Downtown is the economic and cultural heart of Chapel Hill. It is the gateway to UNC, the border with our sister town of Carrboro, the connection of the Town's historic districts, and a place for all to find something to eat, drink and be welcome.
Final Input Requested on W. Franklin Street Lane Reallocation
Seeking final input on designs for reducing vehicle travel lanes and adding bike lanes and parking on W. Franklin Street
The Town of Chapel Hill has revised designs for W. Franklin St. and needs your input by March 30. There are two options posted on the project website for review and instructions for providing feedback.
The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), which owns and maintains all of Franklin Street, will be resurfacing W. Franklin Street from Columbia Street to Merritt Mill Road this summer. As part of the resurfacing project, there is an opportunity to restripe the street to make more room for on street parking, bike lanes, and other amenities, while improving safety for all users.
The Town is part of a Downtown ecosystem, taking the lead role on planning and development, infrastructure and access, and a catalyzing role in variety and vibrancy. Below is an extensive list of all the projects Town staff have or are pursuing to create a canvas for activation:
The Town, who oversees the use of the curb, including on NCDOT streets such as Franklin and Columbia, has launched an effort to reassess loading zones and determine how best to manage them. The Town is now convening a staff team and community partners to further explore the issue and craft possible solutions. The Town team includes Police and Planning Department employees as well as Matt Gladdek from the Downtown Partnership.
The Town formed a team of Town staff, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Orange County Partnership to End Homeless to explore the challenges around Downtown public toilets, identify opportunities, and present to relevant community leadership. This team compiled recommendations around Downtown public toilets which can be found here.
Coordinated by Downtown resident Doug Rothwell, walking audits will be conducted of specific blocks of Downtown streets periodically. The result is lists of opportunities including maintenance, replacements, removals or additions for both the Town-owned space and business frontages. Click here for a video on this partnership.
The Town is continuously improving parking in Downtown by seeking additional shared parking agreements, optimizing our parking inventory, and partnering with the ParkMobile app to ensure accuracy around parking space availability. Check out Park on the Hill for more information on parking in Downtown.
Street Design and Tactical Urbanism
The Town has executed tactical urbanism projects to test new and innovative designs in Downtown. Stay tuned for a two-way cycle track experiment on Cameron Avenue in 2020!
Food trucks are an element of Chapel Hill's diverse and exciting restaurant landscape. You can apply for a food truck permit by clicking here and read more about the Town's ordinances here, here and here.
140 West Plaza, located at 140 W. Franklin St., is a Town park and thus available for rental for events and gatherings. Visit our Outdoor Events page for more information on this important space.
Mini Park Experiments
The Town is continually experimenting with small green spaces in Downtown for use as mini parks. Examples include the Rosemary Sunset parking area mini park and the Tire Mini Park at W. Franklin and N. Roberson Streets.