CMPD: Icy windshield to blame for collision that killed Navy veteran

(By Mark Barber - WSOCTV) Wheeler’s brothers said he volunteered as a firefighter in Waxhaw and in north Charlotte. Some of his brothers are ministers and, even though they are broken now, they said their faith is stronger than their grief. "The only thing that really helps through a time like this is knowing that God's got him in His hands," said Henry Wheeler. This tragedy doesn't stand alone. Channel 9 counted four crashes that killed or seriously hurt pedestrians along Monroe Road in just the past year and a half. A non-profit called Sustain Charlotte, which helps neighborhoods with growth, has already walked this corridor with neighbors to identify the dangers. Read more and watch the video here 

The commute in uptown Charlotte may soon change thanks to bike lanes

(By Ben Williamson - WBTV) For a week, portions of 5th and 6th street have transformed into pedestrian and cyclist friendly lanes as the Charlotte Department of Transportation works to get feedback about a permanent protected bike lane.  This particular street, 6th Street, connects the two greenways so we want to create a network around Charlotte where you can get on your bike. The more people who get on it, and ride it, and experience the benefits of it, the more positive feedback we are going to get,” said Kate Cavazza, the bike program manager at Sustain Charlotte.  Read more here

Taking car lanes for bike lanes? Charlotte’s testing that idea uptown.

(By Ely Portillo - The Charlotte Observer) "The temporary bike lane, a collaboration between the city, Sustain Charlotte and Charlotte Center City Partners, is in place until Sunday. Closing the lane and putting up the temporary barriers made up the bulk of the effort’s cost, accounting for about $5,000, Miller said. They’ll gather data from this week’s test run to help plan the next phase. The city will examine feedback from drivers and cyclists about the impact of removing a car lane. The city will start designing a permanent protected bike lane uptown in 2018." Read more here

Biketoberfest: Bike Around Charlotte

(WCNC) "Biketoberfest is all about fall, celebrating fall, fun, family, and freedom...This year we have partnered with the City to build what is called a protected bike lane all the way through uptown on 6th street to connect to the green ways...It's a great way to get out and be protected for vehicular traffic"  Check out the interview with the founder of Sustain Charlotte here.

Charlotte DOT testing out bike lanes in uptown

(wsoctv) "The city has already started working on a design for a permanent bike lane uptown. "There has been a ton of study around this corridor and CDOT has determined this is the best lane to be given to cyclists,” Sustain Charlotte bike program manager Kate Cavazza said. The city doesn't have the funding yet but feedback from the pilot project will play a roll in deciding if it will move forward. Despite the temporary bike lane taking away a lane for drivers on the busy uptown street, Joleen Park, manager of the Queen City Q thinks the bike lane is a great idea. "I know parking in uptown is always an issue and I think some people don't like coming downtown because of the parking,” Park said. In May, the city tested temporary bike lanes in Plaza Midwood and received mixed feedback. "As we know, traffic is getting worse, more people move here,” Cavazza said. “Forty-four people a day move to Charlotte, and with a bigger city, we need more transportation choices to eliminate that traffic, and it's good for our future."" Watch the video and read more here

Confronting Energy Poverty in Charlotte's Low-Income Communities

(By Ryan Pitkin - Creative Loafing)  "North Carolina receives about $88 million in federal funds a year from the Low Income Energy Assistance program. Of the 1.5 million North Carolinians who qualified for the program last year, only 6 percent received assistance, and even then only for about a month. On a local level, Salvador is currently working with the city of Charlotte to help them create affordable, energy-efficient "Smart Homes" in the North End district, and she regularly holds workshops in areas that experience high levels of energy poverty to help educate residents about energy efficiency. On Saturday, September 30, Salvador and a group of volunteers held an Energy Hero workshop outside of the Arbor Glen Outreach Center. Other local organizations like Sustain Charlotte and Habitat for Humanity were on hand to help residents learn about energy efficiency." Read more here

Protected bicycle lanes are coming to Charlotte – temporarily

(By Ely Portillo - The Charlotte Observer)  "Bicyclists will soon have a protected path through uptown Charlotte, with their own lane separated from traffic – at least for a week. The Charlotte Department of Transportation plans to close one lane to traffic on parts of Fifth and Sixth streets for a week, connecting Little Sugar Creek Greenway to Irwin Creek Greenway. The closure will last from Oct. 22 to Oct. 29. Charlotte City Council is expected to hear an update on the plan Monday at their dinner briefing. Sustain Charlotte and Charlotte Center City Partners are sponsoring the project, along with the city." Read more here 

Charlotte leaders question cost of bringing MLS to the Queen City

(by Caroline Fountain, Fox 46) "More than 1,300 people have signed a petition to get the parks they were promised nearly a decade ago. 'We're trying to give a voice to the Mecklenburg county voters who approved a bond package for a park and rec master plan in 2008. 13 of those projects haven't been built. So it's our position that those projects need to happen before the county make an investment in MLS soccer,' said Meg Fencil with a non-profit organization called Sustain Charlotte. The money from the City of Charlotte would come from a 3 percent hotel room tax. But we're told it's different for the county. 'The county does not have a fund for tourism-related investments whereas the city does have a hospitality tax for tourism-related investments,' said Fencil. Charlotte leaders will meet again to talk pro soccer on August 17. To view or sign the petition, click here." Read more here.  

Want more affordable housing in Charlotte? Start with parking

By: Shannon Binns Affordable housing is one of Charlotte’s most vexing problems. Because Charlotte is a car-dependent city, the problem of affordable housing is magnified by the cost of owning a car. Charlotte’s parking regulations act as a catalyst for the affordable housing problem in two important ways. First, Charlotte’s parking regulations require substantial amounts of off-street parking (i.e. parking garages) for apartments and condominiums, substantially increasing development costs. Second, Charlotte’s parking regulations do nothing to discourage the cost of parking from being “bundled” into the price of housing. Bundling the cost of parking into the price of housing hides the full cost of parking and shifts the burden of paying for parking to residents who choose not to own a car. It’s as if an invisible hand is pushing residents into car ownership to their detriment. It’s time to change course. Read more here. Continue reading

Looking for something fun to do with the kids? Try these festivals.

(by Liz Logan, CharlotteFive) "This coming up weekend, Charlotte has got some seriously good stuff going on — stuff the kids will enjoy and stuff you’ll find at least, well, manageable. No, seriously — they had me at “family friendly”. Charlotte rates 74th out of 74 cities when it comes to walkability, according to Sustain Charlotte‘s website. Yikes. Hoping to combat the city’s drab numbers, Sustain Charlotte has teamed with OrthoCarolina and #thesavageway to meander on foot, in the company of tons of other CLT residents, through the incredible neighborhood of FreeMoreWest — basically the neighborhood with Pinky’s. Walk from business to business for the city’s second launch of #walkCLT." Read more here.