South Charlotte Weekly shared a few words from our Bike Program Manager, Kate Cavazza.
By Karie Simmons
Kate Cavazza, bicycle program manager for Sustain Charlotte, was at the Jan. 7 meeting when city staff dropped the bomb about the trail’s major funding gap. Cavazza said she didn’t think the $38 million price tag was too low, however, she wasn’t surprised when it turned out to be higher.
“I assumed the consultants had done their due diligence,” Cavazza said. “But the numbers they were working with were pretty old.”
Sustain Charlotte – a nonprofit that works with neighborhoods, government agencies, businesses and other groups to advance a region-wide sustainability movement – sees the Cross Charlotte Trail as a huge amenity, not just for recreation, but also transportation across the city.
Cavazza said her group wants council to move forward with the South Charlotte Connector, Tyvola to Brandywine segment and the link between 7th and 10th streets, or risk missing project deadlines and creating future budget concerns. Plus, any delays will only cost taxpayers money as construction bids expire and need to be re-advertised, she said.
“The bond money is going to give us 18 miles of continuous track, so why not do it?” Cavazza asked. “As for the temporary section in the northeast, I think any interim solution is better than what we have.”
In the meantime, she said, the city could solicit donations and corporate sponsorship for the rest, require help from private development, ask for the money on a future bond referendum or use tourism dollars like Winston suggested.
“That $77 million is initially startling, but once you actually think about it, it’s a solvable problem,” Cavazza said.
Read full article here.