Geospec

Charlotte Greenways and Trails

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I stopped by on my way to work today and took a couple of quick pictures. It looks like it will be very nice. :) I will try and get more shots of the progress this week.

EDIT: crap, well I am having problems posting the images.

Here is a link to a slideshow of them however.

http://pics.livejournal.com/outunderstars/gallery/00004ad7

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Nice pics....now one can walk the Greenway from Carolinas Medical Center to Park Road Shopping Center....if one were to ride a bike on that trail you just might make it there quicker than if you drove.

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Has anyone heard anything new on the Wachovia building or the EpiCentre? I'm starting to think these banks aren't really interested in the Charlotte area anymore. We need to spur development by lowering taxes both localy and at the state level. The rail system we're putting in will be great if people actually use it. I also think that with a landmark like a huge observation tower we could attract more tourism. Douglas had what 20 million people go through there last year? If an observation tower were to be built could we at least get 1% of those people to go to it?

Your thought?

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Has anyone heard anything new on the Wachovia building or the EpiCentre?  I'm starting to think these banks aren't really interested in the Charlotte area anymore.  We need to spur development by lowering taxes both localy and at the state level.  The rail system we're putting in will be great if people actually use it.  I also think that with a landmark like a huge observation tower we could attract more tourism.  Douglas had what 20 million people go through there last year?  If an observation tower were to be built could we at least get 1% of those people to go to it?

Your thought?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

CW, I feel the way you do about Wichovia and Epicenter. I hope that we are wrong. As far as a tower is concerned. I think that it is a good idea. I was in Stockholm last summer ant they have an observation in their tallest building which is a science building of some sort. It is probably about 25 or stories high as I remember. Nevertheless, it was a nice birdseye of the city. Stockholm is a wonderful place but not very huge. The tower would be a good tourist attraction. For some reason, they always are.

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cw....these projects are very much alive.....there is just so much involved in projects of that scale, not to mention when you start mixing uses and the public sector is involved.....if I were a betting man, I'd say that Wachovia will start in October or November, and EpiCentre would start in February 2006.

While an observation tower is always a tourist attraction, they are getting a bit commonplace. Something more unique would be preferable like a giant ferris wheel such as the Millenium Wheel?? in London or the Prodder in Vienna. Even better would be something completely unique yet inviting......i wish i was more creative.....

The other thing is that Charlotte isn't a city in a particularly beautiful setting. There are no soaring mountains, bays, rivers, etc.... Trees are nice, but somewhat dull. Take for example the tower in San Antonio....it's a nice city, but I can't imagine being charmed seeing it from a tower, especially if I had to pay to climb it. There is a serious need to fill in surface parking lots, create greenways, move industrial warehouses away from the center city, and create disting memorable neighborhoods that can be differentiated from up high before we invite the whole world to come see us from 1,000 feet up.

Edited by atlrvr

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There you go......both scenary and vantage point all in one......too bad you couldn't have gotten of Dee Dee's dirt that she so graciously removed from her site.....I bet she would have only charged you about $10,000 a load for it.

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I think the scenery around here is particularly beautiful. Much of it however is inaccessable by a majority of the public in Charlotte or there is not much interest. For example a trip down the Catawba river from the Cowan's Ford dam down to Mountain Island dam passes through pristine protected forest, rolling hills, there are hidden lagoons, etc. Likewise there is another similar stretch from the Mountain Island dam to Lake Wyle. Unfortunatly if you don't have a boat, there is no way to see any of it.

On clear days you can see the mountains off to the distance, Crowders & Kings Mountains just to the south of Charlotte, and of course the lake and river system.

I said before the building of the new arena downtown would do very little for tourism and now that people are seeing the prices that it will take to go to a game there I, like many, predict this will be a failure. The rich will come, be wined and dined in their skyboxes and go home. Don't expect great throngs of new life to appear because of the appeal of the NBA as it appeals to very few people.

If instead the city had spent the $300M+ to build something like the London Eye it would done a great deal more for downtown revitalization than the arena ever will.

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Is this Wachovia building that was talked about in the first post here, the same building they are building off of south tryon that is about 35 stories tall or is the building talked about that is over 80?

I agree with monsoon, we need something (other than a shiney new expensive arena) to bring people from around the world. DT charlotte has very few tourist.

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Frankly, I've always advocated, and actually heard a few people at the city level talk about it, that we should build our own damn river.

If you were to free Sugar Creek from it's paved over grave, deepen the channel and create a system of locks further to the south, you could create something very similar to what San Antonio has with the Riverwalk where Midtown and Downtown meet.

It would take a bit of money, but the economic gains in investment would be HUGE.

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Frankly, I've always advocated, and actually heard a few people at the city level talk about it, that we should build our own damn river.

If you were to free Sugar Creek from it's paved over grave, deepen the channel and create a system of locks further to the south, you could create something very similar to what San Antonio has with the Riverwalk where Midtown and Downtown meet.

It would take a bit of money, but the economic gains in investment would be HUGE.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I thought I read in some previous versions of the greenway plans (that go back decades) that this had been considered, but never got off the ground due to engineering roadblocks. I just hope that as development sprouts up along the 'new' greenway that setbacks are far enough to accommodate expansion of the waterway so a true riverfront district may still be a possibility in the future. I'd hate to see the idea ruled out forever because someone put up a really expensive building too close to the Sugar Creek Greenway. It would be the ideal setting for a stroll district, or even a nice recreation area like Great Falls Md./Va. along the C&O Canal (some parts of the canal are narrow enough to jump from one side to the other, and some parts resemble a rapid river).

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cw....these projects are very much alive.....there is just so much involved in projects of that scale, not to mention when you start mixing uses and the public sector is involved.....if I were a betting man, I'd say that Wachovia will start in October or November, and EpiCentre would start in February 2006.

While an observation tower is always a tourist attraction, they are getting a bit commonplace.  Something more unique would be preferable like a giant ferris wheel such as the Millenium Wheel?? in London or the Prodder in Vienna.  Even better would be something completely unique yet inviting......i wish i was more creative.....

The other thing is that Charlotte isn't a city in a particularly beautiful setting.  There are no soaring mountains, bays, rivers, etc....  Trees are nice, but somewhat dull.  Take for example the tower in San Antonio....it's a nice city, but I can't imagine being charmed seeing it from a tower, especially if I had to pay to climb it.  There is a serious need to fill in surface parking lots, create greenways, move industrial warehouses away from the center city, and create disting memorable neighborhoods that can be differentiated from up high before we invite the whole world to come see us from 1,000 feet up.

I can remember Mayor Belk in the early 70s talking about turning the creek that runs by CPCC into  a river park modeled after San Antonio.  It was voted down.  He had some great ideas.  I had a chance to ride the Millenium wheel last summer as well.  It was great but each car carries over 20 people and it continuously runs. There are also about 50 cars on it as well.  I paid around $36.00 for my wife and me to ride.  Can you imagine how much money could be made.  But, where would we get the people?  It would be a good idea to have something like it on a smaller basis.  I wa rather disapointed in Stockholm with the view fro the tower in Stockholm.  Stockholm is a harbor city but there aren't any mountains close by and the city isn't exactly like Hong Kong or New York.  Nevertheless, there is still something fascinating about being high up and looking down. Kids love it. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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I also think that with a landmark like a huge observation tower we could attract more tourism.  Douglas had what 20 million people go through there last year?  If an observation tower were to be built could we at least get 1% of those people to go to it?

Your thought?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

An observation tower might be good eventually, but i don't see how in the world that would bring tourists, especially not from transfer passengers at the airport. Don't forget that people flying through CLT already have a killer view of the skyline from downtown and they can see the skyline from the air as they take off and land.

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What's the average visablity in Charlotte? Visitors to an observation tower might only be able to see a few miles with all the ozone and smog days we have here. I agree that the region's scenery is worth looking at, but it is cetainly threatened. We need to start concentrating our public dollars on cleaning up all of the problems we have created so that we will have something to look at if a tower is ever built...

On that note, building a fake river along the Sugar Creek Greenway would be an environmental disaster. The greenway IS being built for the public enjoyment, and possible real estate stimulous, but also for a whole host of other important reasons. The greenway and creek naturalization process is improving water quality, managing stormwater, and restoring damaged ecosystems. Deepening the channel and creating a false river is about the least responsible thing to do from a sustainabliltiy standpoint.

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When one talks about the new arena and overpriced tickets at the NBA....they need to remember a couple things:

#1: The average ticket price will be $30...that means that 9,000 of those tickets will be less than $30.

#2: The NBA games only take up half of the events schedule at the arena...other nights will be filled with things that are much more afforadable than the NBA...such as the AFL...and Checkers games (where lots of tickets will be cheaper than a movie!)

#3: You really think that 3 million people are going to ride a ferris wheel in downtown Charlotte every year????? Do 3 million even ride the London Eye in a year?

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I sketched this up. I'm no artist, but something on that scale could draw a crowd! Someone flying in from the airport would see that thing sticking up 2,000 ft into the air and be drawn to it. Are you telling me that out of the 26 million people that went through Charlotte-Douglas last year, that 5% wouldn't be curious enough to ask about it and go to it? I think we need to have something in the city to draw appeal for all those people going through the airport.

CharlotteObTower.jpg

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I'm sure the greenway along Little Sugar Creek will be nice once completed, but remember that that stream was named on of NC's most polluted steams in the late 90's (and I doubt things have changed since then). Therefore I would see the creation of a mini Riverwalk as a BAD idea. Has anybody ever witnessed this stream during flood stage in front of CMC? You don't want to know whats in that water.

To be slightly off topic, I wish Meck. Co. Park & Rec would stop paving every greenway trail that is built (incuding the Little Sugar Creak greenway). Way to cater to the running community. :wacko: Concrete & ashpalt = damaged knees. Either put down crushed pea-gravel or rubberize these trails!

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I'm sure the greenway along Little Sugar Creek will be nice once completed, but remember that that stream was named on of NC's most polluted steams in the late 90's (and I doubt things have changed since then).  Therefore I would see the creation of a mini Riverwalk as a BAD idea.  Has anybody ever witnessed this stream during flood stage in front of CMC?  You don't want to know whats in that water.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I spend a lot of time on the new part of the greenway off Westfield Rd (behind Park Road Shopping Center) and it is probalby one of my favorite parks in the city... the detention ponds looked kind of strange at first, but they are full of water plants rocks and fish now. The stream has been naturalized and its meanders with huge boulders and man made shoals. All kinds of ducks and other birds hang out there... the other day I saw an grey egret-looking bird perched in the middle of the creek.

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Mecklenburg county has commitments to make all streams and lakes in the county swimmable by a certain date. The greenway is part of the plan by naturalizing as much of it as possible, and cleaning up the sources of pollution. Over time, the streams will become less polluted.

This is a chicken and egg problem. No one wants to walk along the stream because it is polluted, and no one cares about cleaning up the stream because no one goes near it. I believe the county is tackling both simultaneously, by building the human amenities along the stream, and working to clean up the stream from pollution. They are not there yet, but it won't take long.

Rubberized gravel or sidewalk tiles is a great idea. Maybe they could strike a deal with continental tire for recycled rubber. You could make a pitch the pitch to the county: The county could have a part of the greenway sponsored by Continental Tire, Continental Tire could also have the opportunity to sponsor walks or races along the greenway for even more community goodwill, old tires could be diverted away from the landfill through the recycling program, health dollars could be saved by making it more comfortable to run, and by eliminating joint problems that result from running on hard surfaces. Sounds like a pitch waiting to be made. Go for it :).

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Mecklenburg county has commitments to make all streams and lakes in the county swimmable by a certain date.  The greenway is part of the plan by naturalizing as much of it as possible, and cleaning up the sources of pollution.  Over time, the streams will become less polluted. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

the big ugly metal green boxes that they installed around the greenway are water quality monitors. They monitor the water before it enters the creek. That means that they are going to be able to check the nitrogen/chemical content in the runoff from the over watered, over fertilized lawns in Myers Park. This is great news because nitrogen and chemicals from lawn fertilzer/pesticides has often been suspected of being a huge "non point-source" polluter that is hard to monitor and hold people accountable for...

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I think the greenway will be a great development tool for the opposite side of kings drive in a few years. Though I don't think it will be much of a tourist draw it could make a nice pedestian area for locals. Maybe they could have some cross promotions for the outdoor enthusiast at the future whitewater center.

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Here is something that was in the online Observer today.....it is a proposal to add up to 30 statues to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway from CPCC down to Morehead. The theme would be a history of Charlotte and include subjects from different timeperiods......Hugh McColl, DA Tompkins, someone name Captain James Jack etc.......

The focus seems to be on the Captain Jack fellow and he is proposed to be in the island of the future round-a-bout at Elizabeth and Kings.

I like this idea, since one of my criticisms of Charlotte is the lack of tangible public art......these pieces are supposed to be larger than life and I think something of that scale would draw people to linger and admire them along the greenway. I think that 30 pieces may be too many, and maybe 10 of the most significant people would be more appropriate, but I certainly support this, especially since it would be funded from private donations and money already earmarked for public art on the greenway.

Here is the link to the article.

EDIT - appatone has the correct link in his post.

Edited by atlrvr

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