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jb4563

What Makes us The Great State of Mecklenburg?

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I was thinking about the little quirks that make Charlotte unique and different from the other cities/towns in NC. Or what are the things that started here first before spreading (i.e. red light cameras)

What are the little things you have noticed?

Some examples I've noticed:

1. We don't put signs on the wires that stop lights hang from (you go to the Triad and the wires seem about to snap from all the signs on them)

2. The intersection of Providence Rd. and Providence Rd. and Queens Rd. and Queens Rd.

3. I haven't noticed the crosswalk signs that "count down" outside of the Metro area.

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Sone other driving quirks I notice about Charlotte that I don't seem to see anywhere else in NC:

1. We have those left turn lanes that are divided by the concrete medians (like on Harris)

2. Some of the left turn lanes at stop lights at divided from the other lanes by those painted lines (sometimes they get rid of those lines to add another left turn lane).

3. We love to run red lights.

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Ahhh..another one.....

We have a combined city-county police force.

and, I think,

We were the first in the state to have automated, curbside pickup of garbage.

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another quirk i never saw until I moved here: lanes where you are driving straight and then all of a sudden they become turning lanes with hardly any advanced notice (plenty of examples on Harris Blvd)

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We have Queen City crowns on major road signs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That may be a two'fer...our Crown and the fact that we put a symbol on our street signs.

Though I cannot remember...does a Triangle city does this too? Does Raleigh have an acorn on their street signs?

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I grew up saying up saying downtown. I lived in South Charlotte so I'm not sure if it was a directional thing, which actually wouldn't make since since "up" is to the north so uptown would have fit better. I guess uptown sounds more urban and sophisticated.

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Most long time residents say "downtown". But in these days of obsession with fads and image, which Charlotte is also unique in the state for bending over backwards for, "downtown" has become "Uptown" because it sounds more trendy.

Since we are on the subject of road signs, years ago Charlotte was unique for having signs at intersections with a big "?" on them. (I wish I had gotten a photo) These designated dangerous intersections based on number of deaths.

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Most long time residents say "downtown".  But in these days of  obsession with fads and image, which Charlotte is also unique in the state for bending over backwards for, "downtown" has become "Uptown" because it sounds more trendy. 

Since we are on the subject of road signs, years ago Charlotte was unique for having signs at intersections with a big "?" on them.  (I wish I had gotten a photo)  These designated dangerous intersections based on number of deaths.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You would think that "?" would been more like a "!"

Speaking of signs, I wish they would change the sign on the approach from I-77 south to 485 where it says "FUTURE WEST" for 485. The future is now!

One more funny sign, although it's not in Charlotte, but close enough is on Rt 220 near Greensboro, where there is an exit sign that reads:

High Point

Climax

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Well actually.....

In the 70s, when times were more liberal than now, there was a XXX movie theatre located at The Plaza and Eastway drive. It was notible because it had a huge red sign facing Eastway that said CLIMAX I & II. You could not miss it. :lol:

Imagine something like that in Charlotte these days.

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Heres what i can contribute to the Queen City:

Most of Charlotte/Meck has a lot of the roads run by the Charlotte DOT.

Charlotte 4 sign. This is not an official state route. Pentagons are used for county roads. NC dosent have county roads, its either state or city jurisdiction.

Traffic lights are black and yellow. GA does this commonly

Charlotte DOT seems to not know what LED traffic lights are. This is what LED looks like. Common NCDOT practice for traffic signals.

Char-Meck uses street names always, never highway number. I call Independance, US 74 and i call Albemarle, NC 24/27 (yea i know NC 24 moved onto Harris Blvd :) )I call N and S Tryon St, NC 49.

Traffic cameras

Mobile van cameras

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Just to update on a couple...

I think NC State and UNC Chapel Hill both have street signs with a logo on them, and are of similar size and font as charlotte's crown signs. In addition, they are the schools' sports colors instead of green.

The count-down pedestrian lights are also in other places. i know chapel hill has a few, and i'm sure they are popping up in downtowns all over the state.

Also, LED lights are all over charlotte. They are definitely downtown. Usually it is just the Red one, but green is being phased in across the county now that LEDs are capable of producing a green color (with the invention of blue LEDs a few years ago).

what makes us the "great state of mecklenburg" is we are over here in our forgotten corner. We are off the I 40 corridor, and we are the big city. We often are the first to need legislation as unconventional things happen to us by being much larger than the rest of the state. We ask for smoking bans and extra taxes and support for huge projects like nascar hofs and all that. In many ways, i think that the state legislator does not go out of its way to proactively provide for Charlotte's needs, and local leaders often must do things without the state. As a result, there is a much more heightened sense of autority, importance, and entitlement for charlotte leaders vs. state leaders than in any other locality. As a result, the state leaders sarcastically call us the "great state of mecklenburg".

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I think NC State and UNC Chapel Hill both have street signs with a logo on them, and are of similar size and font as charlotte's crown signs.  In addition, they are the schools' sports colors instead of green.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

For UNC, this just happened recently (last few years) and it is only on streets in Chapel Hill that are within the campus boundaries. They are about twice as big as a normal large street sign, Carolina Blue with white letters, and I can't remember which logo exactly they use. Once a street crosses that line, it converts back to the green and white sign.

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Most long time residents say "downtown".  But in these days of  obsession with fads and image, which Charlotte is also unique in the state for bending over backwards for, "downtown" has become "Uptown" because it sounds more trendy. 

Since we are on the subject of road signs, years ago Charlotte was unique for having signs at intersections with a big "?" on them.  (I wish I had gotten a photo)  These designated dangerous intersections based on number of deaths.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Whoohoo! I can go back to saying downtown and not feel like I'm smoking crack for being completely opposite of everyone else.

I would definitely say that the ? sign would be at at Queens, Queens, and Queens.

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i say all sorts of things (as i'm sure you guys have noticed).

i like diversity of labels for places because it is more interesting.

The uptown/downtown thing, i know that it was mostly marketing, but i think it is also a little traditional, too. I know in chapel hill, lots of people say "go uptown" and stuff to refer going to franklin street. i've always though that was leftover from having to walk up the hill, which is true of many cities and towns in NC (including charlotte), where they are usually built on a hill.

But i am more annoyed by people "correcting themselves" to say "oops, i meant UPtown", than for people saying some random label (center city, uptown, downtown, cbd, core, intown, or the name of the specific ward).

If i had my way, though, and actually districts boundaries were drawn up, here is what i would wish:

"Downtown" - the CBD south of Trade (S. Tryon, S Church, S. College)

"Uptown" - the CBD north of Trade (N. Tryon, N Church, N College)

The Wards - just as now, quadrants with Trade and Tryon as axes, inside 77/277

"Center City" - the area inside 77/277

(and i always use "neartown" or "intown" to mean all the old neighborhoods within a few miles of trade and tryon)

I'm not sure how it makes the "great state of meck..", but it is a quirk to this place that there are so many labels for just a one sq mile area. :)

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Id like to see that in the municipalaties of NJ. Everyone does their street signs with creativity. It gives you a good idea where you are if you happen to cross town lines without even knowing it. Piscataway is the only municipality in Middlesex County that has done that. Perth Amboy has too somewhat.

Courtesy of Steve Alpert

Note that the logo is the shape of what the township looks like on a map.

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Id like to see that in the municipalaties of NJ. Everyone does their street signs with creativity. It gives you a good idea where you are if you happen to cross town lines without even knowing it. Piscataway is the only municipality in Middlesex County that has done that. Perth Amboy has too somewhat.

Note that the logo is the shape of what the township looks like on a map.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

and in that part of jersey, it seems like every time you turn a corner you are in a new municipality!

I know when i first came to charlotte to visit, i was going somewhere near southpark, and when i saw the huge street signs with crown on it, i though "wow, this must really be a fancy part of town".... it took a few more trips before i realized that they were all over the place.

I really like 4th Ward's street signs. I had a photo of them, but the lighting was terrible, so here is the negative version of one (they are brown with wrought iron framing. 18259372-M-3.jpg

First ward's signs are terrible. not only are they the smallest size boring green and white, but if you go up and look closely at them, they are reused from other parts, so it still has a relief pattern of some other streetname, painted over in green. :).

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