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I've noticed recently that the apartment leasing company MAA (Mid-America Apartment Communities) has been buying/putting up their signage on many apartment buildings/complexes in the Charlotte area. I haven't been able to find many details about this, but just a few examples I can think of are 1225 South Church, now MAA 1225, the apartments across from the Harris Teeter in Southend (can't recall the prior name off the top of my head) and Phillips Place in Southpark. I've also noticed their distinct signage on complexes/buildings that I know have been around for years. Due to the general consistency in their branding, it's noticeable when they slap their very distinct and corporate logo on anything, new or recently acquired.
I was hoping to start a discussion, or at least catalog how many Charlotte area properties they own. Whether they build new, or simply prefer to acquire/rehab properties, and poll the UP crowd on their general perception of this company and ones like it who appear to be creating a small monopoly on the rental market in the Charlotte area and how this might affect things moving forward.
So its been about 10 years since the Blue Line opened and Charlotte has spent a significant amount of energy talking about how to make the city more walkable and less car dependent. As I think about the walkable portions of Charlotte (Dilworth, Southend, PM, Wesley Heights (needs a grocery store), NoDa, etc.) all of these places were built before cars and they have merely been updated to accommodate modern needs.
Try as I might I can't think of a single post-war neighborhood in Charlotte that has been made more walkable. Is there any neighborhood outside of the inner ring where walking to the store, school or transit is possible for more than a token few? The Blue Line created little or no change in the neighborhoods south of New Bern. Birkdale-like places seem much more like malls than neighborhoods to me and feel as isolated as a mall -- but I don't spend much time there so correct me if I am wrong. Brightwalk comes to mind as one of the best examples but AFAIK it lacks retail and is basically cutoff from any other neighborhoods by Statesville Ave and 77. LoSo is another place where people now want to walk, but it lacks the necessary infrastructure (sidewalks and transit access). We have even failed at connecting neighborhoods by means other than the car (e.g. crossing from Dilworth to Southend on bike or foot is still kinda hairy).
So my question is what is missing from the development process? Is it zoning (e.g. lot size, sidewalk width, land use mix)? Transit? Traffic engineering (too many car sewers)? A combination of all or something else entirely?
Ten years of experience suggests that we have not figured out how to make new walkable burbs -- is it time to give up? Would giving up be a bad thing?
EDIT: am I being too pessimistic? Does new multi-family in places like Park Road / Selwyn make new walkability available to some? Please tell me I have overlooked some significant positive change somewhere.
A thread dedicated to discussions on Orlando and Central Florida trails and bicycle infrastructure.
The Cady Way Trail stops at the entrance to Lake Druid Park as it approaches Downtown. If it was just extended to the cul-de-sac of Laura Pl, then it would connect to the Bumby Trail by a small local road, which is a perfect compromise instead of an actual trail.
Trail on the right and Laura Pl on the left.