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Big Changes coming to uptown streets?


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On the Channel 9 news last night and again in today's Observer there have been hints about some major changes coming to the streets of uptown Charlotte, changes that should make things easier for both pedestrians and motorists. Does anyone have any idea what these changes might be? Apparently, there will be a story about it tomorrow night during the six o'clock news on WSOC.

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I saw that, too. I'm guessing that they're just doing a puff piece about Brevard Street's improvements. I can't imagine that they've uncovered some big public secret that hasn't already been discussed on UP.

Also, as a pedestrian, I really like one-way streets. They're much safer because you only have to contend with one source of traffic. There are problems with one-ways of course, but that's a pretty big bonus to me.

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So Channel 9 does a big story and nobody knows anything more than they did before they aired it. i.e. No questions answered, no relevance, could apply to a city on the moon if the names were changed, etc. Nothing new here. They should try to put as much effort here as they do in trying to dig up dirt on people by combing the police reports.

On the Observer article, I would say that stating that Charlotte will be made easier to navigate by car AND pedestrians isn't something that is easily accomplished. Either they are just parroting something they have heard without question (as usual) or they don't understand (also very common).

Both these media outlets have been very negligent in holding the city responsible for planning decisions made, and the failure, when approving new development, to relate it livability against these kinds of plans. When was the last time that either made any mention of a transit corridor?

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I'm going to close this thread and remind all the newer UPers what most long time readers know: local TV news almost NEVER does a story about anything that is in the Urban Planet sphere of interest that is not already been covered in depth in one or a hundred places on here! :shades:

I will write a summary of all the changes going on and which threads are appropriate for their discussion rather than leave this vague thread open about a vague TV 'news' story.

Third Ward:

First things first, if the story was purely about making 4th street 2-way, then obviously the story was WAY late and WAY overkill, and certain kinda stupid considering those changes are part of the stadium deal which is held up in court.

The public is planning to pay for 3rd Ward street changes by having the Knights do them and then get paid back over time with a tax rebate. Most of these changes were in the plans to be done anyway but would need to be sped up in conjunction with redevelopment of that area:

- Eliminate the high speed connector from 4th to 3rd just west of Graham

- Extend the two-way/"bidirectional" section of 4th St from the railroad tracks to Mint

- Close 3rd between Graham and Mint now that that traffic will stay on 4th all the way to Mint

- Make Mint bidirectional from Trade to MLK, just like it is south of MLK and like Pine St is north of Trade

- Eliminate the high speed connector from Mint to Poplar just south of 3rd, where the park is planned

I am not sure these two are funded with the stadium but they are in the plans and near the other stadium work:

- Make Poplar bidirectional from 3rd to 6th

- Make MLK bidirectional from Mint to College

These projects can be discussed with in the and threads.

Other plans that are likely to happen within the next few years and not funded with the stadium are:

- Add side streets between Graham and the railroad to serve Gateway Station and remake the grid there.

- Eliminate the high speed turn lanes on J&W Way to make it more pedestrian friendly to serve the project there

The Gateway Station projects can be discussed

Other plans in Third Ward that are not likely to happen soon are:

- Extend MLK to Cedar

- Add some sort of pedestrian/bicycle crossing between 3rd Ward and SouthEnd that might come in the form of a bridge or a freeway cap discussed

Second Ward:

Second Ward is also receiving major street rework around major projects. Most of those efforts are funded or are receiving close attention by the city. First, there are some major changes around the Nascar Hall of Fame which are funded as part of that project:

- Redesign of South/277 interchange to include 2 lights, eliminate high speed connectors and sell off the land. This effort can be discussed here.

- Making Brevard bidirectional between Stonewall and Trade and making it a signature pedestrian street, which can be discussed

- Making Calwell bidirectional between Stonewall and Trade

The Nascar Hall of Fame can be discussed

There are also plans to redevelop the area in and around Marshall Park in keeping with the Second Ward Master Plan. The idea was to build a new park that is surrounded by residential projects to help make the area more sustainable. Part of the funds went to the land swaps with the city to make the 3rd Ward projects viable. If the stadium deals are upheld by the courts, Spectrum will get this land and build "Brooklyn Village". Street changes will be:

- A sidestreet grid around the new 2nd Ward Park between 3rd, MLK, McDowell and Davidson

The 2nd Ward projects that include Brooklyn Village can be discussed here.

There is a long term plan that is not funded that will add a connector across 277 connectin Davidson to Euclid.

First Ward:

First Ward had most of its street changes in the 1990s in conjunction with its redevelopment. However, there are still plans for street changes around the UNCC campus and the planned First Ward Park next to UNCC. The plans are:

- Eliminate 8th between the rail corridor and Brevard

- Make Brevard birectional between 6th and 12th

- Possibly add a street along the rail line between 7th and 9th to support development of Levine's master plan.

While everyone has reason to be skeptical about Levine's plans, there are some influences that are expected to happen in the next five years that might help spur some movement. UNCC has already budgetted for spaces in a deck underneath its building and the proposed First Ward Park. The county and city are actively talking to make plans. There is also the planned NE extension of the Lynx, which is expected in the next 5 years. These might help jumpstar plans for the land that Levine has banked and allow for the associated street changes to occur. Levine's plans can be discussed and UNCC's plans for uptown can be discussed

The county has approved a sale of the Hal Marshall site north of 9th St. There are plans for extending 10th st to Brevard and it is probable that this will happen when the new Hal Marshall site owners redevelop the land. That site can be discussed .

There are other long term plans, but do not have clear funding sources yet:

- Making Caldwell bidirectional between 5th and 12th

- Eliminating the eastbound 277 entrance ramp from Davidson Street

- Making 11th bidirectional between Davidson and 10th

- Extending 5th to Kings across Little Sugar Creek

Fourth Ward:

There are no major funding efforts for the street updates in Fourth Ward, but there are some smaller scale projects that are likely to happen in the next few years:

- Eliminate the high speed turn from 6th to Graham

- Eliminate the railroad crossings from Smith to Seaboard and along 9th in conjunction with the Seaboard Extension

- Add a streetlight on Graham at 8th St to slow traffic and facilitate pedestrian crossing

- Eliminate the Right Turn Only at 10th and Church, allowing the use of 10th to Tryon (likely to happen with redevelopment of the Renaissance Place block and Hal Marshall site)

The Seaboard Street extension can be discussed in the NC Music Factory thread The Renaissance Place site can be discussed http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/31786-skyhouse-charlotte-at-former-renaissance-place-site/. There has also been some discussions about the closures of existing railroad crossings in pursuit of a quiet zone here.

Other projects are in the plans but are not likely to happen soon:

- Widening sidewalks and eliminating street parking on 5th between Church and Tryon

The 5th St changes next to Ivey's has been discussed in conjunction with the [stalled] project to redevelop the first floor of that building http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/35358-fifth-street-pedscape-ivey39s-building-retail-improvements/.

Uptown in General

There are also some summary threads talking about these types of plans. There is a thread

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/9403-uptown-charlotte-street-and-sidewalk-plans/ that is the main topic about the Uptown Street plans. The thread http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/45909-uptown-charlotte-streetscape-standards/ discusses the streetscape standards that are being worked on by the city.

Furthermore, you might be interested in other pedestrian and bike infrastruction connecting uptown to the rest of the city by discussing the Little Sugar Creek Greenway project http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/9226-charlotte-greenways-and-trails/ and the Charlotte Bike Master Plan http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/43040-charlotte-bike-lanes/.

You might want to view the source material for all of these discussions on the city website:

- Center City Transportation Plan

- Urban Street Design Guidelines

- Pedestrian and Bicycle Connectivity Projects

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