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CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red Lines


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*cracks knuckles* here's my takeaways from the MTC meeting tonight: Red Line: The staff recommendation is to keep commuter rail on the O-line as the preferred option. What this largely boils do

I went to the Matthews Community meeting for the Silver Line station area planning last night and I thought y'all might appreciate some of the pictures/information from the event. I meant to take

Hushpuppy321, your question is the perfect segue into further discussions on the proper role of transit, and to do it justice requires more writing and reading than many can tolerate on a forum such a

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The LRT option previously studied followed Charlottetowne and 5th between Independence and Uptown as side-running tracks exclusive of traffic, not using Elizabeth or Trade.

That makes a lot more sense. I couldn't find a lot of information on that and since there's an arena station I just assumed it went down Trade forgetting the arena can also be accessed from 5th.

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Driving down independence, I think in the future it has super high growth potential. Assuming we don't let development standards spiral of of control before the growth occurs.

I'm imagining light rail down the center, all the rag tag buildings renovated into nice bars etc and apartment buildings lining independence.

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Driving down independence, I think in the future it has super high growth potential. Assuming we don't let development standards spiral of of control before the growth occurs.

I'm imagining light rail down the center, all the rag tag buildings renovated into nice bars etc and apartment buildings lining independence.

I just don't see it. I think it is a lost cause personally.

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If Independence gets converted Freeway style through and through, would LRT be a beneficial option to that corridor if it ran down the middle?  There would have to be an absurd amount of pedestrian bridges.  I agree that a line parallel to the corridor along Monroe is more viable.  Especially with the streetcar eventually going down Central to Albemarle on the other side.  It would connect CMC-Mercy, numerous parks, several existing shopping centers, and would hit at the heart of Matthews before ever reaching 485.

Edited by AuLukey
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Norfolk Southern runs only a few trains a week on that line at sub 15mph, and Charlotte just provided them with the land for a massive intermodal facility. Thanks for being great corporate citizens NS. Maybe the state should threaten to give the NC railroad contract to CSX (that might be a bit to severe but it's how I feel about their handling of this whole process).

Also, I feel the city and state really dropped the ball on the whole heavy rail plan in the Charlotte area.

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I guess the only other option for this corridor is to build a parallel line running next to the NS line. Big problem with that is funding, and I don't think this will be eligible for federal grants. Perhaps the city should look at a private-public relationship with another company to help fund this project, but I'm also not sure how viable that will be.

 

I think for the time being CATS should put this on the back burner, and focus on the Gold Line, and perhaps the Silver and West Corridor lines. Although the last two are far off, I think they are more feasible than the Red Line currently is.

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This still pisses me off really badly.  I live near the rail line and we hardly ever see trains on it - only the local train to Gerdau.  And on top of all of this, they oftentimes run one of their few daily trains during rush hour and stop traffic on Old Statesville at 5:30 or 6:00pm!!

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I'm not surprised; Norfolk Southern is notoriously difficult to deal with. They wouldn't even allow my hometown encroachment into their right-of-way for a sidewalk project next to a line that hasn't seen a train for over a DECADE.

Raleigh and TTA treated N/S really badly at a time when N/S was more willing to work with local governments.  We had no problems working with them on the Eastrans commuter rail proposal in eastern NC.  They own and maintain their facilities and are under no obligation to work with anyone.  When communities and transit systems act the railroad works for them, the railroad pushes back -- as it did in the Triangle in the 1990's and early 2000's.  The other reality is that rail transport of freight is a rapidly growing, cost effective, and profitable alternative to truck and air transport.  The railroads are pulling back from the trend of abandoning corridors and is reinvesting in once idle short lines.

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With the amount of build up in the Fort Mill and Rock Hill areas that will be occurring over the next several years, it's a shame there isn't a way to extend the Blue Line across the border. Nikki Haley is too worried about poaching Mecklenburg jobs for that.

Edited by wend28
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I think ridership would be low on Gastonia route.

It seems the wealthier areas are east of downtown Gastonia. Also, it just seems more convenient to travel by car. I think a commuter rail to Charlotte from Gastonia would be longer than car and more hassle.

I don't think any towns east of Gastonia would care about rail, it's a short drive, 85 is 4 lanes each way.

Also, I don't think there is a public transportation or any urban type of mindset in Gaston County.

I love rail lines, but if I lived in Gaston Co. Reasonabley located near a station, I would still drive. It's an easy ... 15 minutes max to uptown from Gastonia

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I think ridership would be low on Gastonia route.

It seems the wealthier areas are east of downtown Gastonia. Also, it just seems more convenient to travel by car. I think a commuter rail to Charlotte from Gastonia would be longer than car and more hassle.

I don't think any towns east of Gastonia would care about rail, it's a short drive, 85 is 4 lanes each way.

Also, I don't think there is a public transportation or any urban type of mindset in Gaston County.

I love rail lines, but if I lived in Gaston Co. Reasonabley located near a station, I would still drive. It's an easy ... 15 minutes max to uptown from Gastonia

Then besides Rock Hill, Monroe would be a good choice, since Gastonia isn't so good ;-)

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With the amount of build up in the Fort Mill and Rock Hill areas that will be occurring over the next several years, it's a shame there isn't a way to extend the Blue Line across the border. Nikki Haley is too worried about poaching Mecklenburg jobs for that.

I would think we would be worried.  If you think about it - wouldn't that give companies even more reason to locate across the border if their workers could just commute via light rail from their homes in NoDa (soon), Uptown, and South End?

 

In all honesty I think Charlotte has to build commuter rails at some point though I can't imagine the timetable and costs now.   In the interim though I do hope that this is then used as an opportunity to refocus rail development within the city of Charlotte and work on increased bus service for the Meck towns in the North.

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An LRT line south of 74 out, at least into Matthews (preferably with a terminus in Indian Trail) seems to make sense to me. It's a heavily populated corridor inside 485 and would have solid park and ride numbers.

I guess we need money though. So that would be step one.

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It is frustrating to see nothing happening with underutilized/abandoned rail corridors such as the O-line and P&N line, especially with so much ToD development going on.  

 

Unfortunately the transit tax can only cover the BLE and ridership is not there for the aforementioned lines to receive Federal funds... oh well, let's be happy the abandoned tracks from 1st ward to Charlotte Yard will turn into the BLE... :)

Edited by ChessieCat
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So is there a possibility the city will re-visit the current transit plan and just scrap it completely?  I feel like with the lack of any funds and now the Red Line dead in the water, the aspirations laid out in the plan are more or less pipe dreams.  I'd be in favor of MTC, CATS and the city sitting down and formulating a new plan entirely.  Whether that requires a new referendum or not is yet to be seen.  But the city needs a plan, it seems like it's just ignoring the fact that our current plan is unfunded, off-track, now impossible and behind on its timeline.

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So is there a possibility the city will re-visit the current transit plan and just scrap it completely?  I feel like with the lack of any funds and now the Red Line dead in the water, the aspirations laid out in the plan are more or less pipe dreams.  I'd be in favor of MTC, CATS and the city sitting down and formulating a new plan entirely.  Whether that requires a new referendum or not is yet to be seen.  But the city needs a plan, it seems like it's just ignoring the fact that our current plan is unfunded, off-track, now impossible and behind on its timeline.

I for one would love to revisit the plan and have a new referendum. No rail to the north means I'd like to vote against paying a transit tax (half-cent). Let the city impose that tax within the city limits if it chooses...or raise property taxes. I'd also like to lobby for a rebate of all the money that the other towns in Meck Co. have paid due to the half-cent transit tax over the MANY years.

 

Promises were made and expectations were formed. If you want to start changing those then lets change everything. And before someone starts talking buses, don't. The original promise was for a train...and frankly that's all I'm interested in.

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  • dubone changed the title to CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines
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