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Improving Charlotte Connectivity


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What are the connections that you wish were added to improve connectivity and the network of streets in Charlotte?

Here are a number of mine I've been logging for a while:


- Connect S Davidson St to Euclid Ave across 277-Belk as planned

- Build the new street grid in 2nd Ward as planned

- Rebuild Alexander Street in the original alignment between 5th and 7th in First Ward

- Rebuild 10th Street between Tryon and Davidson in First Ward

- Extend Baxter St to Royal Ct in Dilworth

- Extend Baxter St culdesac east of McDowell St to the future Baxter Street Bridge between Kenilworth and Kings

South End:

- Extend Cleveland Ave to S Caldwell St in Dilworth as planned.

- Extend Iverson Way from Ideal Way to Poindexter Dr

- Extend Elmhurst to Ideal Way

- Reconnect Ideal Way to itself between Kenilworth and Floral

- Extend S Mint St to the S Tryon/W Tremont intersection near Tremont Music Hall

NoDa and Optimist Park:

- Build a bridge over the rail yards to connect Parkwood to the Dalton/Tryon intersection

- Eliminate the east bound railroad tracks through NoDa and convert it to an extension of Brevard St from Mallory St to Anderson St

- Connect 36 St to Atando Ave

- Rebuild N Caldwell St from 22nd to 28th St

South Charlotte

- Reconnect Nations Crossing Rd to Nations Ford Rd across 77 via Marshall Air Drive

- Extend Selwyn from Park Rd to Tyvola

- Connect Archdale to Sharon View Rd between Park South Dr and Sharon Rd

- Connect Starbrook Dr to Huntingdowne Farms Ln between South and Park

- Connect Sweden Rd to Old Hebron and Hebron

- Connect Westinghouse Blvd to Sharon Road West


- Extend Centrum Parkway to South Blvd/Pineville Rd

- Create a new connection between Park Crossing Dr and South Blvd

SouthEast Charlotte

- Connect Harris Blvd to Village Lake Dr as planned

- Extend Village Lake Dr to Sardis Drive

- Reconnect Commonwealth Ave to Eastway

University City:

- Connect Nevin Rd to Neal Road and then extend across 85 to McCullough Dr

- Connect Research Dr to JW Clay Blvd across 85

- Build City Blvd as planned

- Connect Mallard Creek to Graham St

- Connect 85-29 Connector to Rocky River Road

West Charlotte

- Extend Ashley Rd to connect to Clanton Rd as planned

- Build Fred Alexander Blvd as planned

East Charlotte

- Burn it all down and start from scratch.

What would you guys add to the list?

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I think what originally should have happened was that Route 4 should have been the beltline, and 277 should have never been built. (kinda like how 440 is in Raleigh).

Route 4 was roughly the route of the first plan for I-485, not I-277, known in those days as the Outer Belt. Neighborhood opposition killed those plans long ago and we went at least another decade before the issue came up again, by that time, the city had sprawled out to where 485 is being built today. It would have been interesting to see the effect of a freeway running down next to Southpark instead of what we have now.

In terms of automobile oriented sprawl, East Charlotte is no different from Myers Park. It all relies on the automobile, it is very low density, and there is no such thing as pedestrian activity. The only difference is the amount of money that was spent to build it. I don't think calls to burn down parts of the city are really going to help things if this is the purpose of this thread.

I do agree that I-277 should have never been built. It was one of the primary factors that killed the life in downtown and hastened its decline into what you see today.

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This isn't really a matter of the development itself, (automobile oriented sprawl or otherwise) but rather the street and thoroughfare network and connectivity. Myers Park has a high degree of connectivity, even if it is sprawling, low density development.

Looking at the street network in East Charlotte, I don't even know where to begin as far as giving specific suggestions for improving connectivity. It is such a complete mess. It doesn't even really have a thoroughfare system, as most of the existing thoroughfares are two lane roads. Those thoroughfares serve vast areas that are completely filled with scribbly streets that only connect in one direction.

Even Ballantyne has quality thoroughfares. Johnston Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway are large roads, and provide alternates to a freeway. Neighborhoods also tend to connect to the thoroughfares so that from within the neighborhood, you can exit on at least two thoroughfares. Also, even though the streets dead end and don't connect, at least they seem to align better in a way that could potentially be connected in the future.

South Charlotte, especially within a 6mile radius of downtown, has a significant number of widened, direct thoroughfares that head directly downtown. In East Charlotte, not only are the thoroughfares unimproved, but most are circumferential. To get downtown, you pretty much need to take Albemarle, Independence, and Central, all significantly over capacity.

Also, such a high percentage of all of east Charlotte must pass through the Harris and Albemarle intersection to get anywhere.

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South Charlotte, especially within a 6mile radius of downtown, has a significant number of widened, direct thoroughfares that head directly downtown. In East Charlotte, not only are the thoroughfares unimproved, but most are circumferential. To get downtown, you pretty much need to take Albemarle, Independence, and Central, all significantly over capacity.

Also, such a high percentage of all of east Charlotte must pass through the Harris and Albemarle intersection to get anywhere.

I don't know. I find it easier to get to downtown from East Charlotte on Independence than either I-77 or S. Blvd. (both are horribly congested) And I really see no difference between the quality of South Blvd and Central Avenue in terms of quality of roadway. They are both pretty bad. The intersections of S. Blvd and Woodlawn or Tyvola are just as big of a congested mess as that of Central and Eastway and Central and Sharon Amity.

Also S. Tryon between Southend and Woodlawn is pretty nasty.

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Yeah, I agree about 77 and South Blvd. But at least you also have Tryon, Park, Selwyn-Queens-Providence, and Providence-Queens-Morehead, and Randolph as other options, depending on where you are starting from. Independence is definitely better than 77 and South Blvd, but if you are in East Charlotte, you only really have Independence, Central, and possibly weaving around through Plaza-Parkwood.

I don't mean to be too strong, though, in defense of South Charlotte. I agree with Atlrvr, that connectivity is pretty much non-existent in most of the sections outside of Rt 4, including South Charlotte.

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You forgot Monroe Rd, in East Charlotte, its better than most of the roads than you mention above as far as travel is concerned. Some would argue that Randolph is in East Charlotte, certainly not South Charlotte. I really don't think there is any difference in the development patterns and available highways in what can be found in real estate areas 2-6. It is all really bad sprawl and it doesn't really matter much on which side of route 4 that it is located.

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To by clear, by "East Charlotte", I was mostly referring the section of the city due east of downtown, whereas I had put suggestions for the Independence/Monroe/Randolph area as "SouthEast Charlotte".


Does anyone have any specific connectivity suggestions? I think there are plenty of other threads to lament the sprawl that covers most of the city.

Does anyone have that experience where if the city would just reconnect a street, or add a bridge across a creek, etc., that their daily trips would be shortened? I briefly lived in Sedgefield and was consistently frustrated that I had to use South or Park and there was no connection over to Ideal Way.

Central city connectivity is fairly good, but over the years there are many connections that were originally built that have been abandonned over the years. In most cases, it is as a result of construction of a railroad, freeway, or larger development where connectivity of cross streets has not been a priority. Many of my suggestions are cases where connectivity has been abandonned, but there is now an opportunity to reconnect.

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Build City Blvd as planned

What's up with this road? I went off the exit once in the dead of night only to find a dead end. :o

I like many of the ideas you suggested, especially around the center city, but (and I'm stating the obvious) many of them could never occur because they link decent neighborhoods with crime ridden neighborhoods and the traffic generated on these newly found shortcuts would be tremendous.

As for a new suggestion (maybe you mentioned it), remap the entire midtown area so there are far fewer of those crazy intersections.

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Sorry for getting off topic. I think a lot of the connectivity suggestions you made are great.
That's okay.

What's up with this road? I went off the exit once in the dead of night only to find a dead end.

NCDOT seems to think that every road they build must be a freeway. This project has seen delays because they can't afford the costs associated with shutting off access to all the landowners. They are required to give transportation to every address, so they would have to build all sorts of driveways to compensate for building a limited access road. I think it is ridiculous that it was ever planned to be limited access, as they already have a freeway connector to 85 a mile away.

I think budget pressures are causing CDOT and NCDOT to reconsider and allow one or two driveways. In the meantime, this is just a disconnected stretch of quasi-freeway.

As to your comment of rich and poor neighborhoods, you are absolutely right, and I'm sure that will contribute to the fact that few of those changes would happen. One possible exception of being a part of a transit area plans. The South Blvd Pedscape Plan includes a number of those. (I was reading that 80 page doc yesterday, and got excited to see some connections are planned that I've always thought should be done, so that is when I posted to see if other connectivity dreams are out there.)

I'm sure you are right, though, especially some of the Little Sugar Creek crossings. There would threat of serious violence from the Buffy's and Miffy's down there.

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Here we go again with Buffy and Miffy.. lol. But yeah, it's true that 2 things that divide income levels and "poorer" versus "richer" neighborhoods are the creeks and railroad tracks. I think whatever effect connectivity would have on these neighborhoods though would be interesting to see.

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I think connectivity would do little damage to richer neighborhoods. It isn't like criminals don't know how to weave around the streets to get to the neighborhoods now.

There is decent connectivity between Cherry and Myers Park, and there is very good connectivity between Optimist Park and First Ward, just for two examples.

It is more of a perception issue.

But just like the Carmel/Colony condos, it would be very contentious, even if the reality is that it probably helps the neighborhood more than hurts.

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What's up with this road?

City Blvd, was once known as the 49 to Graham St. connector. Basically it was to run from Hwy 49, go straight through University Volvo, cross 85 & Neil road as it does today then continue on until it was to meet up with the extension of Graham street north of Sugar Creek. This plan was originally proposed in 1987 or so and here we are 20 years later and there is only a small section built. The Graham St. extension (which would have gone to Mallard Creek) was never built despite a sign at Graham & Sugar Creek that has been there for more than a decade suggesting otherwise.

My guess is that we won't see the rest of it built any time soon as there is no political pressure for this road and it keeps being push further down the list. I have been told the only reason the small section of City Blvd that was built was due to pressure from First Union (aka Wachovia) because of the CIC. Basically it delivers the Wachovia employee to 85 without requiring them to get onto Harris.

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I was going to increase my burn radius to everything outside of Charlotte Rt. 4.

That hurts man! You've just burned down my great mid-century mod! Cotswold would be great if the city actually built all the roads that were planned for the hood. The rights of way still exist. My section is actually on a grid system, but the city never finished all the connections. McAlway and Walker roads could add a lot to connectivity if they had access to Wendover and the neighborhood south of Walker.

My real pet peeve is Plaza Midwood. How many dead ends are there in that place? You cannot seemingly get from the heart of the neighborhood to Central Avenue on any road except Club.

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If they own the rights of way, why can't the city just build the connections!

I also have wondered for a while whether it would actually solve part of the problem if they would just buy the rights of way and grade it. I think dirt roads would be more useful than not having the connections at all. It would keep a lot of cut through traffic out, too, to keep the nimby's happy.

I think some roads, which are way too narrow right now should also just get a widening initially with just dirt grading and rights of way.

In part, it would shame the state for not funding our road needs, but mainly it would allow for building transportation capacity the old fashioned way. Without waiting for all the fancy modern (and expensive) stuff like asphalt, paint, curbs, gutters, etc., short connections could be built in a matter of days. It seems silly to pave roads in america anyway, as everybody seems to own an off-road vehicle anyway, so why waste all the money on asphalt.

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Huh? There are several roads that connect that part of Plaza Midwood to central.

I guess I my point is that are at least 10 streets in the neighborhood (between The Plaza and Truman and Central that "stub out". They were supposed to go somewhere, but were never finished (Tippah, Winter, Browning, Peppercorn, Nandina, Hall, Onslow, Chatham, Fort, and Chambwood).

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In Belmont, they are closing off streets to frustrate criminals running away from the police. That is really hurting connectivity, in an otherwise very connected neighborhood. I wonder if some of Plaza-Midwood's connectivity problems (relatively speaking it is still pretty good overall) arose during its period of high crime.

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I'm not sure. I think crime is worse in Midwood now than it was 20 years ago. I know a number of people that live on Thomas where they have gotten used to being routinely robbed 2-3X year. And over off Belvadere near Ashland, another aquaintence of mine got cleaned out when the robbers show up with a moving van and practically emptied the place out. Its amazing that happened and nobody called the police.

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