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monsoon

Biggest Problem Facing Charlotte

What is Charlotte's biggest problem as it Continues to grow into a larger city?  

99 members have voted

  1. 1. What is Charlotte's biggest problem as it Continues to grow into a larger city?

    • Dependence on the Automobile
      35
    • Racial Issues
      1
    • CMS
      9
    • Cooperation with neighboring cities and counties
      7
    • Taxes
      5
    • Crime
      16
    • Air Pollution
      2
    • Too much control in Raleigh
      14
    • Giving in to Developers
      5
    • Other (explain)
      3
    • This is Utopia, there are not problems
      2


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Charlotte is growing into a pretty nice urban area and is pulling ahead of the rest of the cities in the Carolinas by leaps and bounds. IMO, Charlotte is at least 20 years ahead of any of the other major cities in the Carolinas in terms of development. The next largest city, Raleigh, is 1/2 the size of Charlotte. It is the only place in the Carolinas where there is actually a rail based mass transit system being planned, funded, and constructed, the only place where you can get a true urban experience downtown, and possibly one of the few places in the Southeast where it might be possible to live without a automobile. The economy here is diverse, growing, and the county is adding tens of thousands each year.

However as the city grows, what does the city need to focus on to keep from making the mistakes of the larger cities? Places such as Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, etc. have very slowly growing cores and sprawling suburbs. This poll is to discuss this topic.

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Many of the selections are relevant, but I chose crime. Seems to me that many of the great urban cores throughout history have been stripped of their souls after mass exoduses or "white flight" took place over the fear of unacceptable levels of crime. Think Detroit, Baltimore, Kansas City, Atlanta, St. Louis, Philadelphia, south Chicago, many parts of NYC (although the sheer size of NYC enabled it to weather the flight - barely - after the 1970s). Next thing you know, people have abandoned ship and the area slowly but surely becomes blighted.

The topic has already come up a few times on these boards, even in discussing the topic of rail transit. Sometimes it only takes the PERCEPTION of increased crime to scare people away, which is tantamount to the "broken window" theory. For those of you not familiar with this theory, it's pretty amazing

Researchers studying urban decay wanted to find out why some neighborhoods escape the ravages of the inner city, and others right next door-with the same demographics and economic makeup-would become a hell hole where the cops were scared to go in. They wanted to figure out what made the difference.

The researchers did a test. They took a nice car, like a Jaguar, and parked it in the South Bronx in New York. They left the car parked there for four days, and nothing happened. It wasn't touched. So they went up to the car and broke a little window on the side. In four hours, the car was turned upside down, torched, and stripped-the whole works.

They did more studies and developed a "Broken Window Theory." A window gets broken at an apartment building, but no one fixes it. It's left broken. Then something else gets broken. Maybe it's an accident, maybe not, but it isn't fixed either. Graffiti starts to appear. More and more damage accumulates. Very quickly you get an exponential ramp. The whole building decays. Tenants move out. Crime moves in. And you've lost the game. It's all over.

So as people continue to move into the urban core, I think we need to keep our police force well staffed and able, and visible to the public (but not TOO visible - we don't want to scare people away thinking crime is a problem). Keep the streets neat and safe and inviting to those who are considering the move to the big city.

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As Charlotte grows into a larger city, I think that the biggest problem its going to face is cooperating with the outlying towns & counties. Many of these places (i.e. Mooresville & Concord) are seeing sprawl leap into their backyards @ a pace they've never imagined. It's a given fact that alot of the people who live within a 35-mile radius of the Charlotte city-limits are afraid to lose their rural/small-town way of life, but still enjoy the convience of living relatively close to a large city. From my perspective, I think that these areas should be bracing for change because Charlottes exponential growth is inevitable.

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Although saying that Charlotte is the only place in the Carolinas where one can get a "true urban experience downtown" (or Uptown in Charlotte's case) is certainly subjective, I believe that in several areas, Charlotte will set the tone for other Carolina cities to follow as virtually all of the metropolitan areas in the Carolinas are experiencing significant growth. In that regard, I think that I would say that transportation issues would rank pretty high as a present and future problem for Charlotte. Thank God mass transit is underway in the city, but with the whole I-485 fiasco, I think the outlying areas of the city will feel the effects. I forget which section is getting widened first, but the other section will certainly feel the impact in a negative way. I also hope that the loop will not contribute to (more?) uncontrolled sprawl. It seems as though there has been and is a lack of foresight when it comes to transportation issues in Charlotte, especially when compared with the improvements on I-77 from the southern edge of Rock Hill up to the state line as an example.

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..... I also hope that the loop will not contribute to (more?) uncontrolled sprawl. It seems as though there has been and is a lack of foresight when it comes to transportation issues in Charlotte, especially when compared with the improvements on I-77 from the southern edge of Rock Hill up to the state line as an example.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This would fall into the "too much control in Raleigh" category as many of the decisions that are made about the roads in Charlotte are handled by the NCDOT.

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^That's what I figured; it was between that option and "dependence on the automobile." I will vote accordingly.

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I don't think racial problems will be an issue, we're going to be very diverse in a couple years. I think the main problem will be cooperations with the City and the towns in Mecklenburg via the Transit Commission.

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Great post smelly,

Have you ever seen the show where they have a hidden camera and catch people doing things like stealing? What they do is set up a test to see how people react. For instance, they set up a road side table in NYC that was selling things like computer hard drives, and other things of simular size. Of course the boxes really did not have that stuff in it. Then they put a jar on the table that read "pay by the honor system" People would walk up to the table, shocked that there was nobody running it, and then just walk off without stealing anything. Other people would actually buy stuff and put money in the jar. Next, they took the honor system sign off the jar and started the test over again. People then walked up to the table and was stealing stuff left and right. Even money out of the jar! Just because it did not have the honor system sign. They ran many other such test. So I think you are dead on with the broken window thing.

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If crime is the issue, the reason is that CMPD is not allowed to do it's job. Criminals are treated like first class citizens. There is a time and place for everything and sometimes you have to show some muscle. There was a "riot" downtown tonight that took forever to squash because the Officers aren't allowed to bust some heads when they need to.

"Please sir, don't do that. Will you please move to the sidewalk?"

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Smelly, there's a great book you should read called The Tipping Point. It's about everything you mention. Crime went down on NYC subways once graffiti was removed daily...basically by telling the world that someone cared and was watching. The more trains that were cleaned, the fewer times new graffiti was painted.

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He hit that right on the nose. Charlotte has had a great increase in crime but i have to say too much control in raleigh. Raleigh does have a lot of control. Hopefully one day well have control over every thing in our city limits.

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If crime is the issue, the reason is that CMPD is not allowed to do it's job. Criminals are treated like first class citizens.  There is a time and place for everything and sometimes you have to show some muscle. There was a "riot" downtown tonight that took forever to squash because the Officers aren't allowed to bust some heads when they need to. 

"Please sir, don't do that. Will you please move to the sidewalk?"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Most police no longer have the ability to "bust some heads" unless there is a clear threat to them. There's always that omnipresent fear someone out there is running a camcorder and, taken out of context, will turn it into the next celebrated Rodney King video. Then you'll see some REAL riots.

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Smelly, there's a great book you should read called The Tipping Point.  It's about everything you mention.  Crime went down on NYC subways once graffiti was removed daily...basically by telling the world that someone cared and was watching.  The more trains that were cleaned, the fewer times new graffiti was painted.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for the tip M.C. I will check that book out. :thumbsup:

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If crime is the issue, the reason is that CMPD is not allowed to do it's job. Criminals are treated like first class citizens.  There is a time and place for everything and sometimes you have to show some muscle. There was a "riot" downtown tonight that took forever to squash because the Officers aren't allowed to bust some heads when they need to. 

"Please sir, don't do that. Will you please move to the sidewalk?"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If the CMPD need to bust heads in order to do their job, then something is really wrong as it isn't the job of the police to judge, convict and hand out punishment of alleged criminals. That is the job of the Courts, the District Attourney, and the Dept. of Corrections.

12 years ago crime had gotten very bad in Charlotte. In 1993 there were 129 murders in the city, last year that number had fallen to 60. The big reason in the drop was the District Attourney's office was funded to deal with the problem and jails constructed to lock up repeat offenders. Unfortunately due to state cuts, the courts have become a revolving door, and the state isn't meeting its commitment in jail space so crime is back on the rise again.

Again we seem to have another "control in Raleigh issue" along with a rise in crime. I'm not sure this is the biggest problem the city faces, but if the crime rate keeps rising it will drive people out of the city as it did a decades ago.

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Smelly, there's a great book you should read called The Tipping Point.  It's about everything you mention.  Crime went down on NYC subways once graffiti was removed daily...basically by telling the world that someone cared and was watching.  The more trains that were cleaned, the fewer times new graffiti was painted.

I am currently reading this book and it is a good book for sure. CMPD needs more patrol over large events like this. They need to be called in to stand guard, not called in after the fact. It's too late at that point. Had a CMPD officer or even a security patrol been near me and seen the incident happen with the rocket I would be back. I'm not going back because there was no security anywhere near me, and I was at one of the favorite spots for viewing the display. In fact, I never saw a CMPD officer until I walked about three blocks north. It's not the fact that it happened, but it just appears like the city did not take control of the event as they should had. It doesn't matter how the handled it after it happened, at that point the damage has already been done.

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It does my heart good to see that racial issues are not a big threat to Charlotte. Not that they don't exist it is just that a place in the south, in North Carolina,no less has progressed to the point that it concentrates on the issues that can cause stagnation and a downturn in the regions economy. A major factor in racial unrest is unemployment which leads to crime. I voted dependence on the automobile. I envision on big metropolis from rock hill to kannapolis and major development to several counties around Charlotte. My hopes would be that a rail line connected to all of these communities is in the future.

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However as the city grows, what does the city need to focus on to keep from making the mistakes of the larger cities?  Places such as Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, etc. have very slowly growing cores and sprawling suburbs.  This poll is to discuss this topic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The city of Philadelphia is losing people overall, but the Center City district itself in Philadelphia has over 80,000 people. There are thousands of residential developments being developed. I would say that over the next 10 years you will see the population of the city of Philadelphia actually increase rather then decrease.

I do agree with you that over all the suburbs in Philadephia are sprawling. And the reason is the crime in Philadelphia. Crime is the thing that will doom Charlotte if it isnt controlled.

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CMS problems, high taxes, and crime could be a pretty potent combination to drive away residents.

I can't imagine really wanting to live in the country, myself... and be several miles away from amenities. But I would consider a small town if things get out of hand.

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I put racial issues. Not that I agree but seeing how the "Uptown Riff Raff" and the "Diversity in Charlotte" topics get so many hits, other people seem to think it's a problem.

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I'm going to say schools. If CMS continues to administer sub-standard, unsafe schools all the business recruiting we've done over the last 20 years won't matter.

Like it or not, education is one of the top items on any company's list when they decide to relocate. If our school system does not improve, it will accelerate flight into the suburbs to other school-systems and slow the momentum of company relocation.

It's issue number one in my book.

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Well, not to sound sarcastic, but you have to actually get through grade school in order to obtain a college education.

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