Many of us are gearing up right now for some spring cleaning. Around the Research Triangle Park, we’ve been doing some cleaning up of our own… in the form of improvements to our signage and landscaping. Some of these projects are fairly small, but put together they do a lot to enhance RTP’s character and appeal. Here are some examples:
First up is Davis Drive, one of RTP’s major roads. Back in the fall we began an effort to upgrade the landscaping along 4.4 miles of roadway, extending from the I-40 interchange to the southern RTP boundary near Morrisville. In the past few years, Davis Drive has been widened to accommodate more drivers, while development along the road has continued within RTP and further south. So it was a natural next step to give the road a fresh, greener look. The landscaping is strategically placed at the roadside along curves and near intersections such as NC 54 and Development Drive. There are also some plantings in road medians. The mix of trees, shrubs and groundcovers includes various types of magnolia, dogwood, winterberry, and juniper, among many other species.
In other news, we are now in the final stages of the wayfinding and signage program for RTP that began in late 2010 (the final step will be installation of gateway monument signs that mark the major entrances to RTP). We’ve just added mast arm signs at all of the major road intersections. You’ll see these mounted on traffic light poles so that the street name is easily visible overhead. They use the same slate gray and white letters of our other new street signs – looking sharp!
And on the subject of signs… we’ve also been upgrading traffic control signs around RTP (ie the standard stop signs, speed limit markers, etc). They now sport aluminum breakaway posts. The change is one you might overlook, but it does affect several hundred signs around the Park. The design of the new posts causes less damage and risk of injury in the event of a vehicle collision. The use of aluminum allows signs to last longer without falling victim to rust.
The Research Triangle Park is able to keep up a steady stream of projects like these through funds from its Research and Production Service District. Coming up, there will be more to report on designs for new trails, upgrades to signage, and construction of new recreation facilities. Be sure to stay tuned! In the meantime, with the weather getting warm (but not too warm yet!), now is a great time to get outside and take in the newest features of the Park.