The secret to attracting more transit riders in Charlotte

(By Shannon Binns) Although Charlotte tops the list of U.S. cities losing riders, there’s an overall downward trend in ridership in 31 of the 35 largest metro areas. But the few cities bucking the trend - Seattle, Phoenix, Houston - have one thing in common: They’re strategically improving their transit networks with a focus on providing fast, reliable, frequent, and walkable bus service. Read the full article here.

Pedestrian dangers along Independence Boulevard

(By WSOC TV) A Channel 9 investigation reveals a serious danger along East Independence Boulevard in East Charlotte and it’s getting the attention of city leaders. After months of monitoring the area from Sharon Amity to WT Harris, Chanel 9 cameras caught dozens of people darting across the 10-lane road in front of traffic. People ran, walked, jumped over the tall median wall, and one even road a hoverboard in traffic going faster than 60 mph. “It has become, really a barrier for walkability,” said Meg Fencil, of Sustain Charlotte. Her organization has been pushing for safer pedestrian crossing throughout the city. The group has been more vocal after 2017 was so deadly. A record 27 pedestrians were killed in Charlotte. “We have to start designing our streets to account for human behavior and not just for the needs of people in cars,” said Fencil. Read the full article here.

Memorial honors cyclist struck and killed at south Charlotte intersection

(By Elsa Gillis, WSOC TV) A memorial has been set up at the intersection where a cyclist died when she was struck by an SUV in south Charlotte Saturday morning. Stacy Stranick was taken to Carolinas-Medical Center-Main, where she was pronounced dead at 11:21 a.m., police said. "It's an absolute tragedy,” Kate Cavazza, with Sustain Charlotte, said. “Last year was the highest pedestrian and cyclist death rate in Charlotte -- 27 pedestrians were killed in 2017. There are some infrastructure changes that are well around Charlotte that need to be addressed." Read the full article here.

Life on Two Wheels: Dockless Bikes Take Charlotte By Storm

(By Michelle Boudin, StyleBlueprint) It’s called bike sharing. You may have seen evidence of it around town and not realized exactly what was going on. You know those bright green and orange bikes that seem to be parked at random locations? That’s what we’re talking about. Last year, the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) started the pilot program, encouraging several bike share companies to come to town. The idea is to help the Queen City become a more bike-friendly city. Between all the different companies, there are more than 2,000 bikes up for grabs — mostly in the Southend, Dilworth and Uptown areas. Shannon Binns, the Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte says, “It’s fantastic! We’re such an auto-oriented city, and this is giving the people of Charlotte another option — and an easy option.” Shannon adds, “What’s nice about these dockless bikes is that they’re not limited to a certain part of town, and I think this pilot program has turned Charlotte into more of a bike city.” Shannon’s organization, Sustain Charlotte, will host Biketoberfest again this October for the third time, and he expects to have a bigger crowd than ever thanks to the dockless bikes. “It’s fantastic. These bikes have been a huge hit already, and it was a cold winter. I can’t wait to see how many people are on bikes by summer!” Read the full article here.

Local advocates study how to make areas near bus stops safer

(By: WSOC TV) Charlotte is bursting with public transit options, but walking to the bus stop can be dangerous. Local advocates have released a new report on how to make them safer. Sustain Charlotte studied each of the major intersections and areas near bus stops. Now, Sustain Charlotte has some ideas on how to improve safety. The group released a wish list from transit riders. They want more crossings, including signalized crossings and islands pedestrians can stand on, along with wider sidewalks and safer behavior from drivers, and better bus stop amenities, such as shelters and lights. Read more.

Red-light cameras save lives, studies show. City manager says don't bring them back.

(By Steve Harrison, Charlotte Observer) Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones said Monday he doesn’t recommend that the city bring back red-light cameras, despite studies that have shown the cameras improve safety. Read more here: Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte, said the recommendation was “very disappointing.” “We have people running red lights with reckless abandon,” he said. “It causes accidents. It contributes to people not feeling safe.” Read more here. Read more here:

Volunteers, residents build benches for public bus stops in Charlotte

(By WSOC TV) More than 20 residents and volunteers gathered Saturday morning to build benches for public bus stops in north Charlotte. The event was organized by Sustain Charlotte in partnership with the Prosperity Village Area Association. Read more here.

Nonprofit strives to make Charlotte safer for pedestrians, bike riders

(By DaShawn Brown, WSOC TV) For years, local nonprofit Sustain Charlotte has been working with officials to integrate safety features throughout the city. Kate Cavazza, a program director with Sustain Charlotte, said the safety initiatives could save lives. “That means more lighting, more crossings for pedestrians that aren't 4 miles apart to allow equal access for everybody to cross the street at safe opportunities,” Cavazza said. Read more here.

Nonprofit unveils plan to add 150 miles of greenway to Mecklenburg County

(By Mark Barber, WSOC TV) A new plan has been unveiled to add more greenways in Mecklenburg County. On Monday afternoon, a nonprofit called Greenways for Mecklenburg shared their plan to ask county commissioners to add 150 miles of connected greenway by 2030.  As traffic delays on Charlotte's interstates get worse every day, more and more frustrated drivers are searching for ways to escape the gridlock. "Charlotte is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the entire country and we can't keep building roads wherever," said Meg Fencil, with Sustain Charlotte, one of the groups that supports the proposal. Read more here.

Local group wants faster greenway growth in Charlotte

(By Erik Spanberg, Charlotte Business Journal) A nonprofit dedicated to expanding local trails this week began pushing for Mecklenburg County to triple the number of miles of connected by greenways to 150 by 2030 — a number that would increase by half the pace already funded and planned.  Greenways for Mecklenburg and supporters, including Sustain Charlotte and Carolina Thread Trail, point to rapid population growth and rising land costs as the basis for jump-starting expansion. County park-and-rec leaders agree, but note that land costs are somewhat less of a concern since 70% of the property used for the existing greenways came through rezoning, often for free or at deeply reduced rates. Read more here.