Downtown Alleyway Improvements

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Why are alleyways important?

Alleyways are crucial pedestrian connections in Downtown Chapel Hill. They link parking and retail, University visitors to campus, and Downtown employees to their workplaces. The Town is committed to developing and maintaining the alleyways it owns and partnering with UNC and private property owners to make improvements and maintain connections in their alleys.

The Town's goals include addressing safety concerns, providing opportunities for place-making, and expanding wayfinding by using both traditional and experimental techniques.

Recent alleyway improvements

Recent improvements to Downtown alleyways by the Town include:

  • Amber Alley: improved lighting, electrical trenching, concrete repairs and temporary signage (2008; 2017)
  • Post Office Alley: repaving the sidewalk; lowering planters to increase safety; installing wayfinding arch at the rear of the alley; and replacing railing at the rear of the alley with matching railing (2019)
  • Varsity Alley: lighting; two wayfinding arches (one at each end of the alley); replacing stairs and railings (2019)
  • North Alley: ongoing improvements to parking spaces, bathrooms, and pressure washing.
  • Porthole Alley: UNC completed extensive Porthole Alley renovations in 2018

What's next in Downtown alleyways?

The Town is continually looking for opportunities to improve Downtown alleyways. Here are some improvements underway by the Town or private property owners:

  • Varsity Alley: a continuation of Varsity Alley is envisioned as part of the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project.
  • Amber Alley: the private property owners of Amber Alley are removing old awnings and lights and plan to replace them with a transparent roof abutting the new roof top bar and repainting the alleyway a lighter color.

 191120_Alley_opening_007 191120_Alley_opening_012 




   North Alley AFTER 1

Redball 2 9-23-18Redball 1 9-23-18

The Redball Project came to Varsity Alley in September, 2018.

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