Visible. Big. Iconic. If you were asked to describe current bike facilities in Charlotte, these probably aren’t the first words that would come to mind. But thanks to the thousands of you who have signed our #iBikeCLT petition and made your voices heard at public workshops, Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) has recommended a protected bike lane that will provide much needed connectivity through Uptown! The future for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders on Parkwood Ave and The Plaza also looks much brighter thanks to new CDOT recommendations resulting from more than a year of advocacy by residents and Sustain Charlotte.
In fact, bike and pedestrian issues dominated the conversation at City Council’s Transportation and Planning (TAP) Committee meeting on Monday. Here’s a run-down and our take.
Draft Charlotte Bike Plan Advances to Public HearingRead more
You're invited to a public workshop on March 21 hosted by the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) to learn more and share your input on the upcoming corridor study of West Boulevard. The study will evaluate existing conditions, identify deficiencies, and make recommendations to improve the safety and ease of walking and biking on West Boulevard between Camden Road and Billy Graham Parkway.
Since last summer, Sustain Charlotte has been working in partnership with the Equitable Transportation team comprised of West Boulevard neighborhood resident advocates for safer streets.Read more
This November, the Urban Land Institute published "Living in Charlotte 2016: Views on Housing, Transportation, and Community". Click here to download the report.
As an organization advocating for smart growth and sustainable transportation, we're excited about this report because it captures the housing and transportation preferences of 2,984 people living in the Charlotte metro area (Mecklenburg County plus the seven contiguous counties).Read more
The verdict is in: Residents who attended a series of walking tours told the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) that they don't feel entirely comfortable walking or riding a bicycle along much of Parkwood Avenue. Instead of functioning as a neighborhood street for all users, the avenue is plagued by heavy traffic and unsafe driving behavior.
The idea of adding bike lanes to Parkwood Ave was a clear favorite!
The formal quest to make Parkwood Ave safer reached a peak in November 2015 when neighborhood residents directly addressed City Council and asked for change. Read more about that here.
Soon after that Council meeting, CDOT announced that Parkwood Ave and The Plaza was one of the 3 corridors chosen for a round of three Arterial Corridor Studies. The other two corridors were South Boulevard and South Tryon from Uptown to South End.Read more
You love that bike of yours. Since you were little, you recognized its potential to take you far away. You discovered new neighborhoods, met new friends, maybe even rode to school or your first job. Now you’re wondering whether your kids and family will feel the same way. Here’s how to get their attention - and get them on the bike!
“It's tough for the outdoors to compete in the age of Minecraft, iPad, XBOX, and the like,” says Jon Harding, a routine bike commuter, bike-packer, and general man-about-town on two wheels. “Getting started can be a little intimidating, especially if your kids outnumber you.”
But don’t be discouraged! Jon says getting the kids and family out there on the bike can be easy with a little planning ahead. Answering the “how” and the “where” are two of the biggest hurdles.Read more
If you attended Open Streets 704 this past Sunday (May 1st) you may have noticed some new faces in the crowd. The entire point of the event was to give residents the opportunity to walk out in a shared open space and re-imagine, however briefly, how we use our city. Open Streets brings people of all walks of life together to do what we love to do the most - people watch.
You may have seen another new face out there: Ike the Protected Bike Lane!
Ike couldn't stop talking about how great folks in Charlotte are!
(Photo credit: Ben Premeaux)Read more
Have you ever walked around Charlotte's South End and wondered why some locations consistently stand out as neighborhood gathering places while other spots are just dull and uninviting?
It turns out that most great places have at least one thing in common: They're built on a human scale to create just the right amount of interaction between public and private space.
Local urban designer and architect David Walters recently led a short Jane's Walk through the South End neighborhood near the East/West light rail station. Named for city planning advocate Jane Jacobs, these free community-led walking tours occur in cities and towns throughout the world.
The goal of the walk was to visit examples of urban design at its best and worst.
Our first stop was Big Ben's Pub. Despite being a mostly indoor venue, the pub wisely created a dining area on the back deck where patrons can interact with the public space.
Outdoor decks and patios invite pedestrians to linger and interact with each other.Read more
Everyone deserves safe streets.
That was the message echoed by four residents of Charlotte's Belmont and Villa Heights neighborhoods, as well as Sustain Charlotte's Bicycle Program Director who addressed City Council during last night's Citizens' Forum.
Villa Heights resident Mark Lynch read the language of a petition, signed by more than 580 residents, that calls on City Council to make Parkwood Ave and The Plaza safer through a road diet. Click here to view the petition and learn about the many safety, economic, social, and environmental benefits that a road diet would provide to the entire city.
Lynch lived in Villa Heights for two years without a car. He expressed the daily struggles of many neighborhood residents in a similar situation. "Things I’d never given a second thought to before, now WEIGHED on me every time I had to leave my home for any reason: How freezing will the weather be today? How many drivers will yell at me from their window? What cracked-and-broken sidewalks will I have to ride on today because the road next to it has been designed to move cars as fast as possible? Will today be the day that I’m hit by one of those fast cars…?"
A road diet on Parkwood Ave and The Plaza would provide safety and connectivity!Read more
Last Friday, Sustain Charlotte transformed west Charlotte's Arbor Glen Outreach Center into an exciting forum of hands-on learning about sustainable transportation. About 100 youth ages 7 to 14 rotated among six stations hosted by Charlotte area nonprofits and government departments. At each station, volunteers led a different learning activity to educate the youth about safe and sustainable transportation.
Sustain Charlotte board member Norman Spencer assisted with a map exercise.Read more
"Slow Down. Children Playing in Neighborhood."
"Stop. Kids Crossing."
"We Don't Like Speeders"
Those were just a few of the messages written by youth during last week's workshop at Arbor Glen Outreach Center in West Charlotte. Over the past year that Sustain Charlotte has worked with residents in the Reid Park neighborhood, we learned that their top sustainability concern is a lack of safe and connective pedestrian and bicycle transportation infrastructure for residents. This includes crosswalks, sidewalks, speed bumps, and bike lanes.
Traffic calming yard signs made by West Charlotte youth at recent sustainability workshop.
Youth from Reid Park and the surrounding neighborhoods gathered at the Arbor Glen Outreach Center last Friday evening to do something about this problem.Read more