Articles

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More drive-thru drama in south Charlotte: Zoning and walkability rules
   November 17, 2021
Ely Portillo

At a closed Chinese restaurant sandwiched between busy roads near the Blue Line, Charlotte City Council is wrestling with a choice: Make exceptions to aspirational rules for a more pedestrian-friendly future in order to accommodate the car-centric present?

On its surface, the rezoning request City Council heard Monday night doesn’t seem all that significant. Fifth Third Bank is...

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Technology, sensors and AI in design
   November 15, 2021
Ely Portillo

Imagine this scenario: Building designers are trying to figure out why pedestrian traffic at one spot in an airport terminal past the security checkpoints is consistently snarled. 

A decade or two ago, the designers might sit in the terminal, counting passengers with a clicker, and trying to get a select sample to answer a few questions about why they were hung up in that spot. 

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As projected construction costs surge, state road money dries up
   November 11, 2021
Ely Portillo
Tony Mecia

New projections from North Carolina’s Department of Transportation show the state is $12 billion short on funding its next slate of transportation projects — nearly double the gap reported earlier this year. It’s a serious shortfall that’s expected to leave plans for roads, bridges and other infrastructure throughout the state waiting on the drawing board for years to come.

Earlier...

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Charlotte wants more walkability. Fast-food companies want more drive-thru-only restaurants. Can they coexist?
   November 8, 2021
Ely Portillo

Nowhere in Charlotte embodies the city’s awkward and aspirational transition from car-centric Sun Belt suburbia to denser, walkable urbanism quite like a pair of fried chicken restaurants in Cotswold. 

Located next to each other near the intersection of Randolph and Sharon Amity roads, Bojangles and Chick-fil-A have both filed rezoning requests to demolish their existing buildings and...

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How are Housing Choice Vouchers distributed across Southeastern Cities?
   October 29, 2021
Katie Zager
Providence Adu

This research was used by USA Today for an investigative series called 'Segregated by Section 8.' The series is available online here (subscriber-only...

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You have a voice in mapping Charlotte's future
   October 25, 2021
Ely Portillo

When it comes to planning, development and land use regulation, it's easy to let your eyes glaze over in the alphabet soup of jargo. 

So, let's get a little nerdy and jump right into the alphabet soup of zoning, land use, planning and development on this episode. Join us for a talk with Keba Samuel and Phillip Gussman about why the city's planning...

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The price tag for building a better bus system in Charlotte
   October 25, 2021
Ely Portillo

When it comes to public transit in Charlotte, trains get the spotlight while buses carry the majority of passengers. That’s why the city plans to invest more in improving the bus system in coming years, adding frequency and experimenting with measures like bus-only lanes and traffic lights that give buses priority in order to improve speed and reliability.

On Monday, Lewis and CATS...

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Should Charlotte bring back traffic cameras?
   October 21, 2021
Ely Portillo

The city of Charlotte has a problem: Despite pledging to end traffic deaths by 2030, we’re on pace to see as many or even more people killed on the roads this year than last, and officials say speed is the single biggest contributing factor.

Could automated cameras to catch speeders and nab red light-runners be part of the...

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Bridging the digital divide in Charlotte
   October 20, 2021
Ely Portillo

This project is part of the third cohort of Gambrell Faculty Fellows. Read about the fellows progam...

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