Sustain Charlotte is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. We inspire choices that lead to a healthy, equitable and vibrant community for generations to come.  LEARN MORE

  • Featured post

    Protected Bike Lane Uptown & Parkwood Rd Diet Recommended to City Council!

    Together, we did it!

    We asked the City for a safe way to access Uptown via bike and they have agreed to do it!  We asked them to make Parkwood Avenue and The Plaza safer for all users, and they have agreed to this too!  

    Read on for all the details!

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  • Featured post

    Building connectivity back into Charlotte's disconnected neighborhoods

    You don't have to look at a map of the Charlotte area for long to figure out which neighborhoods were built before and after the time that ownership of cars became widespread. As the grid-based blocks of the 19th and early 20th centuries gave way to cul-de-sacs beginning in the 1950s, we rapidly lost the foundation of vibrant neighborhoods. We lost our connectivity. 

    At Monday's meeting of the City Council Transportation and Planning committee, staff from the Charlotte Department of Transportation and Planning Department told the history of how Charlotte lost its connected street network and how they are working to rebuild it. 

    Click here to view the presentation shown at the meeting. The presentation was for information only, at the request of the committee.

    Where are Charlotte's most walkable neighborhoods?

    Just look to Uptown, Plaza Midwood, Dilworth, South End, Wesley Heights, and a handful of others near the city's core. What they have in common is short block distances and many, many choices for getting between any origin and destination. Charlotte and other cities across the country once built streets on a grid-like network:

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    Our most walkable neighborhoods have excellent street connectivity.

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  • Featured post

    County Commissioners: Please Complete the 2008 Greenway Master Plan

    Today we submitted the letter below to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and County Manager Dena Diorio regarding funding for completing our 2008 - 2018 Greenways Master Plan:

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    June 11, 2017

    Dear Commissioners and Manager Diorio,

    You have a terrific opportunity right now to complete a connected greenway system that will provide healthy outdoor recreation opportunities, spur economic development, increase property values, and provide more safe and efficient ways to travel by foot and bicycle.

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  • Featured post

    Why We Support Charlotte's New 5 Year Bike Plan

    After several constructive meetings and collaborative dialogues with CDOT staff, we fully support the new draft of the city’s new proposed five-year plan (called Charlotte BIKES) and urge City Council to adopt the plan this Monday, May 22nd.    

    Here’s why.

    We have been heavily involved in the new edition of the bike plan since the first draft became publicly available in February.  We then researched our peer cities’ bike plans and based on our analysis we submitted official comments via the public comments, met with CDOT staff (a few times), and voiced what we liked and didn’t like about the draft plan during the plan’s public hearing at the April 24nd City Council Meeting.  Click here to read what we said about the plan at the hearing.

    We are happy to report that our voice has made a difference.  The newest version of the plan reflects many of the changes we requested.

    Here are five elements of the plan that we are excited about:

    1. Vision

    Charlotte’s BIKES vision statement reads, “Charlotte will offer an inclusive cycling environment, where people of all ages and abilities can use their bikes for transportation, fitness, and fun.”

    We also want to see Charlotteans, no matter where they live, be able to bike anywhere they want to go in the city no matter where they live.  

    2. Commitment to Safety and Emphasis on Protected Bike Lanes

    Charlotte BIKES seeks to develop a network of safe and comfortable bicycle facilities by embracing current bikeway design guidelines implemented in peer cities that recommend protected bike lanes on busier streets with fast-moving traffic.  

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  • Featured post

    Can Vision Zero reverse Charlotte's rapidly rising traffic crash fatality rate?

    If a bus full of people crashed and died on our streets each year, we'd probably take notice. But when the lives are lost one or two or three at a time throughout the year, it's easy to overlook the enormity of the problem.

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    Disturbing upward trend in traffic fatalities

    At Monday’s City Council Transportation and Planning Committee meeting, we heard unsettling news about a steady upward trend in traffic fatalities on Charlotte streets. But we also heard the official start of a conversation about how to reverse that trend and eliminate future fatalities and serious injuries.

    You read that right. Vision Zero isn't about reducing serious traffic crashes. It's about eliminating them.

    There’s been an upward trend of traffic crashes in Charlotte since 2012, peaking at 53 people killed in 2016. Last year, our city recorded more than 30,000 crashes. That’s the highest recorded number here ever.

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  • Featured post

    Dozens of leaders honored at Sustain Charlotte Awards Celebration

    Against the stunning backdrop of the LaCa Projects Gallery in Uptown, Sustain Charlotte welcomed over 300 guests to celebrate the achievements of dozens of sustainability leaders based in the Charlotte region.

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  • Featured post

    Walk2Transit volunteers hit the streets for better bus stops

     

    thumbnail.JPGWatch a clip of our Walk2Transit volunteers sharing their thoughts after our walkability tour. 

    44 new residents per day are joining Charlotte's rapidly growing population. But in spite of that growth, CATS bus ridership is declining. Why aren't more people choosing transit? A major reason identified by CATS CEO John Lewis is that the timing, frequency, and coverage of the current bus network isn't meeting the needs of riders. CATS' Envision My Ride initiative will address that problem through a major bus network redesign process, which we're keeping you updated on. Check out the first round of changes proposed for June. 

    Where are all the bus riders?

    But what about the experience of bus riders as they walk to and from stops? Sustain Charlotte's Walk2Transit project is an 18-month effort to identify, evaluate, and advocate for improvements to bus stops that are tough to walk to. 

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