Help Charlotte go the extra mile to ensure that the new pilot bus lanes on Central Avenue are a success! The new pilot bus lane that just opened on Central Avenue this week is already under threat as some City leaders and residents have called for its removal. Let's make sure it has a chance to succeed!
Please join us calling on our City's elected and staff leaders to see the pilot through and help Charlotte's streets become more equitable for all of us.
We know that any change is hard at first. But Charlotteans need a range of transportation choices to reach jobs and opportunities, and currently it's pretty tough to get anywhere without a car. As we shared on our blog last week, the purpose of a pilot project is to test how well an implemented idea actually works and to get feedback from the public before it's made permanent. More information about this project is on the City's page.
As rapidly as Charlotte is growing, this is a critical issue even if you don't ride the bus or travel on Central Avenue. Other parts of Charlotte also need bus lanes, but the success of those future lanes is also under threat if this pilot project isn't allowed to proceed. If you live in East Charlotte in the area near Eastway Dr. and the Eastland Mall site, your City leaders especially need to hear from you.
Please contact your City leaders to let them know that you support:
1. The piloting of bus lanes on Central Ave between the former Eastland Mall site and Eastway Dr.
2. Completion of a full bus lane on Central Ave connecting from Eastway Dr. through Plaza Midwood and into Uptown as soon as possible to provide much-needed community connectivity.
(**If the above link doesn't work for you, use the list of email addresses at the bottom of this page.)
Using your own language is best. Here are some key points you may wish to address:
In your email, be sure to mention where you live (ie, your specific neighborhood rather than just 'East Charlotte'. Or you can name the nearest major intersection). It's important for those reading your message to know whether you're speaking as someone who lives in the area, works in the area, rides a bus on Central Ave, or has concerns about the bus system beyond Central Ave.
If you ride the bus or don't drive a car, share your personal story of why it's important to have fast, efficient transportation by bus.
Important considerations for moving bus lanes and bus prioritization forward in Charlotte include the need to:
- Sustainably meet the transportation needs of our current residents and the more than 350,000 new residents by 2040. Our roads simply cannot handle the addition of hundreds of thousands of cars being added to Charlotte's daily traffic without creating considerable congestion.
- Provide safe, time-efficient ways for residents to connect to jobs, education, food, medical care, and other opportunities.
- Help residents reduce their second-highest household expense (transportation costs are 22% of income for the median income Charlotte household) by supporting bus service as an attractive daily transportation choice.
- Support economic growth within neighborhoods as more people are able to reach more destinations without having to drive a car.
We’re grateful for the City's leadership in responding to the transportation needs of all people who live and work in Charlotte. Thank you for helping to ensure the success of this first phase of the effort to prioritize the needs of people who don't drive a car.
The success of this pilot project is vital not only to the future of people who live and work along Central Avenue, but also to riders across the CATS bus network whose daily travel is being slowed down more and more by traffic congestion with each passing year. Streets are safer and more vibrant for everyone when they provide space for people riding buses, walking, and bicycling -- in addition to space for cars.
To learn more about how bus lanes are improving commutes across the country, here are some articles to check out:
- Dedicated Bus Lanes Are Making Commutes Faster In And Around Boston, Data Shows
- How better bus lanes can fix everyone's commute
- How 'Tactical Transit Lanes' Help Buses Beat Traffic
Thank you in advance for speaking up and supporting the bus lanes. Questions? Email our Program Director Meg Fencil at [email protected]
**In case the link above did not work for you, here are the emails of City leaders for you to copy and paste into your own email letter:
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]e.nc.us, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]