WILMINGTON -- Thursday Wilmington residents had the chance to give city planners their opinions about a future scenic byway. While there are 50 scenic byways in North Carolina, the Cape Fear Historic byway will be the only urban scenic byway in the state. Planners wanted to hear suggestions from residents about what they'd like to see it look like. The future Cape Fear Historic byway will start at 1898 Park on Front and Third. It will travel down Water Street, around Greenfield Lake and back down Third. The idea is to connect the different areas, and beautify and improve the roadway that does it. Third Street resident Shane Fernando says the byway may improve street safety, mainly slowing down traffic, something he says has been a problem for his neighborhood. "I believe it will bring attention to the issue and give residents and platform to speak about these problems and hopefully bring them to light, because it definitely needs to be addressed," Fernando said. The byway has potential to improve quality of life here, but also attract tourism. The future byway path has already been designated by the state as a scenic byway program, which means going forward the project will in part be funded by the state. As our area continues to grow, the planning organization hopes the byway will take Wilmington in to the future. "This plan is not a plan of what you're going to see tomorrow, not five years from now, but thirty years from now," Senior Transportation Planner Mike Kozlosky said. The planning organization is also seeking federal funding. That money can be used for anything from transportation improvements to things like street lamps.
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