Opinion: Student-friendly climate initiatives can make a difference

Shoutout to reporter Natalie Monson for her opinion piece in the Niner Times encouraging students to take climate action. "Climate anxiety is a real feeling many young people experience when considering the planet's future," she writes. "Feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness surrounding what can be done to combat the crisis are common and valid concerns." Continue reading

One week in, Davidson has issued no tickets in jaywalking campaign (WFAE)

How can a small town make its streets safer for pedestrians? Davidson is trying out a few strategies, including new crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and starting this week, tickets for jaywalkers. Meg Fencil, with the urban advocacy group Sustain Charlotte, said just because a busy street has crosswalks doesn't necessarily mean it's safe for pedestrians — if it's still built primarily for cars. Continue reading

NoDa neighbors: Speeding is becoming “crazy” in neighborhood

NoDa residents remain concerned about speeding in their neighborhood while they continue to wait for Charlotte Department of Transportation’s improvements to be installed. Continue reading

Charlotte becoming friendlier to pedestrians

While Charlotte has become more pedestrian-friendly in recent years, the city still has far to go, according to organizations that work to improve walkability. Out of 130 cities with populations over 200,000, Charlotte is sixth from last on a walkability ranking by WalkScore, an organization that measures walkability by analyzing walking routes and the distance of local amenities. Continue reading

All talk, little action? 3 recent times Charlotte backpedaled on its big-city ambitions

When developers with Space Craft look at North Davidson, they see the potential to turn underused warehouse buildings into vibrant housing communities. That’s partly why the company started: To build their vision of a walkable, destination city, akin to Asheville or Charleston. It saw an opportunity along the Blue Line light rail extension, where residents wouldn’t have to rely on a car to get around. Yes, but: These industrial buildings are within 400 feet of single-family homes. Per the city’s new development regulations, which took effect in June, any new multi-family construction would need to include at least one parking spot per unit.  That could add millions of dollars to projects, a cost that would be passed onto renters. It could also add hundreds of cars to NoDa’s roads. “The kinds of projects that we and other walkability-focused developers have done and have in process in that Mill District, in the North Davidson corridor, are basically just not feasible anymore,” Josh Gresham, general counsel with Space Craft, tells Axios. Continue reading

Charlotte's 'bike friendliness' score is rising, but advocates say not fast enough

Charlotte is slowly becoming more friendly to cyclists. That’s according to the bike advocacy group PeopleForBikes, which has released its annual ratings on how safe and appealing each U.S. city is to people traveling on two wheels. This year, Charlotte scored a 27 out of 100. That might sound low, but it’s the highest rating Charlotte has received to date. Charlotte first scored a 20 out of 100 when the ratings began in 2017. Continue reading

PeopleforBikes measured the quality of cycling accessibility in major cities, Charlotte received a rating of 27 out of 100 (WCNC)

Charlotte's bicycle infrastructure received a network score of 27 on a scale of 100 in the 2023 PeopleforBikes' City Ratings. The Queen City ranked 120 out of 163 cities placed in the large cities category of the rating.  Continue reading

New concept market opening in one of Charlotte's food deserts

Sustain Charlotte Urban Design Specialist Eric Zaverl was interviewed about a new food market coming to one of Charlotte's food deserts in northwest Charlotte. DG Market is coming to Belhaven Blvd. in the Coulwood Hills neighborhood. He weighs in on the importance of grocery stores that are accessible via a safe walk or bike ride for all members of our community.   Continue reading

At Birdsong Brewing, climate and environment are part of the business plan (WFAE)

For many small or medium-sized businesses, adapting to climate change is not a high priority. It's difficult and requires altering business practices and spending money to retrofit facilities — all while facing low margins. At Charlotte's Birdsong Brewing, it's been an integral part of the business plan since day one. Continue reading

‘They’re not coming’: Grocery stores abound, but Charlotte food deserts still prevalent (Charlotte Observer)

The lack of traditional grocery stores is an ongoing problem on the west side of Charlotte, and some parts in the east, an analysis of demographic and grocery store location data by The Charlotte Observer found. What’s more, the disparities disproportionately affect people of color. About 38% of Charlotte’s Black residents — compared with 25% of its white residents — live more than 1 mile from a grocery store, the Observer found. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food deserts in urban areas as low-income census tracts — or neighborhoods — where at least 500 people, or 33% of the population, live more than a mile from a grocery store. Continue reading