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The Daily Tar Heel
Town Talk

Community members meet to discuss Rosemary Street

Every king has to have a queen — and Sid Joyner thinks Rosemary Street is up for the job.

Community members met at Hargraves Community Center at 216 N. Roberson St. Thursday night for another Rosemary Imagined social event.

Rosemary Imagined, a part of Chapel Hill 2020, is a planning initiative dedicated to envisioning the way downtown development can be expanded to include the Rosemary Street corridor. At Thursday’s event, attendees could discuss their hopes for the community as well as the changing role of Rosemary Street.

Joyner, the president of the Rosemary Village Home Owner Association, said he thinks Rosemary Street deserves more attention.

“Chapel Hill has a king, and that’s Franklin Street,” he said. “Every king has to have a queen, and Rosemary Street is the queen of Chapel Hill.”

According to Meg McGurk, the executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, the initiative hopes to center development of Rosemary Street around four key ideas: compact, connected, anchored and green.

At the meeting, Rosemary Street residents, business owners and stakeholders were encouraged to share their ideas.

Chapel Hill resident Lynne Kane said she wanted to see more streets connecting Franklin Street and Rosemary Street.

“I really think we need to raise Rosemary Street up and not let it be the poor cousin of Franklin Street,” she said.

Joyner said he would like to see the town focusing on the beautification of Rosemary Street — specifically by burying exposed power lines.

“If they don’t bury the power lines, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig,” he said.

UNC alumnus Jason Baker said he wanted to see more amenities for bicyclists on Franklin and Rosemary Street rather than the creation of more parking structures.

“We should really be encouraging people to get out of their cars and find alternate ways to get around,” he said. “The more amenities we can put in place to allow people to do that, the better.”

Ray Falk, a Chapel Hill resident, said he thought the introduction of a trolley could help stimulate commerce on Rosemary Street.

“A trolley, where you have a track and everything is fixed, tends to bring people to particular places, so businesses can bank on it to bring customers,” he said. “I think that will help this area get some activity without becoming congested.”

Rosemary Imagined will continue to work on refining community members’ suggestions for downtown development during the coming months.

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