South Madison Street in Whiteville, NC, is the center of downtown and an area also referred to as Vinelands Village, a name given to the community when this part of North Carolina was shipping scuppernong grapes to the wine industry. The master plan for streetscape improvements to nine blocks of South Madison Street is the result of a community-based planning and design process that involved residents, business owners, city staff and other stakeholders.
Two community in-person meetings were held during the process and virtual opportunities were also provided to solicit local knowledge, perspectives, and ideas. The plan prioritizes the pedestrian experience, introduction of green space, traffic calming and identifying opportunities for resiliency against major storm events.
Wider sidewalks, reconfiguration of on-street parking, landscape improvements, and the removal of traffic signals create a safer and more aesthetically pleasing pedestrian experience while also creating space for outdoor dining and landscape improvements and strengthening connections to adjacent neighborhoods and other downtown destinations.
Additional green space in the form of a proposed civic space at the intersection with Main Street and adjacent to the historic Vinelands railroad depot also contributes to the everyday pedestrian experience but also provides a space for seasonal events in downtown.
In addition to calming traffic and improving traffic flow, proposed roundabouts at the northern and southern end of the corridor also provide opportunities for enhancing the sense of entry into downtown and identity. Roundabouts are noted as places to incorporate landscaping, signage, and public art as well as storm water management features.
Land adjacent to the southern segment of the street corridor experiences flooding during major storm events and the plan identifies opportunities for storm water resiliency and future park space. In addition to improving the aesthetics and pedestrian experience, implementation of the plan is expected to enhance existing businesses and spur continued economic development.
WithersRavenel’s Landscape Architects facilitated the vision for the City of Whiteville, collaborated with the community, and prepared the master plan document.