Geospec

Charlotte Greenways and Trails

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There was a diesel spill into Little Sugar Creek sometime within the past 24 hours. There was a strong diesel smell when I ran the greenway this morning, apparently the spill came from the NASCAR plaza. 

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Old Concord road has reopened and I noticed they have built a nice 8 (maybe 10) foot asphalt sidewalk / bike trail adjacent to the road on the new overpass which runs from Newell HIckory Grove rd to (roughly) Fairhaven dr. Its currently an isolated segment but it certainly suggests that Old Concord will become much more bikeable and walkable sometime in the future.

Its a big change, I doubt there are any sidewalks within a mile of the area, pedestrians frequently walk on the very active RR tracks.

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1 hour ago, kermit said:

Old Concord road has reopened and I noticed they have built a nice 8 (maybe 10) foot asphalt sidewalk / bike trail adjacent to the road on the new overpass which runs from Newell HIckory Grove rd to (roughly) Fairhaven dr. Its currently an isolated segment but it certainly suggests that Old Concord will become much more bikeable and walkable sometime in the future.

Its a big change, I doubt there are any sidewalks within a mile of the area, pedestrians frequently walk on the very active RR tracks.

That's very significant. Thank goodness the South East High Speed Rail corridor project is making good (if ever so gradually) on their promise that much of the corridor would have bike/ped trails. Old Concord Rd absolutely needs a bike/ped path for its entire length. It's literally the back door the UNCC, from N Tryon, to University City Blvd.

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From what' I've heard, the city does plan to put a sidepath along Old Concord over time. You'll only see it on the northwest side of the street though. RR companies don't like sidewalks or paths running parallel to their tracks, which is why you don't see sidewalk next to the tracks on other streets too (ie: Graham St, South Blvd, Rozzelles Ferry, etc)

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http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/charlottefuture/CIP/CrossCharlotteTrail/Documents/CountyDestinations_Connections_Crop.pdf

On the Cross Charlotte Trail map, I noticed McMullen creek gets a dotted "future" line working it's way northeast from Carolina Place mall, between Carmel and Sharon and eventually between Sharon and Rama up to Monroe Road.   

1) Is there any way to check on the timeline/feasibility of this proposed greenway?  

I'm worried all the snobby homeowners on that path are going to keep it from happening because they are scared of change, people, strangers, life, etc.   I would love it if the trolley came down Monroe and I could jump on a bike to get to it on a greenway.  Or ride my bike all the way to Pineville.  Or just take my dog on a walk.  This can't happen soon enough!  

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Park & Rec has a recent update to their 2008 Greenway Master Plan that isn't online for some reason. By recent I mean in the past 1-2 years. They also have a list of priority projects, so you could call/email them to find out. I've seen the list, but all I can recall is that McMullen isn't an immediate/high priority for construction. Availability of property is a huge part of their weighting criteria. So, given that the land costs would be fairly high and they don't have much property on that corridor I'm betting that it isn't a high priority. Just an educated guess though.

http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/ParkandRec/Greenways/PlannedGreenways/Pages/default.aspx

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I don't know if this goes here or in the Light Rail thread or not at all.....or if it's a repeat....so apologies all around.  Here's a magic carpet that got painted over the weekend at the Conv Center stop.

20160509_065527_zpsnd94oiae.jpg

 

20160509_065532_zpso96qydkn.jpg

 

20160509_065544_zpsf0xpmzcf.jpg

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I'm going to put this here because, whatever.  Cue the annual "Charlotte's park and rec is balls" aggregation.

http://parkscore.tpl.org/rankings.php

Spoiler alert, we rank 95 out of 100 largest American cities.

Highlights include being outscored by Newark, Jersey City, Lubbock and every other NC city that could be in the poll (Gboro, WS, Raleigh, Durham).

I feel like I've been seeing these results for a good decade now.  Since then, I've seen us build 2 parks (1st Ward and Romare Bearden) and start to patch together the crappiest greenway system imaginable.

 

Will this city ever see any traction in regards to our parks and greenway system? I've seen plenty of pretty maps and renderings, but I've yet to see any action.  I feel like I'm destined to live, fending for my life biking down Park Rd avoiding getting sniped by a f*#king Range Rover.

#rant

 

edit:. For those thinking "well we've got big city area and low density".  So do Raleigh, Austin, Nashville, ect.  And they are crushing us.

Edited by ah59396
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I looked at this yesterday:  

http://parkscore.tpl.org/city.php?city=Charlotte

It immediately jumped out at me that they have Charlotte Population at 999,426, and land area 332,295 acres.  So they're really talking about Mecklenburg County, right?  

But if you look at their little map, they are generally not counting parks outside Charlotte.  Just Mecklenburg County parks?  Did they not know that the other municipalities own their own parks?  

When you look at the page for Raleigh, you'll see that they do not count Wake County outside of Raleigh. 

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The city hired a consultant to come up with a plan to improve bike and pedestrian connections uptown between Little Sugar Creek Greenway and Irwin Creek Greenway through Center City. Tomorrow they will be presenting the plan and taking public comment.

Public Workshop, Tuesday, September 20, 2016 to share recommendations for the Uptown Connects Study.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East Fourth Street, Room 267
Charlotte, NC 28202

Drop in anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Plus, check out our Outdoor Cycle Track Demonstration at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard & North Davidson Street

http://charlottenc.gov/Projects/Pages/UptownConnectsStudy.aspx

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The rail trail has won a grant from a playground equipment manufacturer for a "rail trail symphony" installation at what appears to be New Bern Station (near the bcycle dock -- but I may be mistaken about the location). Looks similar to stuff installed at Bearden across from the 7-11. While this seems slightly demographically tone-deaf given the location any activity addition to the rail trail is a good one IMO.

Edit: after looking at the rendering again I am less certain of the location

 

Edited by kermit
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^^ you are correct. It'll be right on the new Bern stop. I love it. And while on the surface it does seem demo tone def, you'd be surprised how many families I see down that way. Plus anyone would have fun with that stuff

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12 hours ago, uptownliving said:

The city hired a consultant to come up with a plan to improve bike and pedestrian connections uptown between Little Sugar Creek Greenway and Irwin Creek Greenway through Center City. Tomorrow they will be presenting the plan and taking public comment.

Public Workshop, Tuesday, September 20, 2016 to share recommendations for the Uptown Connects Study.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East Fourth Street, Room 267
Charlotte, NC 28202

Drop in anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Plus, check out our Outdoor Cycle Track Demonstration at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard & North Davidson Street

http://charlottenc.gov/Projects/Pages/UptownConnectsStudy.aspx

Going...

What are people's thoughts on needing bike facilities on 11th St and 12th St? They would need to straddle the outer ring of the two strips, to allow the inner ring's exit ramps to remain obstacle-free. I know city staff are concerned about encouraging bikes/peds to what is essentially two miniature highway streets, but it needs to happen sooner or later. People are using these roads either way.

Also, spur a protected bike lane (or at least extra-wide sidewalk path) along Caldwell bridge over the CSX tracks, to meet up with the rail trail on Parkwood. There needs to be a second option aside from Brevard. They're still treating Caldwell/Parkwood like a highway as well.

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57 minutes ago, SgtCampsalot said:

Going...

What are people's thoughts on needing bike facilities on 11th St and 12th St? They would need to straddle the outer ring of the two strips, to allow the inner ring's exit ramps to remain obstacle-free. I know city staff are concerned about encouraging bikes/peds to what is essentially two miniature highway streets, but it needs to happen sooner or later. People are using these roads either way.

Also, spur a protected bike lane (or at least extra-wide sidewalk path) along Caldwell bridge over the CSX tracks, to meet up with the rail trail on Parkwood. There needs to be a second option aside from Brevard. They're still treating Caldwell/Parkwood like a highway as well.

I would prefer that they focus on 7th for a protected bike lane, from CPCC to 1st Ward Park.  First of all, 7th has a minimum grade for those coming in from Central & Elizabeth. Using 11th & 12th forces cyclists from Central to travel down a long downhill and then face a killer uphill.  Secondly, a protected bike lane on 7th would serve to connect CPCC to UNCC.  7th would also give access to an on-grade blue line platform.  Finally, similar to building sidewalks where there are already established pathways, Strava's heat map clearly indicates that 7th is already a preferred bikeway.  http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#6/-120.90000/38.36000/blue/bike   

Edited by Bikeguy
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27 minutes ago, Bikeguy said:

I would prefer that they focus on 7th for a protected bike lane, from CPCC to 1st Ward Park.  First of all, 7th has a minimum grade for those coming in from Central & Elizabeth. Using 11th & 12th forces cyclists from Central to travel down a long downhill and then face a killer uphill.  Secondly, a protected bike lane on 7th would serve to connect CPCC to UNCC.  7th would also give access to an on-grade blue line platform.  Finally, similar to building sidewalks where there are already established pathways, Strava's heat map clearly indicates that 7th is already a preferred bikeway.  http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#6/-120.90000/38.36000/blue/bike   

Great point. You're right that we'll need to focus on only the most obviously needed routes before we get to all the smaller improvements we could use.

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I liked the session. One point I hope isn't missed is that without dramatic improvement in traffic enforcement anything but protected lanes is a waste of money.

Between the people who feel bike lanes are their personal drop/waiting zone's (great case in point the bike lane running by WF on third @ Tryon), people running reds and box blockers it is a real mess.

 

Not to change the topic but what is the history on red light cameras here by the way? I was against but am now very much for them.

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10 minutes ago, elrodvt said:

I liked the session. One point I hope isn't missed is that without dramatic improvement in traffic enforcement anything but protected lanes is a waste of money.

Honestly, I hear the argument that's being made, but if you need to rely on enforcement, you've designed the road wrong. Bottom line.

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37 minutes ago, SgtCampsalot said:

Honestly, I hear the argument that's being made, but if you need to rely on enforcement, you've designed the road wrong. Bottom line.

Are you saying they're pretty much all designed wrong now? I could get on board with that.

What needs to be done to fix that then?

Regarding separating the traffic- one cool idea I heard was a bike trail that would connect the two greenways by running along the south side of the city and 277. Maybe a pipe dream but a great concept.

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9 hours ago, elrodvt said:

Are you saying they're pretty much all designed wrong now? I could get on board with that.

What needs to be done to fix that then?

Essentially, yes.

First identify the key connectors for every part of every city, town, and neighborhood. It may be a protected bike lane Uptown, or a greenway connector from a subdivision to a shopping center. Whatever's most direct.

Then that's when we fine-tune all the other ancillary connections. For example: College and Church are not good for bikes. But we don't want to waste money on College and Church until the other connections are made to get people there in the first place. So we build east-west protected bike lanes, and the rail trail first.

It's honestly kind of troubling if the CDOT staff (right?) are making the argument that their hands are tied because of traffic enforcement. That's passing the buck with a vengeance...
 

Design Street Wrong - Strong Towns.jpg

Edited by SgtCampsalot

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Sorry I don't have any pictures, but I was in the University area yesterday and realized they have made some good progress on the Toby Creek Greenway extension. I didn't realize the work had even started yet.

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While this is not Charlotte specific NC State Parks had a record year in visitors in 2016. Some are close by like Morrow Mountain east in Stanly county, Lake Norman in Iredell, Crowders Mtn in Gaston county and South Mountains in western Lincoln Catawba counties. We really have some good parks and most of them are free unlike VA, GA or SC. http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2017/01/27/n-c-state-parks-achieve-record-attendance-in-2016.html?ana=RSS%26s%3Darticle_search&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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43 minutes ago, KJHburg said:

While this is not Charlotte specific NC State Parks had a record year in visitors in 2016. Some are close by like Morrow Mountain east in Stanly county, Lake Norman in Iredell, Crowders Mtn in Gaston county and South Mountains in western Lincoln Catawba counties. We really have some good parks and most of them are free unlike VA, GA or SC. http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2017/01/27/n-c-state-parks-achieve-record-attendance-in-2016.html?ana=RSS%26s%3Darticle_search&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

I did the midnight hike at Chimney Rock on New Years and that was one of the 5 coolest things I've done...and it was FREE!

BTW, I'd much rather extend and improve greenways than have MLS...

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