Event at Dix Park with Raleigh skyline in the background and lots of people out on a green lawn


Chavis-Dix Strollway

Making a connection

The City of Raleigh is making significant investments in the historic Chavis Memorial Park and the new Dorothea Dix Park. These are both important landscapes and demonstrate commitment to creating equitable public spaces for all to enjoy. The city is excited to launch planning efforts focused on the implementation of a strollway that would connect these two historic parks. The strollway is a concept introduced with the Dix Master plan in 2020.

If you are interested seeing the feedback on prioritization for design elements and implementation about the strollway, check out the online survey results.

Project Details

Bicycle and Pedestrian
Project Lead:
Dhanya Sandeep



Dhanya Sandeep
Planning Supervisor
Planning and Development

Christopher Stebbins
Senior Planner

Ken Bowers
Assist. Department Director
Planning and Development

Kenneth Ritchie
Transportation Manager

Kelly Ham
Engineering Manager
Engineering Services

Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Participating Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural ResourcesTransportationCommunity EngagementEngineering Services





At a City Council meeting held June 16, 2020, Council approved a recommendation to reallocate funding to move forward with short-term improvements to connect John Chavis Memorial Park and Dorothea Dix Park. With an understanding of existing and planned transportation improvements in the area, staff identified Lenoir Street as the primary preferred bike and pedestrian connection, commonly referred to as the Chavis-Dix Strollway. 

In later discussions, South Street was also identified as a potential route due to its redevelopment opportunities. Longer term, staff noted that improvements to Western Boulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard as part of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project could also provide another, more direct, the connection between Dix Park and Chavis Park. 

Over the past year, staff from Planning and Development; Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources; Transportation; Community Engagement; Housing and Neighborhoods; and Engineering Services have been working together on a variety of initiatives.  The working group has expanded to include representatives from Oaks and Spokes, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Shaw University, and Citrix Cycle.

Lead Department:
Community Engagement


What is a strollway? 

The goal of the Chavis-Dix Strollway is to celebrate Raleigh’s rich cultural history while connecting multiple communities on the southeast and southwest sides of the city. In doing so, we will provide a safe, accessible, and multimodal route to both parks. This project will energize the area through placemaking, interpretive signage, partnerships, and community engagement.  

The proposed bike and pedestrian route will run by:

  • Historic neighborhoods
  • Shaw University (one of two Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Raleigh)
  • The vibrant downtown core
  • Black-owned businesses
  • Convention Center
  • Affordable housing areas (including Heritage Park, currently under re-design by the Raleigh Housing Authority)
  • Emerging retail hubs
  • Areas of new development

How will the community benefit from an urban strollway? 

This project will serve Raleigh residents and visitors alike. It will tie two of Raleigh’s largest parks together, increase access to both parks, and integrate the rich history and culture of Raleigh. The community sees this urban trail project as a priority because it will connect so many unique places of historical and cultural significance to Raleigh’s evolution. By linking this trail to the proposed South Park Heritage walk, it supports and celebrates the history of the South Park neighborhood, a historic Black neighborhood developed after the Civil War.

Community Involvement 

The city hosted two public input sessions on September 15 and 17, 2022, to gather feedback on the route options for the Chavis-Dix strollway. 


In addition, several pop-up events will happen in celebration of Community Planning month this October.  

Many community members also joined us in October 2021 for the Stroll in the Streets event to imagine the possibilities for the strollway.

Lead Department:
Planning and Development



To establish a selection of multimodal street segments that link two culturally significant historic parks of Raleigh – the John Chavis Memorial Park and the Dorothea Dix Park. 

The selected segments would introduce people-oriented features to create a pleasing and safe environment that would foster casual walking, strolling, biking, socializing, and other pedestrian-oriented places and art along the way. 

The multimodal corridor referred to herein as “Strollway” would not restrict automobile traffic but include design features that limit and slow vehicular traffic to enhance pedestrian and bicycle uses.

The overall Strollway can be punctuated along its length with new public spaces to enhance daily opportunities for social connection and community-building, as well as provide spaces for small, programmed events.  The Strollway would also provide opportunities to enhance the entire experience of the planned expansion of the Raleigh Convention Center.

In addition to a new people-oriented identity, the Strollway would also contribute to the city-wide bike system as a safe connection for cyclists traveling east-west through this area of downtown.

Part of the 2020 Dix Park Master Plan

The City of Raleigh is making significant investments in the historic Chavis Memorial Park and the new Dorothea Dix Park. These are both important landscapes and demonstrate commitment to creating equitable public spaces for all to enjoy. The city is excited to launch planning efforts focused on the implementation of a Strollway that would connect these two historic parks.

Project Scope

This “Strollway” will provide a route to both parks and energize the area through improved sidewalks and bike connections, streetscape improvements, plantings, trees, and stormwater infrastructure, and will stimulate many kinds of public and private uses along its edge.

The Federal Grant will be used for two major components including design and construction phases of this project.


This project has, in conjunction with the South Park Heritage Walk, been awarded a $3 million federal grant for implementation. The funding was made available through the advocacy of North Carolina Congresswoman Deborah Ross. The implementation of key priorities identified by the community will be limited to what is achievable under the current limited funding. However, other potential funding opportunities could be pursued to support implementation of other desired placemaking elements of the Strollway.

Project Timeline

There is an ongoing study initiated by the city, that is evaluating the overall mobility networks for Downtown and the results of the study (anticipated by Spring of 2024) will provide the baseline conditions for the Strollway project design and implementation. The Strollway project implementation has not officially started yet and will begin the design build or design bid-build solicitation process in Summer of 2024 to identify a consultant and/or contractor firm to partner with on developing the design and implementing the improvements of this Project. Once a firm is selected, one of the first responsibilities will be to complete HUDs NEPA requirements for review and approval in additional to other applicable Federal Requirements in order to Request the Release of Funds and Certification.

Lead Department:
Planning and Development