Pedestrians are dying at record numbers on U.S. streets. Who's most at risk?

The new Dangerous by Design report by Smart Growth America reveals some grim statistics about the upward trend in nationwide pedestrian fatalities. Not only are these fatalities on the rise, but they're also disproportionately killing people of color, older adults, and people walking in lower-income communities. The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro area ranked 33rd most deadly for pedestrians among the 100 largest metros in the United States. Within our defined metro area, 359 pedestrians lost their lives between 2008 and 2017. That's a fatality rate of 1.51 per 100,000 people. On City of Charlotte streets alone (excluding interstates), a record high 27 pedestrians were killed in 2017. That record was again broken in 2018 with 28 fatalities. The City of Charlotte set a Vision Zero goal in 2017 with the approval of the Transportation Action Plan. What would it take to have no traffic deaths or serious injuries in Charlotte by 2030? Along with taking action to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, it's also very important to understand the data about who is most vulnerable. Keep in mind that the data presented below is from the national Dangerous By Design report, and trends in Charlotte are slightly different. People of color are killed at disproportionately higher rates while walking (national data). Continue reading

Letter to Metropolitan Transit Commission Regarding Silver Line

This coming Wednesday, February 27th, the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC, which is CATS' governing body) will vote on moving forward with an update of the 2030 Transit Plan. While we are thrilled that plans to dramatically expand bus and rail service are moving forward, we are concerned that the CATS staff recommendation to bring the future LYNX Silver Line light rail through the North End of Uptown (first image below) rather than under Trade Street (second image below) would provide less pedestrian access to the heart of Uptown and would likely have lower ridership. TransitCenter, a national transit research organization, shares our concerns about the recommended alignment for Center City. Given this, we are recommending that both the North End and Trade Street Tunnel options be carried into the next phase of engineering. Further analysis would help to clarify some of the "unknowns", including the complexities of the tunnel option. The North End alignment would bypass the Center City core. (image: CATS)   The Trade Street Tunnel would provide direct access to the Center City core. (image: CATS) Continue reading

Charlotte City Council Environment Committee Examines Tree Canopy Goal

At their February 14th meeting, the Charlotte City Council Environment Committee were presented with the results of the recent tree canopy assessment, an overview of current tree programs and initiatives, and considerations toward adopting an appropriate tree canopy goal(s). Continue reading

The latest on bikes and scooters in Charlotte

We had a great turn-out for the second Shifting Gears event of the year at Resident Culture Brewing.  Sixty-five people gathered to learn about how scooters can support biking and transportation choices in Charlotte.   Continue reading

A vision for West Boulevard

Sustain Charlotte partners with the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition to support safe vision for transportation choices along the corridor.  The City’s Planning Department hosted their last West Boulevard Corridor Vision workshop on Thursday, February 7th. At this third and final workshop, staff and consultants shared the results of a six-month market study report and implementation recommendations. Continue reading

Sustain Charlotte asks NCDOT to work to mitigate climate change

Sustain Charlotte recently joined Southern Environmental Law Center and six other organizations in sending a letter to North Carolina's Secretary of Transportation. On October 29, 2018, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 80: North Carolina's Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy. Transportation is the second highest source of greenhouses gases that contribute to climate change in NC. In this letter, we call for NCDOT to support the goals of Executive Order 80. Read the introduction below, and view the full letter here.  Continue reading

County leaders, it's time to invest in parks and greenways!

As Mecklenburg's County Commissioners prepare their budget for Fiscal Year 2020, we've asked them to make a serious investment in parks and greenways. Here's the letter we sent them last week: Continue reading

Bicycling in the Queen City and Beyond Podcast

Who likes to talk about cycling in Charlotte more than anyone you know? Ann Groninger and Jeff Viscount, that's who! Continue reading

Two years in, Way2Go CLT continues to inspire sustainable commuters

In 2017 Sustain Charlotte launched the Way2Go CLT sustainable transportation challenge and inspired 1,500+ participants to avoid more than half a million miles driven alone in cars. Two years later, Way2Go CLT continues to inspire great commute choices as CATS' adopted program!  Here's the impact that Way2Go CLT participants made during 2018: Continue reading

The Cross Charlotte Trail - What you need to know

The Cross Charlotte Trail has been in the news a lot lately.  Like a LOT. Here are the three things that you need to know about the project and what it means to Charlotte. Continue reading