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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.
There is a new ARB Report out on the Colonial Pedestrian Overpass Bridge with renderings and final approval of the lighting plan. http://www.cityoforlando.net/city-planning/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2017/03/ARB2016-00070report.pdf
Report says project is scheduled to commence construction First Quarter of 2017. I can confirm that work has started with site clearing and pile driving. Crews flagged the area and removed multiple trees in the right of way for the project next to SteelHouse this month. I expect sitework to begin and we may see vertical construction soon. I will keep updates going as the project progresses, as I live in Steelhouse. Renderings below.
Lighting Rendering Looking from East to West:
Lighting Rendering Looking from West to East:
OUT Approach to Bridge from Downtown:
Truss Uplighting Detail on Span:
Looks pretty cool. I just hope they can vary the colors on that Pylon and Ramp.
Thought a thread for bicycle-related infrastructural and program developments seemed appropriate. Post any news related cycling in Richmond. Also, feel free to share any articles that were previously shared in broader threads here on bicycles.
Just resharing the article on the bike-share program coming to Richmond because I came across another curious article (see 2nd link) on how Milwaukee's bike-share program teamed up with their Housing Authority in order to ensure accessibility to lower- and low income neighborhoods.