We should make driving in Charlotte less convenient

(Op-Ed By Shannon Binns in Charlotte Five)

Charlotte has invested, and will continue to invest, substantial sums of money to provide residents more safe and convenient transportation choices beyond cars. These include more opportunities to ride transit, bike and walk to achieve improvements in public health, the environment and to further economic growth.

Undermining the impact of these investments, however, are Charlotte’s minimum parking requirements. These requirements result in abundant parking, which make driving more convenient and affordable than it otherwise would be if parking were scarce. Demand for driving is artificially induced while demand for modes of transportation that compete with driving is reduced as a result. Many cities around the country have caught on to this insidious effect of minimum parking requirements and have eliminated or reduced them, letting the market determine (and naturally reduce) the amount of parking provided.

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Charlotte area residents want safer walking and bicycling routes

(by Scott Baughman, The Mecklenburg Times)

"Two local surveys confirm that residents of Charlotte and the wider region want better and safer transportation choices. The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Living in Charlotte 2016: Views on Housing, Transportation and Community survey and Charlotte Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) 2016 Transportation Survey both indicate that area residents desire to walk and ride bicycles more, but are not fully satisfied with the safety level provided by current infrastructure and street conditions...Sustain Charlotte is working to improve conditions for bicycling and walking through several initiatives..."

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Sustain Charlotte receives Parsec Prize

(by The Mecklenburg Times)

"Parsec Financial, a fee-only wealth management firm, recently awarded Sustain Charlotte a Parsec Prize for 2016. Sustain Charlotte will receive $15,000 and will use the funds to improve and expand their program initiatives.

Sustain Charlotte is known across the region as the leading voice for sustainability. Their mission is to inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come. This is accomplished through educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges."

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Wheel appeal: Biking creates urban public spaces Biketoberfest emphasizes benefits of streetscape

(by Ashley Mahoney, The Charlotte Post)

"See Charlotte by bike instead of driving.

Sustain Charlotte presents its second annual Biketoberfest Oct. 15 from 12-5 p.m.

'You talk to people about the need for great public space,' said Jordan Moore, bicycle program director for Sustain Charlotte. 'One of the things I always say to people is, imagine being in Paris, and you are walking around, you have been there all day, and you stop, and you pause, and you reflect. You take it all in. Well, where do you do that in Charlotte? Where are we building in moments into our public space where one can imagine stopping and reflecting? That is what good public space does.'

Biketoberfest encourages people to see riding in an ecofriendly and health friendly way."

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Check out the neighbors with Open Streets 3-mile linear park

(by Ashley Mahoney, The Charlotte Post)

"Open Streets 704 returns to the Queen City on Oct. 23 from 1-5 p.m. to explore the theory. Road closures start at 12 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. for set up and tear down.

'If you come out, expect to see what the future of Charlotte could look like when we value larger linear parks,' said Jordan Moore, [Bicycle Program] Director of Sustain Charlotte
Said Scott Curry of the Charlotte Department of Transportation: 'A big part of this event is getting people to realize that we are a lot closer than we think we are.'

By temporarily closing streets, the free event creates a linear park of over three miles.  

'Why is a 3-mile linear park an important thing for our city to experience?' Moore asked. 'This type of event is a way to do vision casting on a broad scale with our neighbors.'"

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Pedal pushers: Biking as a transportation option; Biketoberfest showcases benefits of two-wheeling

(by Ashley Mahoney, The Charlotte Post)

"Charlotte needs to broaden its transportation horizons.

As the second annual Biketoberfest nears, the community event will encourage people see Charlotte without driving for transportation.  

'It becomes easier as it becomes more of a habit,' said Jordan Moore, bicycle program director for Sustain Charlotte, organizer of the Oct. 15 event.

As a corporate city, biking to work sounds sweaty, messy and less than professional for someone who has to spend his or her day in a suit or heels.

'The idea of changing the corporate climate is a tough nut to crack, because you kind of have to start at the top,' Moore said. 'You need businesses to put in facilities to make it possible for people to ride in wearing one thing, and then change into another. You need businesses to relax their dress codes and standards, which is something that Charlotte doesn’t like to talk about. We’re very buttoned up.'

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The City of Charlotte Is Asking For Resident’s Opinions About Uptown Bike Lanes and Greenway Connectors

(by Scott Jensen, Charlotte Stories)

"Charlotte’s Department of Transportation recently launched a new study they’re calling “Uptown Connects,” to examine how they link up parks and greenways to make it as easy as possible for non-motorized commuting all around the center city region...One of the major goals of the study is to determine if the city should install dedicated bike lanes on one or more streets in Uptown...

Local nonprofit group Sustain Charlotte are the main proponents pushing for the new isolated lanes that would connect multiple green-ways and offer and easy and safe path to ride through our city.

'There are protected bike lanes are being built all over the country, and we don’t have any yet in Charlotte, and we think it’s time that we have them too,' remarked Sustain Charlotte’s executive director Shannon Binns."

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Protected bike lane uptown: Good idea? Terrible idea? Share your thoughts

(by Ely Portillo, The Charlotte Observer)

"As Charlotte grows more and more dense, one of the recurring questions is how best to connect roads and greenways to make sure everyone – cars, bikes and pedestrians – can move around...

One of the biggest changes CDOT is evaluating would be converting one lane of an existing road in uptown into a dedicated bicycle lane. Such a “protected” bike lane, as they’re known, would be physically separated from traffic with some sort of barrier. Sustain Charlotte has advocated in favor of such a bike lane, which would make it easier for cyclists to ride uptown by offering them more protection from cars.

'By connecting the Irwin Creek Greenway and Little Sugar Creek Greenway through a bike lane across Uptown Charlotte, access to Uptown will be spread to several Charlotte neighborhoods,' Sustain Charlotte said in a presentation to City Council last month . 'Furthermore, implementing a ‘protected bike lane,’ though the incorporation of various barriers between cyclists and motorists, would increase safety and promote use.'"

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Adding up impact of CATS’ Gold Line

(by Erik Spanberg, Charlotte Business Journal)

"Charlotte’s streetcar system hit the road a year ago and, so far, is ahead of projections in every way...The initial 1.5-mile segment running from Elizabeth to uptown that started running last July is seeing daily average weekday ridership of 1,601. That is 78% above transit system projections of 900 daily riders for what is called the CityLynx Gold Line...

Sustain Charlotte, a transit and sustainable growth advocacy group, urges people to look at the big-picture impact of the streetcar.

'While the economic impacts are extremely important, we believe the social and environmental benefits are of equal importance, especially as we witness undeniable growing social unrest and environmental disasters due to climate change,” said Shannon Binns, Sustain Charlotte executive director. “We can no longer afford to only evaluate our choices in terms of the easy to monetize costs and benefits. We must also place a value on the social and environmental impacts of our choices, which ultimately have significant economic impacts as well.'"

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Charlotte Waste Reduction Project Concentrates on Food

(by Sherrell Dorsery, Next City)

"Charlotte’s Solid Waste Services department recently announced a plan to get nearly 16,000 homes in majority low-income and minority neighborhoods to cut the amount of trash they discard by half...Healthy Communities seeks to chip away at some of these challenges by leveraging the city’s goal of reaching zero waste by 2050 and centering the conversation on food...

Meg Fencil, education outreach and program director for Sustain Charlotte’s sustainable communities program, has led health and wellness efforts in addition to recycling and anti-littering campaigns in communities in the West Boulevard Corridor.

“In general, there’s often high turnover in communities where most of the residents rent their homes. Many people may have never been taught to recycle, or apartment complexes in many of these communities don’t offer it,” says Fencil.

Her organization has worked over the last three to four years in communities like Grier Heights and Reid Park, where Solid Waste will focus its campaign. They’ve helped residents establish sustainability vision plans, organized trash cleanups and recycling drives, and provided small stipends to engage local youth in becoming educators in their communities on these issues.

By partnering with Solid Waste on the Healthy Communities initiative, Fencil believes the program will have greater impact in helping people learn the basics of recycling and reducing waste to start making a difference."

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