CharlotteDave

Charlotte Greenways - The Big Picture

160 posts in this topic

In the past, when people have talked about Charlotte lacking an identity, some have suggested that part of the problem is the lack of a signature physical feature such as an ocean, mountains, etc. Others have argued that isn't necessarily true, that more than anything else Charlotte is a city of creeks. Now, with relatively little fanfare, that concept really seems to be taking shape. Up until now, the Sugar Creek Greenway project has received most of the publicity and understandably so, but I've been surprised at all the other greenway plans I'm constantly hearing about. The latest news, as reported in Sunday's Observer, concerns a proposed greenway that would stretch from uptown Charlotte to the Whitewater Center in western mecklenburg passing through historic Lakewood along the way. The plan is still in the conceptual stage, but sounds like it has a good chance to be approved in the coming months. Recently the Bryant Park developement was approved in that same general area of town and that also includes a greenway along Stewart Creek. A little further north there are plans for a Long Creek Greenway that over the long term would stretch from the Mountain Island area all the way to the North Park mall area. Apparently there are also numerous greenways being planned in other areas of Charlotte because I'm always hearing them mentioned during the county commission meetings.

The Park and Recreation master plan has identified 34 stream-based greenway corridors, so it is certainly no exaggeration to call Charlotte a city of creeks. When one really pays attention, it seems like it's hard to drive more than a few minutes anywhere in the city without seeing evidence of a creek. In their current state, many of these creeks don't look very inviting, but hoepfully that will change over time as more and more of these plans come to fruition. Who knows? Maybe some day in the not too disant future, Charlotte will be known for its creeks, but regardless of that, I think this greenway craze is a very encouraging trend.

Below are the greenways listed under the 10 year priority plan:

Barton Creek Greenway

Briar Creek Greenway

Coffey Creek Greenway

Irvins Creek Greenway

Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Long Creek Greenway

Mallard Creek Greenway

McAlpine Creek Greenway

Paw Creek Greenway

Six Mile Creek Greenway

Steele Creek Greenway

Wesley Heights Greenway

Edited by CharlotteDave

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I've often said that Charlotte's topography is defined by the sloping terraces that end at our creeks. Neighborhoods including Myers Park, Eastover, Barclay Downs, Madison Park, Montclaire, Starmount and many others have this feature. Our nascent greenway system will really take advantage of this and I'm happy about it.

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Here is the county's website on Greenways.

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Park+a...enways/Home.htm

I have long wanted the county to accelerate their greenway spending, as I think it is extremely valuable for getting the parks to more people and protecting the watersheds.

I think a major reason they haven't sped them up is that they seem to get DOT funding for many of the trails, and must wait through that torturously long process.

As I posted in other threads about the Master Plan, I would hope that they shelve any big ticket items and instead focus on accelerating their core mission. It would be great to have the city and county jointly put up a $250m bond for a vote to complete certain phases of greenways, sidewalks and bike paths. The city sidewalk system is added to in minUTE installments each year. It would be great for the city and county to work together to recognize we need significantly better systems for bicycling and walking, especially between parks.

Look how much of the Meck County Greenway system is simply 'planned'. You can't get much exercise or get anywhere on bike on a planned greenway.

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/e7bbs...reenwayMap2.pdf

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For those in South Charlotte, the McMullen Creek / 4 Mile Creek greenway extension is set to open in late May/early June (I recently emailed the Park and Rec director). The newest extension will begin at Johnson Rd and make its way to Trader Joes on Rea Rd. Currently the McMullen Creek greenway runs four miles from Highway 51 to Johnson Rd. There will be a parking lot and restrooms at Johnson Rd (for those that don't know, it is just north of Red Robin/Torrington. You can see the bridges are compelete all the way to Elm Rd and all that looks left is the paving of the actual trail and some finishing of the boardwalks.

When complete, the trail will run a total of 8 miles one way. This is great news for runners like myself and for bikers looking for a nice carefree 16 miles.

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Park+a...ileGreenway.htm

Like others, I REALLY wish they would speed up development of some of the other connecting greenways. Eventually the McMullen Creek greenway is to meet up with the McAlpine Creek greenway...that would be like 16 miles one way of trail!!!

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East of this, Matthews is set to see construction this year on a 2 mile section of greenway. If you look at the greenway map, the trail ending at Trader Joes will continue eastward on the south side of 51 and connect with the Matthews trail...eventually. It will also connect to a huge sportsplex and mixed-use TOD project at Independence and 485. They need to redesign the map so that the key doesn't cover up the trail location in Matthews

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I recently got my first look at the Mallard Creek greenway and was very impressed with what I saw. I didn't have time to see too much of it right then, but I saw the part that has the boardwalk for the first mile or so, and I understand it hooks up with other greenways that stretch all the way to the University Research Park. It was also a nice looking creek.

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It goes further than the University Research Park. It goes underneath Mallard Creek Road next to the Montessori School, and for several more miles past various neighborhoods until it hits ~Prosperity Church Road past Tradition Golf Course. It even has a split that goes under Harris Blvd behind the Harris Teeter.

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I used to ride the Mallard Creek Greenway quite a bit. It's a a very nice greenway for sure. If you have the time I recommend going past the research park because there are some really beautiful parts through there, especially in the fall.

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For those in South Charlotte, the McMullen Creek / 4 Mile Creek greenway extension is set to open in late May/early June (I recently emailed the Park and Rec director). The newest extension will begin at Johnson Rd and make its way to Trader Joes on Rea Rd. Currently the McMullen Creek greenway runs four miles from Highway 51 to Johnson Rd. There will be a parking lot and restrooms at Johnson Rd (for those that don't know, it is just north of Red Robin/Torrington. You can see the bridges are compelete all the way to Elm Rd and all that looks left is the paving of the actual trail and some finishing of the boardwalks.

When complete, the trail will run a total of 8 miles one way. This is great news for runners like myself and for bikers looking for a nice carefree 16 miles.

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Park+a...ileGreenway.htm

Like others, I REALLY wish they would speed up development of some of the other connecting greenways. Eventually the McMullen Creek greenway is to meet up with the McAlpine Creek greenway...that would be like 16 miles one way of trail!!!

That's great! I used the McMullen Creek greenway while training for a marathon - It got a bit boring to do 12+ mile runs though since you would have to go back and forth. Excited to hear about this.

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McAlpine Creek Greenway

A lot of cross county meets are held here by High Schools and colleges.

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Edited by RiverwoodCLT

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McAlpine is a great park/greenway. I go running there all the time and it's constantly full of people either running/walking, using the dog park, playing soccer, fishing, etc. I can't wait until the extend the greenway further and connect it to the other ones.

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Does anyone have any idea when this greenway will be expanded? After all, it's 30 years old! It's frustrating to basically see where a trail could easily go on the west side of Sardis Rd towards Providence.

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So many of the creeks run more north-south that I think east-west connections are missing in the Greenway Plan. Sure, that would be even more miles of planned trails and linear parkland, but why not think big? And to me, the biggest opportunities are along our overly wide freeway rights-of-way.

For example, I'd love to see an east-west connector along Cedar Yards and Belk between Irwin/Stewart and Little Sugar Creek Greenways, as well as a connector along Independence (that's today's only fully limited-access section with feasible width in its adjacent berms) between Little Sugar and Briar Creek Greenways. Obviously, such routes would require the more-painful-than-necessary coordination with NCDOT, but in the meantime, the City could preserve space as part of its inherited real estate from the I-277/Nascar rebuild for a greenway there.

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One of the weekly newspapers, the Mt. Island Monitor, had some interesting tidbits about the Mallard Creek and Long Creek greenways that are part of the November bond issue. The plan is to extend the Mallard Creek greenway all the way to North Park Mall while the Long Creek greenway will extend from North Park all the way to the Whitewater Center. Looks like all roads lead to the Whitewater Center. With this news plus the recent plans for a greenway around the old Coliseum site at Tyvola, the big picture for Charlotte greenways is really starting to take shape. It should be very interesting when all of these projects are completed.

Edited by CharlotteDave

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I used to use the Mallard Creek Greenway to bike to work when I lived by the university and worked in the "Research" park. I liked seeing the deer. I like the plans for the Toby Creek greenway; it will connect with the Mallard Creek greenway and run through the UNCC campus to Hwy 49 near Harris.

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Can anyone explain the stupidity of the County for not going ahead and turning the current Char-Meck Utilities project along Briar Creek (between Providence and Sharon roads) into a greenway?

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A coworker mentioned yesterday the city has bought the house he is renting at the end of Katonah Ave next to the Seversville Park greenway. He stated that house, and the one next to him, last on Katonah, will be razed and incorporated into the long term commuter/trolley plan. He didn't have additional info....just that the landlord has asked him to vacate within one year. Making room for commuter maintenance facility?

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The project I believe would be related to the Charlotte Trolley reboot. It was mentioned a few years ago and I believe Wells Fargo put up some money for it. It is the same organization that ran the Southend heritage trolley. I thought it was only a proposal but maybe the city and Trolley group are moving forward.

Alex

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NM

Edited by kermit

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Has anyone done a Google Maps showing the existing and planned greenways similar to the awesome Uptown Development map? The maps produced by the County are woefully lacking in resolution. Not to mention, there have been no reports from the County on how whether or not they have accomplished their 5 year goals, or are on track for their 10 years goals. The plan was released in 2008 so there should be some sort of review, right?

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^On a related note - Google maps already has built into it proposed greenways in U CIty area (Barton Creek Greenway) which surprised me as I had not even heard of that extension from the city.

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The CCP vision document for the "Rail Trail"

 

 

There are some wonderful images that transform otherwise unused nooks and crannies along the trail through Southend. Given how many "huge" project proposals we see, like capping 277, this one seems almost quaint. Maybe because of that, it's one of my favorite proposals I've seen in a long time. Better utilization of leftover spaces like this are what can really propel a neighborhood to greatness, and it is something that Southend really needs to keep from being otherwise pretty sterile.

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