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The original item was published from 9/9/2020 9:15:40 AM to 9/24/2020 12:00:02 AM.

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City of Durham News

Posted on: September 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Durham Wins $25K Grant to Expand Shared Streets Pilot Project

residents sit in chairs on a closed street

One of 10 U.S. Cities to Receive the NACTO Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery Program Funds

Residents of Alma, Benjamine, Spruce, Maple, and Taylor streets will soon have more options to enjoy the outdoors through the City of Durham’s Shared Streets pilot project thanks to a recent grant to help fund a program specifically for their East Durham community.

Durham is one of 10 U.S. cities to receive $25,000 from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery program, which assists cities to reimagine streets, implement ideas, and support ongoing community efforts to meet the needs of populations disproportionately harmed by COVID-19.

NACTO selected the Transportation Department’s Shared Streets pilot project, which is identifying low-volume residential streets inside the city limits for temporary “soft closures” to allow more space for residents to enjoy the outdoors, recreate, exercise, and socialize while allowing for physical distancing. The program, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is based on NACTO’s Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery resource, which is continually updated with the emerging quick-build strategies that cities are using to respond to the pandemic.

The Transportation Department is partnering with a community-based organization, SpiritHouse, to engage residents of East Durham in the development of shared streets in the community. Residents will work closely with SpiritHouse to describe what makes a shared street feel safe and inclusive and the Transportation Department in partnership with SpiritHouse and local residents will incorporate art, culture, and signage on the street. 

According to Transportation Planner Dale McKeel, the NACTO grant provides an opportunity to develop community partnerships and implement meaningful projects quickly.  The grant also provides an opportunity for Durham to discuss project details with NACTO staff and learn from the experiences of other cities, and lessons learned from the NACTO-funded project will be transferable to other projects in Durham.

In addition to the streets in East Durham, other streets in Durham are also being considered for Shared Streets. More information is available on the pilot project website. Additional questions can also be sent to Transportation staff by email or by calling McKeel at (919) 560-4366, ext. 36421.

About the City of Durham Transportation Department

The Transportation Department remains steadfast in its commitment to providing and maintaining quality, multimodal infrastructure to improve mobility, promote environmental sustainability, and enhance the quality of life for current and future Durham residents, businesses, and visitors. To learn more, follow the department on Twitter.

About SpiritHouse

SpiritHouse is a multigenerational Black women-led cultural organizing tribe with a rich legacy of using art, culture, and media to support the empowerment and transformation of communities through grassroots programs, cultural organizing, and community collaborations. SpiritHouse contracted with the City of Durham in 2020 through its Community-Rooted Partners program. To learn more, follow SpiritHouse on Twitter and Facebook.


The National Association of City Transportation Officials is an association of 86 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. NACTO’s mission is to build cities as places for people with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. The City of Durham Transportation Department joined NACTO in early 2020.

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