At the February 26 Charlotte City Council meeting, our Program Director Meg Fencil spoke during the public forum on the need for more walkable bus stops. View the footage here (starting at 41:15)
Here’s what Meg told Council:
Good evening. I’d like to introduce you to Sustain Charlotte’s Walk2Transit report on some of Charlotte’s least walkable bus stops.
We want all Charlotteans to have a safe, inviting, and useful daily walking experience, as defined in the Charlotte Walks plan.
Pedestrian fatalities in Charlotte have risen sharply in recent years, mirroring a national trend. in fact, there were 27 pedestrians killed walking along and trying to cross City streets in 2017. This is the highest number ever in Charlotte.
80% of “all-purpose” riders reach their bus stops on foot. If we want more people to choose to ride transit, they need to feel safe and comfortable walking to and from bus stops.
Let’s broaden our conversation about affordable housing to consider what affordable living means. With the median Charlotte household spending 22% of their income on transportation, having more housing that’s accessible by safe, affordable transportation --like public transit-- is a win-win situation for Charlotte
I’ve given you a copy of our Walk2Transit report of the 10 bus stop areas where we engaged over 250 volunteers in walkability audits. You can see a summary of the area, observed challenges, comments from participants, and recommendations for improving walkability.
We ask you to work with CDOT and CATS to make these 10 areas more walkable. These improvements need time funding, planning, and implementation.
Transit riders need:
- Safer sidewalks --with no gaps-- and more frequent crossing opportunities rose to the top of participants' priorities.
- Secondary, but very important, concerns included amenities at bus stops: lighting, benches, shelters, and waiting areas set back from vehicular traffic
- Participants noted many recent improvements by CATS and CDOT that made them feel safer and more comfortable.
We urge you to please approve the text amendments to close the loopholes that allow redevelopment to occur without quality sidewalks.
You have incredibly talented and dedicated staff at CATS and CDOT who are working hard to make our streets and bus stops safe and accessible for everyone. As Council, please give them the resources and support that they need to fully align their work on the transportation network with the City's vision for its current and future residents.
As you work on the FY19 budget, we ask you to prioritize safe access for pedestrians and transit riders by fully funding the Vision Zero work called for in the TAP, Charlotte Walks, and Charlotte Bikes. Fund Open Streets 704 so everyone can experience Charlotte's streets as public spaces.