Sabaidee

Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

2319 posts in this topic

I was CPCC Central Campus taking my college experience class with CMS, and Trade St & Central Ave really do need the streetcar service soon. Central Ave's route (route 9) frequency is every 5 min and it still overcrowded, everyone have to stand up. By the time all the 8 routes the pass by CPCC, on Trade Street, all the buses are really crowded.

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I think those street cars from JCSU to Eastland Mall will be very popular.

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I think more cities need streetcars. I'm glad to see Charlotte is doing it.

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There is a plan to put in a streetcar system running from Johnson C. Smith down Trade, turning left onto Hawthorn and then right onto Central and running down to Eastland. This is one reason Light Rail may not go in on Independence.

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The Charlotte Business Journal reported today that the city plans to go ahead and start some construction on the Elizabeth Ave. streetcar line next year. Plans are to improve Elizabeth Ave., improve water and sewage, and grade for a streetcar and build the foundation for the tracks. I believe grading and foundation were originally scheduled for 2007 but the city bumped that date foward saying it would be easier and less disruptive to the neighborhood if they went ahead with all of these projects at the same time instead of in three different rounds. Also in the article was a comment on CPCC paying 1 million to bury overhead lines in the area.

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Well, it'll be a lot less painful than places like Houston where a large portion of the line runs in the median of the roadway.

Portland Streetcar runs in mixed traffic, just like a bus. all you tend to lose is some parking near stops (can't even remember if Central Blvd has on street parking)

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http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte.../16/story3.html

This weekends cbj had an interesting update on the streetcar line.

it will no longer be planned to do the simple hawthorne-central route, due to the freight train tracks. Now it will cut right to run next to independence, and then left on pecan and then right on central.

Although it is a bit of ashame for the western part of central, which needs more revitalization, it is probably good that there will be more stops around the p-m biz district other than busy central.

I think the "loop" around there is complete redundant and unnecessary, though. People can walk 2 blocks!!! The only reason i would think it is okay if it is needed to improve logistics when it is the end of the line. I think it will be tricky to reverse direction on central for the decade or so it is the end of the line.

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Streetcars running next to Independence, that defeat the purpose of a streetcar even if it's for a short distance. I wish the article would tell us where the streetcar line is coming from before it parallels to Independence, Hawthorne bridge?

On another note... http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/news/11651272.htm

This makes me believe that Independence will get light rail. The Transit Commission all represents all the towns and Charlotte, but each only have one vote plus one vote from the County Commission, even though the population of Charlotte is greater than all the towns, we'd still get one vote, Mint Hill and Matthews will be eager to vote for light rail with probably other towns teaming up votes like Pineville to vote for light rail on Independence. I personally don't like the set up of the Transit Commission, it's a compromise of an independent Transit Authority and the Charlotte City Council. It prevents Charlotte from making all the transit decisions and a Transit Authority that would have Charlotte appointing the majority of its member. But the Transit Commission is nothing but an advisory board for CATS. Charlotte City Council must approve all contracts as CATS is a Charlotte identity. The Transit Commission suppose to review itself anyways as part of the plan to see if it should evolve into a true Transit Authority.

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Ideally, the freight crossing would be elevated, but CSX would never pay for that since they aren't affected by the at grade crossing....I believe the streetcar will come across the Hawthorne Bridge and drop down from Independence where Pecan is......I kind of like this set-up.....the loop idea is very European in practice.

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the more i think of it, the more i like the loop.

S&Z, i understand your concern about the independence connection on the streetcar, but i believe that this will be implemented in a way to avoid the problems you are worried about.

Here is the sat of the area

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=charlotte&ll...07703&t=k&hl=en

They are not talking about being in independence, but rather just outside the row on the patchwork of side streets between 'party time' and the freeway. It could solve many problems if they create a straight grid-like connector street between hawthorne, lamar and pecan. This is perfectly in keeping with streetcar's purpose of enhancing the urban fabric.

i think the reason for taking that route, (as is seen well in the sat image) is that there is already a grade separation valley for the tracks, so a simple short-span bridge creates the grade separation, which would be impossible and complex if done on central (with either trains or street crossing overhead).

Just correcting the street network there will go a long way to improving connectivity, as right now, the only connector between hawthorne and the p-m biz district is central ave.

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on the "light rail" to matthews discussion... the more i think about it, the more i strongly dislike the idea of rail on independence. That should be a busway HOV just as currently being built west of sharon amity.

I am surprised it hasn't come up yet to extend street car further as east/southeast's rail transit. They could continue the line from eastland to continue in the same direction to follow lawyers road to "downtown" mint hill and then cut south to connect mint hill to matthew on 51 or something.

i just don't get the obsession with independence. it will be hugely expensive to put rail transit on independence. Streetcar could be effective and cheaper, and simply be extended in phases until it reaches the towns. A route like Lawyers will put it in the heart of residential east charlotte, and avoid the mess of independence, which can continue to be bus transit as it is widened/converted over time.

No additional rights of way, no additional facilities, no major engineering, no stations, but two transit corridors.

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I really like streetcars, though I believe that about 5 miles is as long as you would want one segment, otherwise it just gets too slow.

I actually think that Charlotte should focus on creating a network of streetcars inside within the area bound by Idlewild, Fairview, Tyvola, Billy Graham, I-85, Sugar Creek, Shamrock, and Sharon Amity.

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the cost is the one wildcard. i keep having the impression that they are cheap... and if charlotte could afford it in the olden days... why not now. But with the cost numbers i've seen of the beatties/central streetcar line.. it just seems through the roof.

but i think another streetcar line that would be good would be another spur from the eliz ave streetcar, going south on hawthorne, then out through providence business district and then turning down providence (ha ha) to either wendover or sharon lakes, and then down sharon to south park.

Basically, the theory is that the main transit corridors go SE, SW, W, N, and NE and go from county border to center city. The streetcars, then would go to major activity centers within 5 mi of center city between the other corridors (ie. Southpark, Eastland, and Beatties Ford/85).

(my preference would still be that the "long" SE route would be rail on some non-independence corridor.)

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but i think another streetcar line that would be good would be another spur from the eliz ave streetcar, going south on hawthorne, then out through providence business district and then turning down providence (ha ha) to either wendover or sharon lakes, and then down sharon to south park. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That would be the line that makes most sense to me (the Sharon Amity to Sharon Rd. as mentioned)

Also, I believe a line along Morehead from Wilkinson to Kenilworth down Kenilworth/Park to Tyvola up to SP as well.

Also, I think The Plaza, to 30th, to Statesville, to LaSalle, to Beatties Ford would be a good cross town to join lots of lines that would stimulate some economic development.

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i agree.

a streetcar circuit that connects the spokes would be good, and much more useful to feeding the other lines than the center city streetcar loop.

I guess it is clear that from my view, there are many good options for streetcars to fill the holes in the transit plan. the key will be to getting/keeping costs low, as it should never be as as expensive as lightrail, etc. (perhaps another aspect to lower cost would be diesel streetcars. that way all they need to do is embed tracks in the road.).

The inner 5 mile radius is only going to grow more dense, especially on the thoroughfares. By setting a pattern for lower cost streetcars to overtake crowded bus routes, a streetcar network can be built over time, potentially with developers contributing to parts, just as they do with roads. ie, if you want your high density development on kenilworth, extend the tracks the extra mile, etc. That would put us back on the pattern of early last century.

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True....plus you just answered one of your earlier questions. Private developers paid for our first streetcars......the D.A. Thompkins mills paid for the Dilworth streetcars.

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There is a new plan out by CATS to actually have 3 streetcar lines.....I wish I could find the map to show.

One would be the Central/Beatties Ford line that had been announced.

They got rid of the circular line in Uptown and replace it with 2 shorter point-point lines.

One would go from 10th and Church west to Graham, Graham south to Trade, Trade east to McDowell (sharing the Trade track with the other line), south on McDowell to Stonewall/Kenilworth, southest on Kenilworth to CMC where it would loop around Pierce and come back along Scott.

The other would start on Cedar (back in the vacant 3rd Ward land south of Morehead) then head up to Trade St. in Gateway Village, and take the Trade tracks east of to McDowell, then north on McDowell, east on 10th, and finally north on Siegle up to The Plaza where it would turn around.

I love these lines (though the Kenilworth should be extended all the way down Park to Fairview and thne to SP) They aren't planned to be built until the entire 1st line is built from Eastland to 85.

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I really like the streetcar line plans, the new streetcar lines are going into very different parts of town social-economic areas. The line going towards the Plaza will pass by the current Piedmont Court housing project and then going through the Belmont neighborhood. I'm guessing that streetcar line is replacing the Route 4 (Country Club). These streetcar lines actually help ridership in the wedges between the main transit South, Southeast and Northeast lines.

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I made a map, but I'm a lil confused how the streetcar line gonna loop around The Plaza, well the map I made, I made the streetcar line looped with the Central Ave line. atlrvr can explain it more.

Streetcar Map

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I made a map, but I'm a lil confused how the streetcar line gonna loop around The Plaza, well the map I made, I made the streetcar line looped with the Central Ave line. atlrvr can explain it more.

Streetcar Map

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I realized when I saw your map I made a mistake.....the street car will go up to Parkwood, not the plaza....and dead-end (like at Cedar)

Also, the street car on Graham will actualy turn up 10th and dead end just before Church St.

The of course the Beatties Ford/Central Ave line will go as originally planned.

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So where does the streetcar line stop at Parkwood? Does it loop around?

Edited by Shawn&Zae

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i absolutely LOVE each of those lines you described.

Here are my own comments of what to change, though:

I agree, though, with your comments of extending the kenilworth , at least to turn around where Scott/Kenilworth fork by Park. That would open up those blocks to denser redev, whereas there isn't a lot of room for growth if it turns around at Pierce. Extension to SP is an eventual certainty, in my opinion, if a starter line like the k-worth is built.

I also would hope they could extend the 10th street line in Fourth ward across to the Light Rail line, and change from a 9th street LRT station to a 10th Street. That would put 2 streetcar-LRT connections to ease route-picking for commuters.

The Cedar spur is also awesome, because it ties that corner into downtown. I still have hopes that a streetcar line could go down wilkinson to the airport. But if not, i'd prefer that the cedar line didn't stop where you have listed, but rather go the extra half mile down to Bryant Park on W Morehead. I also prefer a mint route to cedar, but no big deal.

I love the idea of going up through the heart of Belmont. That would be a major investment in that community, which complements the Belmont/Hope VI plans for PiedCo.

These little spurs are an awesome way to touch on all the corridors into downtown. And have the potential for extension over time to fill the gaps of the 5 main routes.

That little loop is much less valuable to the city than the plan you describe, so if the same money can buy these routes, then awesome.

Are there any hopes for the big institutions/activity centers these pass to pay for part? Like have the developers of the Cedar/Morehead district chip in for that spur, CMC for part of K-worth spur. Does that kind of thing happen anywhere?

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So where does the streetcar line stop at Parkwood? Does it loop around?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

These are all spurs, so it is likely they just stop and start going the opposite direction. All they really need is a fancy median or something, which wouldn't be a problem on Siegel as it it not a major thoroughfare.

the map really gives a visual for how these came to be.

- Graham, McDowell and half of 10th were components of the original plan...

- Cedar replaces the southern part of Graham

- Kenilworth replaces Stonewall

- Siegel replaces the eastern part of 10th, with a little bit more length.

i love it.

too bad there is no way to do these sooner.

EDIT: here is an updated version of S&Z's map:

post-670-1117479161_thumb.jpg

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what I'm talking is look at the lil loop near CMC with Scott and Pierce street, A streetcar's turning radius is about the same as a city bus because it multisegmented, what I was wondering is, a streetcar line can't just end without a loop so it can turn around. So does the Siegle line just turn to parkwood then loop around one of the gridded street in the next block then loop back to the Siegle line?

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That map is correct......We will really began to have some decent rail-based transit coverage within 2 miles of T&T once these, and the LRT lines are built.

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