What is the key to downtown Pittsboro remaining vital and resilient?

By Virginia Penley

Pittsboro, NC – I still attend Pittsboro town meetings although it is not as much fun via Zoom as it is in person.

George Chatham made some points in his Chatham Chatlist post that rattle my memory regarding a potential new road in Pittsboro.

Q: Has this roadway been on the approved town and county transportation plan?

Q: Why is this a good or bad idea?

Q: Is this an actual bypass or just a north/south connector? I recall NCDOT proposing a number of pathways over the past 20 years around Pittsboro including an actual bypass west of downtown Pittsboro. Is that still an option?

Q: With tax dollars being raised as an issue whatever happened to the proposed tax overlay district for Chatham Park? Why did the town or county never work this out with Chatham Park? What is the status of this old proposal? Is it a dead issue?

I had a business in downtown Chapel Hill for many years so I have a little experience and knowledge as a retailer. The threats to our downtown are multifaceted including the rise of such companies as Amazon.

To me the key to downtown Pittsboro is its historic relationship to the community at-large as a seat of government. That brings people to town. Any efforts to move government services away from downtown, such as the move to relocate the HQ for our school system, are likely to be more negative than a north/south connector that will move large trucks out of downtown.

In addition big box stores also draw people away from a downtown.

If we as a community can agree on a strategy and a reasonable course of action our downtown will remain vital and resilient. That is what I believe is the chief purpose for Main Street Pittsboro and why they secured a Welcome Center in downtown Pittsboro.

I would recommend that more people pay attention, read the local newspapers and get involved with advisory boards and local non-profits that work on these polices and issues.