in the street edge, Owen Avenue becomes a festival street, and Town Hall Plaza is more prominent
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