UPDATE: The agenda for the April 23 Council meeting is now posted with this issue as Agenda Item #19. View the amendment language here. Want to speak to Council about the amendments immediately prior to the vote? Register to speak here.
We sent the following action alert to our members on Monday, April 16:
On Monday, April 23, the Charlotte City Council will vote on amendments to the sidewalk ordinance that would ensure quality sidewalks are built when land is redeveloped.
Twenty-seven pedestrians were killed walking along and trying to cross City streets in 2017. This is the highest number ever in Charlotte. We simply can’t afford to continue to build without sidewalks!
I urge you to contact your Charlotte City Council members today to affirm your support for closing two critical loopholes that allow redevelopment to occur without quality sidewalks being built.Read more
Imagine a busy four-lane thoroughfare running through your neighborhood. Safe places to cross are far apart, so you may have to walk 1/2 of a mile or more to the nearest marked crosswalk or intersection just to safely reach your home or a bus stop. Even then, unsafe driving behavior like speeding and running red lights makes you worry for the safety of yourself and your loved ones.
This is the daily reality for thousands of residents in Charlotte's West Boulevard Corridor. The area's residents suffer from higher than average rates of serious injuries and fatalities from traffic collisions.
But a neighborhood-based partnership is changing the status quo.
Partnerships at the heart of transportation advocacy
Area residents who were ready to build power to improve West Boulevard began meeting with Sustain Charlotte and formed the Equitable Transportation Team in the summer of 2016. The team is chaired by Charlene Mack, a talented young community organizer who lives and works in the area.
The team has since become part of the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition (WBNC). That means even more residents and neighborhoods across the corridor are finding ways to get involved!
Reviewing land use and transportation patterns at a WBNC meetingRead more
A network is only as strong as its weakest link.
Even small gaps in a transit network or a sidewalk network can mean the difference between a safe and unsafe experience. That was our message to Charlotte's City Council when we formally introduced them to our Walk2Transit project findings at this week's Citizens Forum.
More than 200 people have volunteered to collect data through out walkability audit tours!Read more
On Monday night (11/15), we asked City Council to support the 5-year pedestrian plan, Charlotte WALKS, and close two loopholes to the city code that currently allow developers to forgo the building of safe sidewalks during site construction.
Read Charlotte WALKS here and read the comments made by Sustain Charlotte’s Bicycle Program Manager Kate Cavazza here below!Read more
Pedestrians and cyclists account for less than 3% of Charlotte's street users, but account for almost 30% of traffic fatalities.
Pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable users of streets. (image: CDOT)Read more
Does the idea of bicycling or walking on South Blvd, South Tryon, or West Blvd at rush hour cause you to shudder? Or trying to cross when there's no traffic light within sight? Good news! The Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently completed four studies of heavily-traveled corridors (the other one is Parkwood Ave & The Plaza, which we've reported on here). They've made recommendations to improve the experience for people on foot and bike.
Read on to find out where you'll see new and better lighting, sidewalks, crosswalks, signalized intersections, pedestrian crossing signals, raised bike lanes, and more. We'll even tell you what a truck apron is (Hint: It's not the latest fashion accessory for your kitchen).
CDOT recently completed 4 corridor studies. (image: CDOT)Read more
More than 20 youth from the YouthQuake PBC summer program hit the streets with Sustain Charlotte and the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition's Equitable Transportation Team last week to identify challenging conditions for pedestrians and transit riders along Clanton Road near its intersection with West Boulevard. Although all of our Walk2Transit walking tours are family-friendly, this was the first one in which we purposefully partnered with young leaders to serve their community!
These junior advocates found a wonderfully walkable bus stop, but also some problem areas they'd like to see improved so that their neighbors can have an easier and safer pedestrian experience.
Equipped with surveys and observant eyes, the youth found challenges and opportunities for pedestrians.Read more
Sidewalks that end in muddy lawns.
Four lanes of 45 mph traffic with no signalized intersections (traffic lights) in sight.
A flattened decaying possum in the middle of the sidewalk.
No, this isn't a twisted game of Jeopardy. These are actual challenges that were identified during our two Walk2Transit bus stop walkability tours last week!
So many committed volunteers for the Monroe Road tour!
Last week was a scorcher, but that didn't stop dozens of volunteers from AARP Charlotte, Monroe Road Advocates, and area neighborhoods from helping us document these and other problems during two Walk2Transit bus stop walkability tours.
On Rozzelles Ferry Road in West Charlotte and Monroe Road in Southeast Charlotte, we helped connect residents to each other as we partnered on an advocacy project to improve transportation choices! We were honored to be joined by John Autry (NC House Representative, District 100), Dimple Ajmera (Charlotte City Council, District 5 and candidate for At Large), and Ryan McGill (candidate for Charlotte City Council, At Large).Read more
If a bus full of people crashed and died on our streets each year, we'd probably take notice. But when the lives are lost one or two or three at a time throughout the year, it's easy to overlook the enormity of the problem.
Disturbing upward trend in traffic fatalities
At Monday’s City Council Transportation and Planning Committee meeting, we heard unsettling news about a steady upward trend in traffic fatalities on Charlotte streets. But we also heard the official start of a conversation about how to reverse that trend and eliminate future fatalities and serious injuries.
You read that right. Vision Zero isn't about reducing serious traffic crashes. It's about eliminating them.
There’s been an upward trend of traffic crashes in Charlotte since 2012, peaking at 53 people killed in 2016. Last year, our city recorded more than 30,000 crashes. That’s the highest recorded number here ever.Read more
Watch a clip of our Walk2Transit volunteers sharing their thoughts after our walkability tour.
44 new residents per day are joining Charlotte's rapidly growing population. But in spite of that growth, CATS bus ridership is declining. Why aren't more people choosing transit? A major reason identified by CATS CEO John Lewis is that the timing, frequency, and coverage of the current bus network isn't meeting the needs of riders. CATS' Envision My Ride initiative will address that problem through a major bus network redesign process, which we're keeping you updated on. Check out the first round of changes proposed for June.
Where are all the bus riders?
But what about the experience of bus riders as they walk to and from stops? Sustain Charlotte's Walk2Transit project is an 18-month effort to identify, evaluate, and advocate for improvements to bus stops that are tough to walk to.Read more