Articles

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Dollar figures for the Silver Line are slowly coming into focus
   September 27, 2021
Ely Portillo

Charlotte’s new east-west light rail is still decades away from completion, but a City Council committee on Monday got a closer look at some of the numbers dictating how, when and where the rail line is likely to be built.

Running from Gaston County, past the airport, skirting uptown’s northern end and then running southeast along Monroe Road into Union County, the 29-mile Silver Line...

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Opinion: What can Charlotte learn from ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’?
   September 23, 2021
Ely Portillo

Editor's note: This story originally appeared in Transit Time, a weekly newsletter produced in partnership by the Urban Institute, The Charlotte Ledger and WFAE. 

On the surface, Charlotte — a fast-growing, finance-powered, landlocked metropolitan region — might appear to...

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How to give migrating birds some help this year
   September 22, 2021

Emily Callicutt

As fall arrives, migratory songbirds have begun journeying south for the winter. These birds traveled north in the spring to nest and raise their young, and now they are beginning to travel south to take advantage of the warmer weather and increased access to food. Some familiar migratory birds include hummingbirds, goldfinches, and many species of warblers. In the piedmont of North Carolina,...

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Rezoning exposes questions about development in Charlotte’s new vision plan
   September 21, 2021
Ely Portillo

Editor's note: Charlotte City Council voted unanimously to approve this rezoning petition on Nov. 15, clearing the way for this housing development. 

As Charlotte moves forward with its overhaul of development rules, a plan for new apartments and townhouses in a suburban, office-focused part of the city has exposed some of the tensions between...

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New maps let you explore patterns of income, racial segregation and more
   September 20, 2021
Ely Portillo

Where you live in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County might reflect your race, income, education level, how old you are and even how likely you are to be in an area where eligible streams are adopted for clean-up. 

Newly updated maps from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Quality of Life Explorer let...

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With homeless numbers rising, Charlotte-Mecklenburg works on a new plan
   September 14, 2021
Ely Portillo

With the number of people experiencing homelessness in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County rising dramatically in the past year, local governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses are gearing up to implement a new plan over the next few years. 

A major goal of the 2025 Charlotte-Mecklenburg...

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Native plants for native bees in the Charlotte region
   September 13, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

A flower bed might have a vibrant assortment of blossoms, but without the movement and sparkle of pollinators, it can seem flat and static. It’s been a bad year for butterflies in my garden, and I’ve heard similar reports from across the Piedmont. Their numbers seem to be down. Their absence has made me even more grateful for the native bees I’ve managed to attract with my plantings. 

...

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Regional transit plan soon to be finalized
   September 8, 2021
Ely Portillo

Leaders in the Charlotte region are finalizing the details of the first coordinated transit plan to go well beyond the city limits, a document they hope to adopt this fall. 

Connect Beyond, a 12-county initiative led by the Charlotte Area Transit System and the Centralina Regional Council, will release its full report on Monday. The ...

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Part 1: How the Blue Line Extension changed Charlotte development
   September 7, 2021

Nathan Griffin

The pandemic has transformed so much about the world, including how we work, where we work, and how we commute. As a result of these shifts, Charlotte area transit use has fallen to less than 50% of pre-pandemic levels.

And while debates continue on whether these effects are permanent or temporary, city planners are pushing for transit expansion.

The ambitious “Charlotte Moves...

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Part 2: The relationship between design and transit use
   September 7, 2021

Nathan Griffin

In Part 1 of this series, I showed that there was a sharp increase in development since construction began on the Blue Line Extension in 2013. 

Since then, there has been nearly $1 billion in new construction and 7,400 new residential units alongside the line. And despite the...

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