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A Gateway For Redevelopment

The Planning and Neighborhoods Department is beginning work on a small area plan for the South Main Street corridor. During the planning process we anticipate reviewing land use and zoning rules, walkability, economic development opportunities, and community amenities like public art. South Main Street was identified as an Activity Corridor in the Forward 2040 Comprehensive Plan, as a gateway with tremendous potential for redevelopment.

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Planning Services:

Administration: (704) 638-5240

Image of South Main Street

Community Visioning Session

Thursday, April 25
4:00 p.m.
217 South Main Street

After receiving detailed report from City Staff on background research and a summary of the Community Walk Audit, we want to hear from you! Join us for an active visioning activity and give direct recommendations on the South Main area. Participants will be given the opportunity join focus groups that will work alongside the Planning and Neighborhoods department to draft the South Main Area Plan

Project Kickoff with Community Walk

On Saturday, March 16, Planning and Neighborhoods staff organized a community walk as a kick-off event for the South Main Area Plan. About 40 community members walked 12 blocks of South Main Street from Horah Street to C Avenue to assess walkability and envision the future of the corridor. Community members were split into six groups and given a packet with questions about sidewalks, signage, maintenance, and future development potential for each block. Afterwards, Planning and Neighborhoods staff reviewed the packets and pieced together common themes from each group to determine assets, opportunities, and challenges for the corridor.

What we heard as assets:

Chestnut Hill Cemetery: while groups were walking, runners and walkers were observed using the Chestnut Hill cemetery for recreation and exercise. While some additional landscaping and gathering spaces should be introduced, the cemetery is an active, vibrant space on the corridor.

Existing built landscape: existing residential structures have good design. Granite retaining walls are common on residential properties and are visually appealing and made of a vernacular material, which gives the area an enhanced sense of place. Many commercial buildings, such as the City Motor Company, Napoleon Bonaparte McCanless House, Coca Cola Building, and Restore, are architecturally interesting, but may need some restoration work.

What we heard as opportunities:

Public Art: there are several opportunities for public art along the corridor; like painted panels applied to the Restoration Plus building, painting the road between the right turn on Main Street onto Fulton Street, murals on previously painted buildings, and sculptures placed on planting areas.

Neighborhood signage: signage welcoming you to Fulton Heights on South Fulton Street or the Chestnut Hill neighborhood on one of the side streets would bring attention to the neighborhoods.

Closure of Fulton Street on the south end of Main Street: this area is not commonly accessed by vehicles, and could be closed to make a pedestrian area.

Mini park at Five Points: a mini park with designated bus stop area with shelter and amenities was discussed by several walking groups.

Connectivity: the corridor is well connected to downtown and several neighborhoods by sidewalks and bicycle lanes. Consideration into connecting Vance, Lumber, or Harrison Streets to the other side of the railroad should be considered to improve connectivity to the East End and Cone Mill neighborhoods.

Graffiti Park: members of Group 1 provided suggestions to improve this area. They raised concerns regarding profanity found in some of the artwork and how people were painting outside of the provided panels. Someone suggested to prohibit the use of paint and use chalk instead, so that it could be washed out easily. They added that if the park included shaded sitting, like a gazebo for example, parents would be prompted to take out their kids to this creative art park.

What we heard as challenges:

Maintenance issues: many areas were not maintained by the city, private property owners, and Duke Energy. Sections of sidewalks are cracked and damaged to a degree that it is a tripping hazard, covered by dirt and grass, and blocked by utility poles; many utility poles had been previously crashed into, damaged poles were left standing next to new poles, and sloppy work had been done to get new poles installed through existing sidewalks. The sidewalk with culvert beneath on the 1100 block is a serious concern.

Mooresville Road Intersection: this intersection is not pedestrian friendly. Drivers will stop within the crossing area and not check for pedestrians before making right turns on red. Crosswalks are not marked, there is no pedestrian signal, but there are curbs ramps and truncated domes. The crossings are also wide compared to the time given before the signals change.

Lack of respect for pedestrians: Driver behavior seen throughout the block included driving past the stop signs, stopping at traffic light intersections on crosswalk markings.

Speed concerns: many groups noted that drivers were moving faster than posted speed limits and speed limit sign were too far spread out.

Lack of destinations: several groups discussed the lack of destinations on the corridor.

Group Responses

Responses from Group 1: Block of South Main Street: 100-700 blocks

Assets Graffiti Park, with some needed improvement, regulations and additions (sitting and shade) could become an attractive pedestrian location.
Opportunities Adding to signaled intersection pedestrian crosswalk push buttons with timer, adding miniature trash disposal bins to posts along the corridor, improving bike lane visibility and effectiveness by adding reflectors and rumble strips.
Challenges Sidewalk and driveway maintenance, traffic moving above the speed limit and driving past stops signs and into pedestrian crosswalk markings.

Responses from Group 2: Block of South Main Street: 800-900 blocks

Assets Existing residential structures with good design such as the Napoleon Bonaparte McCanless House.
Opportunities Future development ideas included restaurants, shops, bars, upper story residential. Green space/park across from Stallings church. Acknowledgement of Colonial Road. Suggestion at the Knox intersection included: Townhouses, parking, green space, median, and having one lane going each way instead of the lanes north, including pedestrian level lighting. A “Welcome to Salisbury” sign leading into the corridor at chestnut was suggested.
Challenges Sidewalk and driveway maintenance, traffic moving above the speed limit, telephone poles, no painted crosswalks, parking sign placed within the bike lane, lack of lighting, sidewalks too close to the road with no grass buffer. Building looking rough on west side of Knox St. 623 S Main had hanging loose electrical wires hanging from posts.

Responses from Group 3: Block of South Main Street: 900-1000 blocks

Assets N/A
Opportunities Suggestions for improvement included adding speed buffers and adding no parking and pedestrian crossing signage.
Challenges Sidewalk and driveway maintenance. Curve and tree near Papatopps obstructed visibility of traffic. Chestnut St sign was missing on the corner of the actual street. Curve on Harrison also affected traffic visibility. Sidewalks were blocked by utility poles. The width of sidewalks could not accommodate two people (Chestnut block) and there was no crosswalk for Johnson Street. Bike planes stops in the middle between Chestnut and Harrison and lighting posts were not continuous.

Responses from Group 4: Block of South Main Street: 1000-1200 blocks

Assets Granite retaining walls on residential properties, existing residential fabric, Chestnut Hill Cemetery.
Opportunities Introduction of places to sit and gather at the cemetery, residential development across the street from the cemetery where there is a gap, construction of a mini park at five points, opportunities to display public art, reconnecting the corridor to the East End and Cone Mill neighborhoods.
Challenges Sidewalk and driveway maintenance, traffic moving above the speed limit, maintenance of homes/commercial buildings and yards, sidewalk above the culvert needs immediate repair.

Responses from Group 5: Block of South Main Street: 1300-1500 blo

Assets Chestnut Hill Cemetery
Opportunities Opportunities to display public art, neighborhood signage, hedge/landscaping around the cemetery, closure of Fulton Street south of Main Street, construction of a mini park at five points, introduction of places to sit and gather at the cemetery.
Challenges Sidewalk and driveway maintenance, traffic moving above the speed limit, maintenance of homes/commercial buildings and yards, Mooresville Road intersection, too many curb cuts, utility poles in the sidewalk/not properly maintained.

Responses from Group 6: Block of South Main Street: 1600-1700 blocks

Assets Habitat for Humanity Restore, granite retaining walls on residential properties, rent prices.
Opportunities Opportunities to display public art.
Challenges Mooresville Road intersection, too many curb cuts, utility poles in the sidewalk/not properly maintained, excessive exhaust smell.


Amy Smith
Hannah Jacobson
Mark Eagle
Andrew Riffel
James Pruitt
Meranda Karlskin
Chad Pupillo
Jarred Howe
Montariuse Wall
Jeffrey Martinez
Ruth Harper
Courtney Meece
Jenni Pfaff
Sada Troutman
Crystal Jackson
John Bostian
Sandra Toscano
Curtis Summers
John Martin
Taylor Scharf
David Hoyle
Judy Kandl
Trevor Scully
Ed Clement
Karen Alexander
Tyler Phinney
Elizabeth Trick
Karyn Smith
Wendy Wilson
Emily Vanek
Malikia Cherubala
Will James

Download Walk Audit Summary (PDF) Download Community Walk Map (PDF)

South Main Area Plan Map

The plan will focus on the areas surrounding South Main Street between Downtown (Horah Street) and the intersection with Mooresville Road.

The South Main Street corridor is a vital gateway into Downtown and several neighborhoods such as:

  • Chestnut Hill
  • East End
  • Cone Mill
  • West Square
  • Fulton Heights
  • Pinehurst

map of South Main Area Plan



Spring 2024

Walk audit and community meetings.

Plan Development

Summer 2024

Focus groups and city staff.

Plan Adoption

Fall 2024

community meeting, public hearings

Plan Implementation

Winter 2024

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