The Brier Creek Dilemma

ACC Boulevard, the road that links the Courtney Estates, Oakwood apartments, and a nearby retirement community together. The disarray of both properties and shopping centers have caused confusion and a lack of appeal to both Brier Creek residents and the adjacent populous. Photo courtesy of Ray Youman.

Brier Creek is a public town center located in North Raleigh. It provides for the shopping, dining, and living needs of thousands of North Raleigh residents, along with hundreds of Leesville students. Breaking ground over sixteen years ago, the establishment made a sizable portion of North Raleigh transform from “out of town” into the “center of the action.”

Recently, however, the center has come under the scrutiny of many amidst new developments and projects for being both awkward and inefficient in the outdoor mall’s management of space.

In contrast to other town centers and complexes near the area, such as North Hills and the Streets at Southpoint, Brier Creek isn’t spaced around a centralized location. Instead, the town center spreads across a linear path surrounding… well, nothing. This makes the area a perfect place for shoppers to both get lost and walk unnecessarily long distances to reach their destination.

Aside from the outdoor mall, confusion also lies around the property layout. Retirement homes are “strategically” placed next to the Courtney Estates, which houses dozens of 20-somethings fresh out of college. This awkward use of available space doesn’t exactly help to form a close community.

The mall also seems to be in a constant phase of new development. Heaps of dirt surround many new properties adjacent to the town center, and a constant buzz of construction noise eliminates any chance for a peaceful afternoon walk. As a testament to this, another new shopping center is under construction, starting with a giant Harris Teeter in the foreground.

Even without the sound of a massive bulldozer clearing pathways, the proximity to Glenwood Ave. to the town center poses more problems. “The roads are extremely narrow and unavoidable,” said Alvaro Hernandez, a junior at Leesville. Sometimes, these routes prove dangerous.

“The turning lanes are awful. In some areas, there’s really no good way to see if it’s safe to go,” said Wes Zemonek, another junior at Leesville.

With no clear alternative to get into the heart of the shopping experience, a plethora of cars constantly congests the roads adjacent to Brier Creek, creating unnecessarily long stop lights and plenty of traffic. “Brier Creek rush hour traffic is very frustrating and stressful. When you’re trying to get from point A to point B and it takes 20 minutes longer than normal, it’s truly painful,” said Evan Provost, a junior at Leesville.

Whether or not you appreciate the Brier Creek experience, one thing is for sure: It’s constant phases of development and renovations ensure that it’s here to stay for a long time.


  1. This is a thoughtful article that could have gone on longer. There’s more to say about this. A quick technical note: “It’s” only means “It is.” “Its” is possessive. See your final sentence.


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