Help Charlotte go the extra mile to ensure that people in all parts of town have safe places to walk and ride bicycles for transportation and much-needed exercise!
Please contact your city and county leaders to let them know that you support a coordinated effort to provide equitable Shared Streets that keep our community connected during this challenging time! (**If the above link doesn't work for you, use the list of email addresses at the bottom of this page.)
Thank you in advance for speaking up and supporting Shared Streets!
Using your own language is best. Here's the letter we sent to City and County leaders:
Dear Mecklenburg County and City of Charlotte Leaders,
Last week the City of Charlotte publicly announced a plan to designate some low-speed neighborhood streets as “Shared Streets” that will be opened up beginning on May 9 for walking and biking, but closed to through traffic (though still available for residents, emergency and essential services, and delivery access). Learn more about the plan here.
Our city still has many streets that either lack sidewalks, or have narrow 4- or 5-foot sidewalks. It is nearly impossible to safely pass another person at the recommended minimum distance of 6 feet without one or both people having to step or roll out into the street. The Shared Streets approach re-envisions and re-configures street space to make room for all people, not just those driving cars.
Charlotte is joining hundreds of cities around the nation and world that are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by intentionally providing space on the streets for people.
A new shared street in Oakland, CA (photo credit: @jwalshie)
Charlotte's Shared Streets initiative will:
- Support outdoor exercise
- Create a safer environment for people walking, wheelchair rolling, and biking
- Promote physical distancing of at least 6 feet
Equity is important in all we do. We think that all neighborhoods deserve safe places for residents to walk and bike. Shared Streets need to be chosen all around the city in coordination with residents’ needs. Although the focus of this initiative is to redefine the use of street space during the pandemic, we believe there’s potential for long-term impacts as neighborhoods use this opportunity to re-envision and experiment with how to most equitably use our largest shared public space.
Important considerations for moving Shared Streets forward in Charlotte include the need for:
- Close coordination between Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte departmental staff to ensure that Shared Streets meet community needs related to safety, health, access, and equity.
- An equitable process that allows residents in all parts of Charlotte to easily request that streets in their neighborhood be considered for conversion to Shared Streets.
- Attention to how Shared Streets can be implemented to improve biking and walking access to public transit stops, parks and outdoor recreation (with safe distancing), food, key employment areas, and other essential services.
We’re grateful for your leadership in responding to the health, exercise, and transportation needs of all people. Now we’re asking for YOUR help to ensure that city and county staff work closely together in a coordinated effort to bring more Shared Streets to neighborhoods throughout Charlotte that want them.
To learn more about the national response to transforming streets during the pandemic, check out this Smart Growth America webinar.
Thank you for your leadership.
Shannon Binns, Founder + Executive Director
**In case the link above did not work for you, here are the emails of city and county leaders for you to copy and paste into your own email letter:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Larken.Egleston@charlottenc.gov, Malcolm.Graham@ci.charlotte.nc.us, Victoria.email@example.com, Renee.Johnson@charlottenc.gov, Matt.Newton@charlottenc.gov, Tariq.Bokhari@charlottenc.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Braxton.Winston@charlottenc.gov, Marcus.Jones@ci.charlotte.nc.us, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org