The Good, the Bad, the Possibilities: Local Transportation

Today we're launching a new 8-part series of weekly blog posts called "The Good, the Bad, the Possibilities". For this series, we are asking local experts three questions to give you a quick overview of recent local trends and solutions, with respect to a range of important issues that affect our community's sustainability. Our first topic is transportation, and our two featured experts are Ron Tober and Dan Gallagher. Continue reading

CATS plans to straighten out meandering bus routes this fall

If you've avoided riding the bus to work because your travel time would be too long, relief is on the way! On October 1, the second phase of CATS' Envision My Ride initiative will bring major changes to numerous bus routes to speed up your trip. By removing the numerous meanders that routes take into neighborhoods and instead keeping them traveling along major streets, CATS's updated routes will allow many of its riders on the most popular routes to travel between more quickly. CATS is proposing changes to almost 20 bus routes this fall including 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 16, 20, 21, 25, 30, 34, 45x, 60x, 61x, 62x, & 235. CATS staff discuss proposed bus route changes with residents during public meetings. Continue reading

How energy and growth are impacting climate change + what you can do

In a discussion of sustainability, climate change is the elephant in the room. That’s why our July Grow Smart CLT panel discussion was all about energy and climate change. Over 100 people filled the brew room at Three Spirits Brewery for the panel discussion, where our three panelists shared their perspective of potential solutions to our energy and climate challenges in the Greater Charlotte region, as well as their take-home advice for how attendees can make a difference on this issue. Here’s what they had to say.   Continue reading

“Envisioning” Safe, Sustainable Growth

On Thursday, July 5th, Sustain Charlotte had the privilege to work with the smart, driven Scholars of the CMPD Envision Academy. The Academy, designed by Chief Putney, engages the Scholars in meaningful work experience and provides them with both CMPD mentors and a generous scholarship. These young people are hardworking, perceptive, and very invested in public service. All of us at Sustain Charlotte truly enjoyed our time with them! Upon arriving at the office, the Scholars were met by Shook Kelley’s Michael Dunning, who gave a presentation about urban planning and architecture in Charlotte. They also learned about the history of South End and the changes that have been made since the area was founded. The Scholars asked a variety of questions about the work of architects and some of their current projects. Then, some of the Sustain Charlotte staff talked about our impact on the community and how we’re working to make Charlotte more sustainable. We fielded the Scholars’ questions about how the city balances existing sustainable resources with new projects and plans for growth. This experience illuminated how sustainability can play a role in people’s day to day work. Continue reading

Victory: Charlotte City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution for a “Sustainable and Resilient” Charlotte

On June 25th, the Charlotte City Council unanimously passed the resolution for a “Sustainable and Resilient” Charlotte. This is a comprehensive resolution that calls for the city government to source 100% of its energy used in its own buildings and fleet from zero-carbon sources by 2030. It also creates an action plan for dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors by 2050. With this move, Charlotte has taken a major step in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and significantly increase the quality of life for residents by investing in our air quality and growing our economy with green jobs.   Continue reading

How the City of Charlotte Plans to Calm Traffic in School Zones and Neighborhoods

The Charlotte City Council’s Transportation and Planning Committee Meeting on Monday, June 25th focused on staff updates to current objectives listed in the Transportation Action Plan (TAP) and the Charlotte WALKS Plan. Both plans steer the City’s transportation policy choices. They were adopted by City Council last spring.   Photo credit: CDOT Continue reading

Here’s the latest on the planned Uptown protected bike lane

It’s time for an Uptown protected bike lane update!  In 2015, Sustain Charlotte started the #ibikeclt petition, a campaign to ask City Council to commit to supporting completion of  Charlotte’s first protected bicycle lane connecting the Little Sugar Creek and Irwin Creek Greenways through the heart of Uptown.  Because of your continued support and involvement, the project is moving forward. But, where are we?  What happens next? Keep reading to see what you can do as this project moves toward construction! Charlotte Department of Transportation’s renderings showing what the Uptown protected bike lane could like. Continue reading

Action Alert: Ask Charlotte City Council to support "Sustainable and Resilient Charlotte" resolution

We need your help! On June 25th, the Charlotte City Council will be voting on a comprehensive resolution that calls for the city to source 100% of its energy used in its buildings and fleet from zero-carbon sources by 2030. It also creates an action plan for dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors. This is great news, and if implemented, would truly make Charlotte a leading city in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It would significantly increase the quality of life for residents through environmental improvements like air quality and prepare our economy for the jobs of the future. You can read more about the resolution and action plan in our recent blog post. We need your help to get this passed! Please contact Councilmembers and the Mayor and tell them you support the “Sustainable and Resilient Charlotte” resolution and ask for their support! Please come out to the June 25th City Council meeting to show your support! We will be meeting in the lobby of the Government Center at 6 pm. Address: 600 East Fourth Street Charlotte NC 28202 Read on for contact info and resolution text. Continue reading

Three easy ways YOU can have a positive impact on water.

Water may not be top of your mind when it comes to smart growth, but every new building, every additional use of energy, every added parking lot, contributes to our water crisis. Pollution is washed off surfaces and into streams, trees that clean and absorb excess water are cut down to build apartments, and stormwater runoff scours out creek banks until they collapse. It’s these issues and more that brought people together for our June Grow Smart CLT event, where our panel of experts discussed water, both quality and quantity. Continue reading

Meet the Intern: Margo Parker

My name is Margo Parker, and this fall I’ll be a sophomore at Davidson College. I moved to North Carolina a year ago from Gainesville, Florida, where I lived with my parents and two big, goofy dogs. At Davidson, I plan on majoring in English and minoring in Environmental Studies, and I hope to study abroad somewhere where I can practice either Spanish or Arabic. In my free time, I enjoy reading, long-distance running, binge-watching various Netflix Originals, and cooking for my friends and family. My main responsibility this summer will be organizing Sustain Charlotte’s Youth Transportation Fair, with the YouthQuake Summer Camp and other community partners. I’ll also be interviewing residents of Washington Heights, Lincoln Heights, and West Boulevard for our Senior Mobility Project, and assisting my supervisor, Meg Fencil, with her advocacy as a member of the Vision Zero Task Force. Continue reading