City Walks-Janes Walks

Finally, biking in uptown without fear

Pedaling through uptown last week alongside cars and pedestrians, I felt something that I’ve rarely felt before on city streets: Relaxed. That’s because I was riding not in lanes of traffic or in a tiny, painted “bike lane,” but in a full-sized, two-way, striped and painted lane for bicycles, separated from cars by a concrete […]

A transit tax vote (maybe). Gaping budget holes. Recovering ridership? Key transit trends to watch in 2022

With 2021 fading into the blessed rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look ahead at what transit controversies, developments and questions are looming further down the track in 2022. The past year was, once again, wracked by the pandemic and uncertainty about how — even whether — Charlotte can fund the infrastructure to move […]

Charlotte leaders start wrestling with state transportation budget shortfall

Charlotte leaders say they won’t know the full impact of a nearly $12 billion funding shortfall for state road improvements until sometime next year, but a pair of projects in University City give a hint on what the funding gap might look like in concrete terms. Think delays for needed roads, bridges and interchanges, plus […]

Charlotte’s new focus on regionalism in transit brings more people to the table, but can they all agree on a vision?

If all the pieces fall into place, some day in the future a new light rail train will pull out of the station at the Central Piedmont Community College Levine Campus in Matthews and head south into Union County. It will turn down a two-lane country road lined with pine trees; run alongside U.S. 74, […]

As projected construction costs surge, state road money dries up

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 […]

Charlotte wants more walkability. Fast-food companies want more drive-thru-only restaurants. Can they coexist?

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 […]

Think Charlotte is bland? New awards celebrate good urban design

When you think “Charlotte” and “urban design,” do you think “bland” or “exciting”? A new awards series, the Charlotte Urban Design Awards, is meant to prompt you to think more of the latter and less of the former. While Charlotte might get an unfair rap as a city of bland office towers and five-story, stick-built […]

Part 2: The relationship between design and transit use

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 pandemic, demand for new construction has remained […]

Five interesting ideas from Charlotte’s draft Center City plan

What will Charlotte’s center city look like in two decades? A draft plan quietly unveiled last week after more than a year offers plenty of recommendations, mostly centered around the idea of a denser, more walkable, more equitable district, with more shops, parks and “signature” experiences to draw visitors. “All in 2040,” the latest vision […]

Charlotte’s transit future comes into focus, but big questions remain

After the City Council narrowly approved the 2040 plan, Charlotte leaders are turning from questions of how we grow to another key part of the city’s future: how we move around. Ambitious transit plans that call for a new sales tax funding the Silver Line east-west light rail, the stalled Red Line to the north, […]