Good Day, Charlotte 🚲 Fans,
We are continuing to update you during this crazy time every two months. We’re sharing updates on additional Shared Streets, the Shifting Gears: Bringing Protected Bike Lanes to Charlotte workshop we hosted in June, and how plans and policies like the Strategic Mobility Plan and the work of the Charlotte Moves Task Force will impact bicycling in the Queen City.
Shared Streets Update
Charlotte has added “soft closures” to several more locations to provide safe places to walk and bike while social distancing. Phase 2 started on June 27 and included the following additions:
Marney Ave (to Stancill Pl, St James Place, to Leroy St, ending at the Grier Heights Community Center)
State St (Turner Ave to the street’s end)
Andrill Tr (Washington Ave to N Summit Ave and ending at Martin St)
Signs and barriers have been removed in some areas, but both residents and Sustain Charlotte gave feedback to the Assistant City Manager that they should return. More permanent signs are also planned.
Shifting Gears: Bringing Protected Bike Lanes to Charlotte
During our last virtual Shifting Gears workshop, we got an update on the Uptown CycleLink by Scott Curry (the City’s Active Transportation Coordinator) and Will Washam (the Bicycle Program Coordinator). They shared some new renderings of what some streets may look like when the CycleLink is built. Scott expressed how this "all ages and abilities" network will change how Charlotteans get into Uptown.
"The CycleLink transforms our greenway corridors that lead up into Uptown from corridors that serve primarily a recreational purpose today... into corridors used for transportation infrastructure." - Scott Curry
Neighborhood advocates Renee Bradley (Plaza Midwood) and Jamall Kinard (Lakeview) also shared their perspectives on the need for more bike infrastructure throughout Charlotte. If you missed it, watch the recording here.
Parts of the Uptown CycleLink should be opening up as soon as 2021!
Before concluding their presentation, Scott shared "One Less Trip," a CDOT study from 2016. The report identified these benefits if we all took one less trip by car every day.
How do city plans and policies impact cycling?
At the July Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, updates on the Strategic Mobility Plan and the Charlotte Moves Task Force were presented. These are but a few of the plans, policies, and regulations the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are undertaking. The importance of getting these plans right can not be overstated. This work will shape how each block, neighborhood, and mode of transportation is built or improved.
How bicycle-friendly the Queen City will be in the future lies in the very details going into the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), and the Strategic Mobility Plan. Read more on our blog about lessons that were shared at July’s Charlotte Moves Task Force meeting by leaders from Broward County, Austin, and Nashville about the importance of community engagement and including bike and pedestrian connectivity projects in large-scale transportation planning efforts.
The diagram below illustrates some of the direct advocacy and community partnership work by Sustain Charlotte related to bicycles. Other areas like land use and transit policy, indirectly help to make bicycling a more viable mode of daily transportation for more people throughout Charlotte.
Working on policies and regulations is our best chance for an equitable community with the highest quality of life. That is why Sustain Charlotte is represented as a member on the advisory teams for the Unified Development Ordinance, Tree Canopy Action Plan, 2040 Comprehensive Plan, Streets Map (in 2019 and whenever it picks up again), Center City 2020 Vision Plan: Transportation Stakeholder group and the Charlotte Moves Task Force/Strategic Mobility Plan. By doing this, we connect the dots across all of the groups which make our recommendations for policies and plans that lead to smarter land use and transportation choices stronger.
In all of these plans and policies, we advocate for equity and sustainability to go hand in hand. Equity is central to our mission at Sustain Charlotte because systemic racism is not only present in the justice system but also in transportation and land use policies, investments, and practices at the local, state, and national levels.
We are examining our current approach and role in advancing racial equity and reflecting on how we can be better advocates and leaders moving forward. Working for racial equity is a long-term commitment that we're taking seriously. We look forward to sharing an update on our progress and planned next steps soon.
Our favorite posts
- Shifting Gears: Bringing Protected Bike Lanes to Charlotte
- Grow Smart: Re-Envisioning Streets as Equitable Public Places
- Smart Growth America: The Benefits of Complete Streets
- How Nancy's Advocacy Brought a Greenway Connector to Her Neighborhood
- How Dustin Transitioned to a Car-Free Lifestyle
- Places for Bikes City Scorecard 2020
We are working on a plan to be able to hold the event but it will likely be very different than in the past to ensure safety. Save the date for October 24th and 25th. Keep posted for more details!
Please join us at the next Charlotte Moves Task Force on August 20 at 6 pm. Watch here on YouTube and please share public input about the transportation investments you want to see! Public comments are read and responded to during the meeting.