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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]

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I would like to respond to the points made in your March 20 editorial [“Muddling along on MLK” by Jordan Green] concerning the proposed streetscape improvement project along Martin Luther King Jr Drive. As you point out, this project is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the appearance of one of our community’s major thoroughfares, which is the traditional heart of our African- American community.

We at Creative Corridors would like to let you know about some exciting recent developments. We have had two public planning meetings, one in February and another late last month, which resulted in the formation of a task force to explore issues such as community outreach and support, selection of artwork and historical themes, and fundraising. Creative Corridors is reaching out to the churches and businesses along the MLK corridor, and our leadership will be meeting with elected officials in the coming weeks to emphasize our support for this project. In the wake of the recent property revaluations, we see these proposed betterments as a very tangible and effective way to improve property values in this neighborhood.

Creative Corridors will be having regular task force meetings to assist in the planning process for the MLK project. For details, check our website at creativecorridors.org.

It is important to keep in mind that the partnership between Creative Corridors, the City of Winston-Salem, community members and the NC DOT is a new and unprecedented initiative, and we are all still in the process of determining how all the parts need to work together. The mayor’s Design Review Committee is working on establishing new standard procedures in its role of evaluating the coming highways and bridges. Other committees and organizations are also developing new frameworks so decisions are made efficiently but inclusively. As with all new things, it takes a while to get up and running, but we are confident that we are on the right track. Creative Corridors is dedicated to promoting extraordinary designs for the main transportation routes surrounding downtown in an open, inclusive and broad-based way, and we are excited about the progress we are seeing. We appreciate YES! Weekly and its interest in the future of our community.

Russ DuBois, executive director of the Creative Corridors Coalition, Winston-Salem

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