Light-rail construction has transformed North Tryon Street. Out of sight but just as important to our transit-powered future is the design work under way to create bike- and pedestrian-friendly links between future stations and nearby neighborhoods and businesses.
Planners have welcomed our ideas and feedback via surveys and public meetings. You can review progress and share ideas, too, at the next public meeting, on Oct. 13.
MORE NECI in a nutshell
The city of Charlotte plans to spend more than $100 million over the next decade to improve streets and sidewalks near the LYNX Blue Line Extension’s 11 transit stations between 9th Street and the terminus beside Cameron Boulevard on the UNC Charlotte campus.
Funding for these projects, collectively called the Northeast Corridor infrastructure Program (NECI), will come from transportation bonds approved by Charlotte voters in 2014 and future bond issues coming in November 2016, 2018 and 2020.
First steps toward an urban future
University City’s Small Area Plan update, approved by the Charlotte City Council earlier this year, contains details of how these station areas might look in 20-30 years, with multi-story urban-scale apartment buildings, shops and offices; broad tree-shaded sidewalks and bike lanes; and parking decks tucked behind buildings.
The NECI projects will take the first steps toward that future. For instance, the J.W. Clay Boulevard Streetscape Project proposes adding sidewalks, bike lanes and shade trees along the main avenue through University Place.
Planners seeking our feedback and ideas
City staff and engineering consultants have held public meetings, made presentations to groups such as the NorthEnd Partners and University City Partners, and conducted an online survey to explain their goals, show possible designs for amenities ranging from benches to light poles, and get feedback.
University City Partners sponsored a meeting in August between planners and businesses along JW Clay Boulevard. More than 100 people recently completed an online survey to gather more ideas about the Clay Boulevard Streetscape improvements.
“There definitely are a lot of comments related to improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities,” said Tom Russell, senior project manager for Charlotte’s Engineering Design Services. Other suggestions include ensuring bike and pedestrian safety, and improving connections to area businesses and UNC Charlotte.
Planners also hope to incorporate a suggestion for a multi-purpose path between the new parking deck at Clay and North Tryon and the future Barton Creek Greenway. The county plans to start building the new greenway next spring between the lake at University Place and nearby Mallard Creek Greenway.
Hear the latest developments, share your ideas Oct. 13
The next community meeting on NECI project plans and Blue Line Extension progress will take place on 5:30-8 pm Oct. 13 at the Oasis Shriners Center, 604 Doug Mayes Place, Charlotte, NC 28262, in University Place. Learn about plans for improving Clay Boulevard, McCullough Drive, Tom Hunter Road and Rocky River Road West, and share your suggestions with planners. Call University City Partners for details at 704-688-2483.
Here’s what’s planned near University City transit stations
The city of Charlotte has created web pages on improvements planned for each Blue Line Extension transit station. Here are overviews of the four stations along North Tryon Street in our area. Click on links for more details.
Tom Hunter Road Streetscape
Improve pedestrian and bike access to North Tryon Street and the Tom Hunter Road station between North Tryon and Canterwood Drive. Future street will have 2 lanes of traffic plus center turn lane, broad sidewalks, planning strip and street trees.
- Project website
- Contact: Len Chapman, E&PM project manager, 704-336-6750 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocky River Road West Streetscape
Improve winding Rocky River Road West between North Tryon and Toby Creek Greenway, which serves the new Newell Elementary School. Provide bike lanes, sidewalks and shade trees along improved two-lane Rocky River Road between University City Blvd station and future Toby Creek Greenway (opening fall 2016). Improve site distance on Rocky River Road by softening curves in road.
- Project website
- Contact: Tom Russell, PE, E&PM Project Manager, 704-336-4639, email@example.com; and Matt Magnasco, CDOT Project Manager, 704-336-3368, firstname.lastname@example.org
McCullough Drive Streetscape
Add a new street segment extending McCullough Drive from North Tryon Street to an existing dead end near Ken Hoffman Drive. New segment and existing roadway will get bike lanes and sidewalks, plus planting strips with large shade trees.
- Project website
- Contact: Sharon Buchanan, PE, E&PM Project Manager, 704-336-2044, email@example.com
JW Clay Boulevard Streetscape
Add or widen sidewalks, plus add bike lanes and shade trees in a broad planting strip along JW Clay Boulevard between North Tryon Street and West W.T. Harris Boulevard. Roadway will continue to have four travel lanes and turn lanes, plus connection to future Barton Creek Greenway link to Mallard Creek Greenway (work to start spring 2016).
- Project website
- Contact: Tom Russell, PE, E&PM Project Manager, 704-336-4639, firstname.lastname@example.org