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Neo

Repairing Charlotte's sprawl

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What ideas are viable for helping to transform Charlotte's sprawl into a more urban friendly environment? Check out the following video which has mock-ups (most of which I have not seen) for transforming some major intersections into roundabouts that allow for streetcar/light rail:

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I appreciate the imagination that went into that. Some of those ideas are a little bit of a stretch (transit planners would have a heart attack after seeing "The Square at The Square"). I also take issue with the notion that the video implies roundabouts make things more urban, when they do not.

Another good one by the Civic by Design group is the Q2P2 intersection concept.

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I think a much cheaper yet still dramatic change to the square would be to paint a visually appealing full-intersection crosswalk. This would be combined with a new signal phase for scrambled pedestrian crossing. In other words, all vehicles on both Tryon and Trade would stop to allow peds to cross any direction, including diagonally.

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While the concepts are drastic and dramatic differences from what we have now, I don't think this means they are out of reach. It begins with small changes, which I think is an underlying idea presented in this video. The Square at the Square idea is particularly interesting because of its ability to get done. I think with proper persuasion and implementation, this concept is closer to reality than the others. But that doesn't mean it's going to happen. Also the Eastland concept would be a great way for the city to set a precedent on under-utilized strip mall or mall sites and turn them into urban community centers. I like the fact that this presentation didn't ignore the fact that most of these roads are extremely busy roads, look at the Central/Eastway concept. They are basically saying that automobile use isn't being eliminated, it's just being decreased in its overall role.

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I've only seen larger roundabouts with traffic signals. A roundabout at the square with no signals would be a pedestrian nightmare at a place in the city with the highest pedestrian counts. Looks pretty, but not a good concept.

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I've only seen larger roundabouts with traffic signals. A roundabout at the square with no signals would be a pedestrian nightmare at a place in the city with the highest pedestrian counts. Looks pretty, but not a good concept.

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Conceptually, I love this video!

I particularly loved the Eastland Mall visuals as well as some of the streetcars running in almost a parkway separated from traffic.

Not certain I do like the Square myself though I have to admit it reminded me of how much that area could stand some re-working.

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I think the video had some great dreams. I think the biggest problem would be how to turn these dreams from the video into reality. As of now, the budget is tight, but something does need to be done.

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I vote to turn The Square into a pedestrian plaza.....similar to what NYC has done to Times Square.

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You know, before I watched the video I was going to suggest that the only way a roundabout could really work at high volume intersections was to model it after Dupont Circle. I was quite please to see Dupont show up about 3 minutes in as the precedent for their Central/Eastway proposal :)

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I vote to turn The Square into a pedestrian plaza.....similar to what NYC has done to Times Square.

I would love to see this intersection turned into something much more pedestrian friendly. It still needs to be accessible to cars though. Using a scrambling crosswalk could be a great option.

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Its already one of the most ped-friendly intersections in Uptown. Tiny curb radii, no right turns, short light signals.

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What would be great is for the City to use a "scramble zone" at the Square. That means the signals are timed so that the lights are all red in each direction, giving pedestrians the ability to move diagonally across the intersection.

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What would be great is for the City to use a "scramble zone" at the Square. That means the signals are timed so that the lights are all red in each direction, giving pedestrians the ability to move diagonally across the intersection.

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