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Streetcar #401 in the wild at North yard. Testing (in the yard) was underway this afternoon.      

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14 hours ago, RANYC said:

It's funny you should bring this up.  I checked out Big Ben the other night and was bemused by the situation on Elizabeth.  Feels like there's potential there for an entertainment district, or at least a vibrant, pedestrian-prioritized corridor of amusements and revelry.  Yet, no one has thought to consider that stretch for a brewery  or beer garden or even an apartment tower.  I've wondered what might be holding it back from fulfilling its potential as a bustling and walkable corridor of mixed uses...a rare scene in Charlotte. 

 

Most the land is owned by CPCC or Novant right?

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CPCC only owns the plot right at Elizabeth and Charlottetown. The vast majority of the empty land is otherwise owned by Novant. "Providence Road Partners" has quite a few parcels on the south side of Elizabeth.

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My understanding from a few contacts is that Novant has final say on most of the vacant parcels and is being very conservative if not downright against any development on these parcels. They are worried about needing them in the future for hospital expansion. The gist I got is that Novant is holding this strip hostage. 

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CBJ on Phase 3 of the Gold Line. The article also confirms an “August” opening date for Phase 2.

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Charlotte Area Transit System CEO John Lewis said the final route plan won’t be completed until the summer of 2023. The latest forecasts moved the estimated finish date for the Gold Line to 2033 from 2030.

A big roadblock, as always, is funding. But the phase 3 plan brings particular challenges. Some or all of the last legs will run on transit-specific right-of-way rather than tracks embedded in the road. 

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2021/07/23/streetcar-phase-3-to-be-slow-train-coming.html

Edited by kermit
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1 hour ago, kermit said:

CBJ on Phase 3 of the Gold Line. The article also confirms the August open date for Phase 2.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2021/07/23/streetcar-phase-3-to-be-slow-train-coming.html

Two whole years for a *route plan*? Isn't the line straight down Beatties Ford and Central? The incompetence at CATS will never cease to amaze me

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27 minutes ago, Hushpuppy321 said:

Does anyone know if CATS is proposing the same type of deal with JCSU, CPCC and J&W that it has with UNCC for a Tuition Transportation Surcharge ($50) to help support the Goldline?

Honestly hate dumping a fee on students just because they are captive and forced to pay something just to go to school. It doesn't seem like much, but for a student who might be working a part time job to help pay for school, that could be a half-day of work for something they might not need or ever use. I'd be much more in favor of a reduced pass being offered to students who want / need it. 

Edited by CLT2014
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If I recall correctly, CPCC did a survey 2-3 years ago gauging interest in such a thing.  However, I never heard any results and I'm not a student there anymore so I don't know what the school's position is.

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5 hours ago, Merthecat said:

If I recall correctly, CPCC did a survey 2-3 years ago gauging interest in such a thing.  However, I never heard any results and I'm not a student there anymore so I don't know what the school's position is.

Yes, and here's a link to a CPCC blog where they posted a couple times in 2019 about taking the survey, but I see no follow-up about the results.

http://blogs.cpcc.edu/cpcctoday/tag/cats/

Screenshot_20210726-144646_Chrome.jpg

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On 7/23/2021 at 6:34 PM, buildleft said:

The line could have its own ROW in the median and avoid the costly acquisition process altogether. And if the city actually wants to boost transit as a policy goal, then it should be fine with making central a two lane road.

Even with the more complex acquisition process, it shouldn't necessarily take this long. Plenty of peer cities in other parts of the world do it faster (and for less money). In Montreal, the 42 mi automated light metro project REM was proposed in 2016 and started construction in 2018. Yes, there were land acquisitions involved. The line will open in phases between next year and 2024. In Seattle, Northgate Link had a design process that was slightly shorter in length than our timeline, despite being significantly more complicated and entirely underground/elevated. Surely our problems can't all be fixed overnight, but all I'm saying is that it's possible to have an expedited process for a not-so-large project (the eastern extension is only 4 miles). When $650+ million are being spent on a few thousand daily riders, we should start to question the choices being made on transit spending and administration.

Also, it doesn't inspire much confidence that Lewis said it will act "more like a commuter rail than a streetcar".  It should definitely have an exclusive ROW, but it obviously won't be "like" commuter rail at all. And it's disheartening that our transit leaders won't stop prioritizing the 9-5 commuter, because this does not represent most transit riders and certainly will not on the Gold Line. 

Running the Gold Line down the middle of Central (similar to the Blue Line running down North Tryon) seems like the only viable option for this corridor. Carving out a new ROW in this area would be extremely expensive and would also likely run into neighborhood opposition. CATS should definitely consider road dieting Central to help with the cost of acquiring land. 
 

My takeaway from Lewis’ comments about operating more similar to commuter rail makes me think there will be less stations on the Gold Line the further it goes out. After the Gold Line passes through Plaza Midwood, it should operate more like a traditional light rail, with dedicated ROW, and stations more further apart. Go a step further and extent it pass Eastland, onto Albemarle Road, and run it out to the current bus hub on Albemarle/Lawyers. Maybe even further out to 485, as that area is exploding in growth and could also pickup commuters traveling from Carbarrus and Stanly counties. 
 

The same could be true for the north-end of the line. Make it essentially a light rail after crossing I-85, and run it up to Northlake. Maybe even further to downtown Huntersville, if that’s feasible. 

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On 7/16/2021 at 9:38 AM, tozmervo said:

Just caught this in the latest CDOT Street Use Notice. I think we can all agree that it would be super weird to have this event and not have the streetcar open yet.

August 7, 2021: CATS CityLYNX Gold Line Community Events
This event is to thank the community, residents, and businesses for their support of the cityLYNX Gold Line Streetcar Phase II Project.

The events will be held at three locations:

Trade Street between Brevard Street and the entrance to the bus station (westbound lanes only)
Trade Street between Montgomery Street and S. Bruns Ave. (eastbound lanes only)
Elizabeth Ave. between Travis Street and Hawthorne Ave. (eastbound lanes only)
Events hours are 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lanes will close at 5:00 a.m. and reopen at 6:30 p.m.

image.png.46355f48867e044ac1c41fbd5c37cddc.png
 

AC4195AF-E3B5-4878-B257-D92FEFD580EE.jpeg

Edited by kermit
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