Geospec

Charlotte Greenways and Trails

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I haven't been through there recently, but as of a week and a half ago it appeared that crews were in the process of pouring a 4 or 5 foot wide walkway underneath the existing Morehead Bridge. Not an ideal situation by any means as it was pretty much at the same elevation as the creek and will probably be covered in silt after heavy rains.

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I haven't been through there recently, but as of a week and a half ago it appeared that crews were in the process of pouring a 4 or 5 foot wide walkway underneath the existing Morehead Bridge. Not an ideal situation by any means as it was pretty much at the same elevation as the creek and will probably be covered in silt after heavy rains.

I ran the length of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway this morning starting at Charlottetowne and both bridge underpasses are completed. The connection under Morehead is actually suspended over the creek as opposed to being built atop fill dirt. It's still a concrete sidewalk, however with water still flowing under it hopefully it won't flood as much unless their is a torrential downpour. All in all, very pleased with being able to walk from Brandywine all the way to Metropolitan without crossing a major street at-grade.

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I think the design of the tower is basically ok, but the clock faces look incredibly cheap. They remind me of the other terrible clock in town--the one in front of Rite Aid at East and South bvds. Both look as if they require an extension cord to a 110 outlet somewhere.

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I went by the greenway over the weekend. Overall, I love the project. However I agree with most everyone's assessment on the clock. It leaves a lot to be desired. It looks like it should be sitting outside South Park Mall or in front of PF Chang's or something. Very bland to me.

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The Clock portion of the new clock tower was DONATED by The Charlotte Rotary Club, we need to thank them for there support of Park n Rec.

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The clock is growing on me. I think it will look much better after the structure has aged a little.

I didn't want to chime in earlier because I didn't want to appear contrary since this is all a matter of opinion anyway, but I like the clock tower. I walked the greenway from Met Midtown down to Morehead last week. I like the whole thing and think the clock tower blends nicely with the other stonework along the greenway in that section. Is it possible that they could have made other choices that would have ended up looking better? Perhaps. But, it's certainly not like that made all the wrong choices and I think it turned out nice.

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I have a couple of questions related to the Sugar Creek Greenway that I wanted to see if anyone could answer: One, what is it they're working on at the site next to the Metropolitan. Second, what is it they've recently started working on back behind the Captain Jack Statue. I've driven by there a few times lately and noticed they've got the bulldozers out and huge piles of rocks and dirt. Is it possible they're finally ready to start working on other parts of the greenway? Just curious. We don't hear much news anymore about these things.

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Today, Gwen Cook, gave me a brief update on the Sugar Creek Greenway and the timetable going forward. As mentioned above, work has started on the Charlottetowne to Elizabeth portion. Currently, the focus is on stream restoration, but they hope to start work on the retaining walls if they can get some decent temperatures. It will go under Charlottetowne, 3rd and 4th, and the goal is to have it finished by the end of 2011.

After all this time, it's hard to remember exactly what they're planning for that section of the greenway. Looking at old diagrams from the Park&Rec site, they show an amphitheatre and various fountains and pools but beyond that I'm not sure. In particular, I have no idea what they're planning for the stretch of greenway that goes behind the Target store. Of course, over the long term, the Trail of History will be a big part of it. Meanwhile, things are gradually looking better and better on the Kings Drive portion as they continue to add more and more trees and finish building various features. Based on the information above, the Charlottetowne to Elizabeth portion should really be starting to take shape by mid summer and then we should be able to get a good sense of just what type of attraction this greenway will be.

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I've been by a few times and it really looks like they're working on the Elizabeth to 7th portion too.

The greenway will cross Elizabeth at street level there though and go by the street, next to the wall around all the electrical equipment though, right? It looks like part of the greenway already and I don't really see anywhere else for them to go. The portion I'm seeing work on is in front of the CPCC culinary building, but it looks every bit as intensive as Charlottetowne to Elizabeth.

Edited by nonillogical

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^North of Elizabeth Avenue, the greenway is squeezed between Kings Drive and the Duke substation. That sidepath is basically done. The work you see near the CP's culinary school is likely stream restoration.

But there are many urban places for Little Sugar Creek to head next: 1) Elizabeth/Independence Park, 2) Baxter/Pearl Street Park, 3) Belmont/Alexander Street Park.

Towards Independence Park, CPCC built a sidepath along Memorial Stadium that links up with Little Sugar Creek underneath Kings Drive. There is an old bike-ped tunnel under Charlottetowne that has the potential to provide connection to Independence Park.

Towards Baxter and Pearl Street Parks, there is an opportunity to create a short branch off the greenway with redevelopment along Greenwood Cliff and Baxter Street. Such development could also help provide an urban yet very green feel to both sides of Kenilworth.

Towards Alexander Street Park lies what I think is the greatest opportunity. The only thing keeping Little Sugar from soon being a continuous trail between Cordelia and Freedom Parks is the signifcant gap between 7th and 10th Streets, largely created by the spaghetti-ramp mess of Independence, Brookshire, and Belk expressways. Short-term, an "overland connector" of bike lanes and signage on 7th, McDowell and 10th can fill this gap. But long-term, I'd really love to see a special, architecturally unique, pedestrian bridge. The new bridge could either go from 7th/Kings/Central to the dead-end of Seigle Avenue, running fairly parallel to Central, or between 7th/Kings/Central and M Street, running more parallel to 7th. But I lean toward the former, especially if this new bridge could have views of Uptown similar to the Central Avenue bridge over Independence. Granted, Park & Rec is broke, but perhaps, a local corporation would love to have their name on a signature bridge and popular attraction.

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I'm excited about this because it will be done roughly around when the streetcar (trolley) line is extended to Elizabeth. That means your leisure walk between the streetcar and all the shops and condos at Metropolitan will be on the greenway with no crossings of 4th and 3rd.

Once you hit 7th, the official path is to walk on the city streets. Personally I would love them to remove that unnecessary universal turn lane on the 7th St bridge and widen at least one of the sidewalks like they're doing on other Belk bridges. Then to create a path behind M Street in that reserved open space there. Then you're very close to the green space at Seigel Pt for the rest of the greenway.

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But long-term, I'd really love to see a special, architecturally unique, pedestrian bridge. The new bridge could either go from 7th/Kings/Central to the dead-end of Seigle Avenue, running fairly parallel to Central, or between 7th/Kings/Central and M Street, running more parallel to 7th. But I lean toward the former, especially if this new bridge could have views of Uptown similar to the Central Avenue bridge over Independence. Granted, Park & Rec is broke, but perhaps, a local corporation would love to have their name on a signature bridge and popular attraction.

The State could possibly fund that signature greenway bridge over the 277/Independence interchange like they did in Raleigh for the 440 Greenway bridge. Of course that was done a couple years ago in better financial times...but still something I think could happen long term.

Pic of 440 Greenway bridge in Raleigh:

pedth.jpg

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The creek side of Thompson Park has been annihilated, I assume in preparation for the greenway extension. I guess the stretch between 3rd and Charlottetown isn't far behind.

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With all the new construction around CPCC ive been wondering alot about this intersection, and thought I'd share some images I found interesting.

10th Street and Little Sugar Creek Crossing (from Historic Aerials):

1978

1968

1960

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Just a random photo I took on my iPhone from the Greenway looking toward the I-277/Independence split. Considering how maddening that junction is in a car, I was pretty impressed with how serine it looked from this angle.

post-15256-0-19416800-1320326633_thumb.j

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There are a lot of finishing touches and landscaping to be done, but the greenway is open and used now all the way to 7th Street. Just finished a run that took me all the way to the end. Lots of bikers and families already taking advantage of it. This really is a magnificent addition to Charlotte!

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There is a gap on the books from 7th to the playfields by Seigle Point that always bothered me in the planning of this greenway. I wish they'd join the two sections better with bike lanes and wider sidewalk in lieu of the unnecessary two-way-left-turn lane in the middle. They can then just run a path in the green section between M Street and 277.

It's awesome it is completed to 7th though for usage. I can't wait to use it.

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