2015 Annual Meeting

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Downtown Raleigh Alliance Annual Meeting

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) Annual Meeting was held in the Convention Center on February 19, 2015. There were over 2,000 attendees; a mix of business owners, residents, and local employees. The focus of the meeting was to recognize the accomplishments of 2014 and to set the vision for not only 2015 but for years to come.

As attendees sat down, it became obvious that tables were decorated in different color tablecloths and there were street signs lining the perimeter of the room. It became appearant that the room was cleverly broken into a representation of downtown’s five districts to demonstrate the smooth walkability of Downtown Raleigh.

Thomas Hill, the DRA Board Chair started the evening with a snapshot of the organization’s impact in 2014. Downtown Raleigh was kept attractive with the Ambassador Clean Team and new clean machines removing close to 70,000 pounds of trash. The Ambassador Safety Team spent over 7,000 hours patrolling parking decks, surface lots, and the streets to ensure a safe and friendly environment. A vibrant downtown atmosphere was created with activities with over 80% of downtown merchants benefiting from promotions such as First Friday Raleigh Art Gallery Walk, Downtown Raleigh Gift Card, Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week, The Raleigh MIX, and Shop Downtown Raleigh. Downtown Raleigh saw 33 street-level business open their doors in 2014.

Portland vs. Salt Lake City

Portland vs. Salt Lake City


Keynote Speaker, Jeff Speck entertained us through his presentation of The Walkable City. He introduced us to The General Theory of Walkability, which states that in order to get people to walk, you have to give them a reason to walk. So, how do you get people to walk? There are four main ways, give them a reason to walk, a safe walk, a comfortable walk and an interesting walk all simultaneously. A reason to walk is to plan a downtown that has residential, business, schools, and worship close to each other. He authoritatively expressed that Downtown Raleigh has the perfect bone structure, and is heading in the direction of a truly walkable city. If we are cognizant to add bike lanes and use more two lane roads, Downtown Raleigh will be well on it’s way to becoming a downtown that everyone will want to visit.


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