WFAE — West of uptown Charlotte, the West Boulevard corridor stretches for about seven miles from South Tryon Street to Interstate 485 near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. There are a few convenience stores in the area, surrounded by a mix of old and new houses along tree-lined streets. Rickey Hall, board chair of the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition, said the demographics are changing, but West Boulevard remains an African American part of Charlotte.
“Roughly more than 80% of the corridor consists of African Americans,” Hall said. “With a growing Hispanic, Latino community as well as a diverse population of others, including white families moving in, we’re just becoming a very diverse corridor.”
Meg Fencil is the director of engagement and impact for Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit that inspires choices that lead to equitable and vibrant communities. She said the corridor can’t be considered a walkable neighborhood just yet.
“It's definitely improving, and it's now safer to cross at a number of points due to those improved intersections and the pedestrian crossing beacons,” Fencil said. “But the area still needs a lot of investment to become truly walkable. It needs more businesses. So, a walk needs to be safe, useful, and inviting.”