Jump to content

Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line


dubone

Recommended Posts


Yeah, though by the time they actually get it over here I'd probably be done (I started in 05) and maybe even in another area of Charlotte (or even the country) by then. Never know where life will take me once I finish. I do like this area though been here so long now, I'd probably get my own apartment though instead of sharing like I do now. But yeah like I said if it was over here it would be so useful. Thing felt so quiet and the views were cool. Some of the stations though don't really look as good as other ones do, but in general they did a pretty good job and there was plenty of places to park at the station I used (sharon road , it was like the station right after the last one at 485)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if this is old news or not, but this is a press release that just came from CATS:

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS LEGISLATION INCLUDES FUNDING FOR NORTHEAST BLUE LINE EXTENSION

Charlotte, N.C., July 30, 2009 - The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is pleased to announce that the Senate Transportation Appropriations legislation contains $24 million for the next phase of planning, engineering and design of the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might be wrong and what isn't being reported, is this is money that CATS has already spent without knowing if they would get the funding or not. The Charlotte city council decided to take the chance on this. If I am correct then of course the local media isn't reporting this part now.

The interesting thing to note however in the article about the House turning down the $30M request, is the single line at the bottom of the article that says an internal memo at CATS says it won't have the money to build the North line for at least the next decade. I am not sure how this leaked out, but then again I have contended for a long time that CATS has incompetent and that includes keeping their own secrets, well... secret. However I've also said for a long time they have no intention of building the North line next, no matter what they have indicated, as it's clear they intend to pull all the stops to build that LRT extension. It's why the North line won't be built, why the city of Charlotte is stuck with the streetcar, and why they pushed so hard to keep LRT from being the plan of record for the SE line.

While they may be incompetent, even they know the value of a $2B federal funded project. In any case, it will be interesting to see if this funding request survives. If this earmark is approved, it will be, by far, the largest earmark assigned to the state on this go around. The next project even remotely close to this is the dredging of Oregon Inlet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


^The "I might be wrong comment" was in regards to the $30M earmark, not what is happening to the North line. It would help to try and read what I posted. However it is the inaction of the MTC as to why this line isn't being built now. It's ready, it's designed, the people around it support it, yet it isn't going anywhere, because the MTC is afraid of the Charlotte city council.

I do believe however this stalemate might change after the November elections. It will depend on what the people vote in for new members of this organization.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.bytrain.org/arra/nc10_sugar_cre..._separation.pdf

Here is the "pre-application" for the Sugar Creek Grade Separation, a railroad improvement that is a pre-requisite for the NE Extension of the Blue line. That project's estimated costs are $41m, so it is good that it can be funded outside of CATS's budget.

Here is a rendering of the separation and the associated Lynx station. (The station itself is not part of this project, but will remain a CATS project).

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/ewm3v...9SUGARCREEK.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.bytrain.org/arra/nc10_sugar_cre..._separation.pdf

Here is the "pre-application" for the Sugar Creek Grade Separation, a railroad improvement that is a pre-requisite for the NE Extension of the Blue line. That project's estimated costs are $41m, so it is good that it can be funded outside of CATS's budget.

Here is a rendering of the separation and the associated Lynx station. (The station itself is not part of this project, but will remain a CATS project).

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/ewm3v...9SUGARCREEK.pdf

For some reason, the bytrain.org link crashes my Adobe plugins. On both my desktop and laptop.

Can someone lift the image so I can see it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


^I believe those are renderings from 15% plans. For 30%, CATS may opt to instead leave Tryon for UNCC at-grade.

As for Tryon & Harris, NCDOT would ideally grade-separate that intersection similar to NC-49 (U-City Blvd.) & Harris, with Harris becoming free-flow beneath present-day Tryon. Then, LRT line could stay at-grade on Tryon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is good. I think it absurd that CATS argued how reasonable it was to cross one side of South Blvd to save costs and turn around and add a significant cost for crossing one direction of Tryon, which is a similar roadway. If it causes the whole project to balloon in costs to the point it is in jeopardy of happening, then it is pointless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tryon/Harris is the heart of the University area and it would truly take a hit if they put an ugly light rail bridge over it as pictured above. It would further divide the area. They should really embrace the opportunity to redesign that intersection to encourage connectivity and slow down traffic. They should stick with the plan to bury Harris. Something like Dupont Circle in DC would be great, where Connecticut Avenue runs under the park/circle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like your thinking tiblerbit, but Harris/Tryon is one of the most congested intersections in Charlotte. Due to the volumes of traffic and the fact that NCDOT controls both roads I think that one is a lost cause. It may work better to focus on JW Clay and McCollough as the ped-friendly alternatives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really love the UNCC entrance design. Adding a light for the LRT at the grade crossing point would really hurt the already congested traffic flow at this point during midday (while the university classes are changing) and during afternoon rush hour. That said, I would like to see less traffic flowing along this point, but that is already a lost cause. Having an extra light for the LRT to cross Tryon could alter traffic patterns back past the 29/49 connector.

As for the Tryon-Harris intersection. The once proposed traffic circle/park idea of burying Harris is a pipe-dream, but one I would fall in love with. It would improve so many things within this area, most specifically pedestrian safety. Alternately, they could bury Tryon and the LRT line and have the station underground with pedestrian tunnels coming out to each corner. I've seen designs like that in the suburbs of Sydney, AU.

How they would be able to construct either of these scenarios under present traffic conditions, I have no idea. There isn't room to temporarily divert traffic anywhere else. The bridge idea seems like the only feasible way to build this crossing.

Edited by aussie luke
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trains crossing NB Tryon at-grade onto campus wouldn't require a signal, just gates, similar to to how trains now cross SB South Blvd between Freeland and Old Pineville. But better than the crossing on South Blvd, there would be a lot more space on N. Tryon for stacking of cars while the gates were down. And that's also essential, if Tryon is expected to carry nearly twice as many cars as South Blvd.

As for Harris & Tryon, the roadway grade-sep would more likely be a SPUI or compact diamond, instead of a circle, so as to minimize R/W impacts. However, since such grade-sep is unfunded, it's unlikely to be done prior to the BLE project. As a result, we may end up with the visual impacts of a LYNX bridge (sim to Woodlawn) over today's at-grade intersection and someday an even more unsightful tri-level grade-sep, where an at-grade Tryon would be in the middle of LYNX overhead and Harris underneath. Ideally, the roadway grade-sep would be constructed in conjunction with the transit project, so as to keep LYNX level with Tryon. And putting something below-grade (as Harris would be) is less of a visual impact. Still, I'm not sure how well crossing gates would work at a SPUI.

Edited by southslider
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am intrigued by the concern about the visual impacts of Harris/Tryon intersection. Harris is 8 lanes (including turn lanes) and Tryon is 7 lanes. It is a massive swath of asphalt, so it is already the lowest level of urban aesthetics possible. A LRT bridge doesn't detract from that, it improves it, as it makes you think as you pass by that there is some hope for the area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Very true, Dubone. Plus, there will not be a station at this wide intersection, or someday tri-level interchange. Rather, there are stations planned at McCullough to the south and JW Clay to the north. As a result, Harris-Tryon remains a pedestrian wasteland increasingly too difficult to fix. If nothing else, you would maybe see better crosswalks and treatments here similar to Woodlawn and South, from which the Woodlawn station is also a far distance.

It's likely too difficult to incent TOD at an interchange anyway. On the Southeast Corridor, there is no Eastway/Wendover station either, but ones either side of it, where development potential is stronger and/or abutting destinations (i.e. Coliseum) are more directly served. Up in the University area, the destinations for a walk-up (no park-and-ride) JW Clay station would likely be the hospital and University Place.

In the end, it seems mostly motorists would be looking at any bridges at this big intersection (or someday interchange). Granted, CMC-University, the Ghazi strip mall, and University Place may all still be concerned about their visibility from Harris and Tryon. But all they need to do then is focus their attention on other Tryon entrances, especially pedestrian-friendly ones north and south of this dead zone near stations. While everyone on Harris will be zipping by faster, hopefully Tryon will utlimately be calmed at its intersections, especially stations. But again, Harris is thankfully not a station.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • dubone unpinned this topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.