As he developed a detailed plan for construction of a federal district located at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, Pierre L’Enfant included several wide boulevards to traverse his urban grid, serving as grand entrances to the city center. These routes — including the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue — remain prominent and impressive features in modern Washington, D.C.
Greenville does not wield the global influence that would require such promenades here, but its entranceways send a similarly powerful message about the community awaiting visitors. It is therefore fitting that the City Council has seen fit to emphasize improvement of those routes, to facilitate ease of travel as well as to set an aesthetically pleasing tone for residents and guests alike.
In a matter of years, motorists entering Greenville from the state’s population centers in the west may scarcely recognize the hub of eastern North Carolina at first glance. The growth of the medical district already erased memory of this as a town that marked its calendars only by the planting, growth, harvest and sales of the annual tobacco crop. Soon, new thoroughfares will complement that change, propelling people toward a redeveloped downtown and East Carolina University.
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