Tell Charlotte how to improve transportation and our urban forest

Tell Charlotte how to improve transportation and our urban forest

Charlotte is seeking our ideas regarding two major initiatives: Protecting and expanding the city’s tree canopy, and deciding the future of transportation and mobility in Charlotte. In each case, the city invites us to complete an online survey. Here are details: Charlotte Tree Canopy Action Plan Learn about city policies to preserve trees on public and private property and share your ideas for improving those policies. The survey includes three short videos. University City Partners is part of a working stakeholder group that is helping develop the Charlotte Tree Canopy Action Plan. TAKE THE SURVEY Charlotte MOVES Mobility Plan The city is preparing the Charlotte MOVES Strategic Mobility Plan to guide the future of transportation and mobility in Charlotte. The survey seeks to learn how people currently drive, walk, bike and ride around Charlotte and get our ideas for making those choices better for all travelers. TAKE THE...
A fast ride for Giant University City bike shop

A fast ride for Giant University City bike shop

Shane Hockensmith sits at a table in front of his store on Memorial Day and points out the cars with bike racks slowly rolling past. “They’re checking to see if we’re open,” he says. Giant University City, our community’s only bike shop, is closed to customers this day, but inside, the store’s four employees are assembling recently sold new bikes and repairing others. In 22 years, the bike shop near UNC Charlotte has never been so busy. “The last six to eight weeks have been a blur,” Hockensmith says. To keep up, he puts in 65-70 hours a week, much of it at the store with his staff of four, who also work long hours. He hasn’t had time to work out or ride his mountain bike. And he hasn’t cut his hair since Feb. 1. “My wife says I now look like a bike-store owner,” Hockensmith says, grinning. The turning point for Giant University City That time blur for Hockensmith and his staff at Giant University City began in late March as America came face to face with the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses big and small struggled to grasp the new rules of operation. “The first question was, would we be called an essential business? If not, could we stay open? And how would we pay employees?” Hockensmith says. North Carolina, like many other states, eventually decided that people do need bikes – even during a pandemic shut-down – for transportation, fitness and recreation while they sheltered at home. Creating a new way to do business Answering that first huge question immediately led to many more operational issues that needed...
See University City’s latest projects and plans in pictures

See University City’s latest projects and plans in pictures

So much change is sweeping across University City, it can be hard to keep up. All corners of University City’s 7.5-square-mile area are evolving , from the 2,000 acre University Research Park to light rail stations. Nearly 4 million square-feet of office space was announced in 2019 alone. That’s why University City Partners has prepared a heavily visual report, “University City, CLT,” showcasing private development and public infrastructure projects that are under way or starting soon. The report features many illustrations and links to news reports and websites related to the projects. We have organized our report by “pockets of activity” – places such as the three North Tryon Street light-rail stations, where intense redevelopment is under way. Among the many projects included here: The UNC Charlotte Conference Center and Hotel Waters Edge at University Place Verde at McCullough Station McCullough Drive extension and streetscape improvements The University City Police Station Top Golf and Entertainment District CLICK HERE to view the report. We hope you will share it with everyone you know who has an interest in University...
Makeover of JW Clay Blvd. to start in 2021

Makeover of JW Clay Blvd. to start in 2021

Construction of a major improvements to JW Clay Boulevard through University Place is expected to start in late summer of 2021.  The city-funded streetscape project will significantly improve this key artery for all modes of transportation, including pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle and transit. Main improvements will include completing and widening sidewalks, redoing roadways and medians to accommodate bike lanes, adding planting strips with shade trees, and constructing one segment of a 12-foot cycle path between the JW Clay Blvd. LYNX Station and University Research Park. For JW Clay Boulevard Streetscape details and updates, visit the project website.   New I-85 North Bridge and greenway also in the works For the cycle path to reach University Research Park, it will need a bridge over I-85. The I-85 North Bridge, as it is called, will link Doug Mayes Place in University Place to David Taylor Drive in the Research Park. Construction on the bridge is expected to start in spring 2021. Meanwhile, Mecklenburg County is nearing completion on the long-awaited Barton Creek Greenway from JW Clay Boulevard to the Mallard Creek Greenway. Once the new greenway opens, University Place will have direct access to 9-plus miles of greenways through UNC Charlotte, University Research Park and several neighborhoods.   Waters Edge construction starting in spring 2020 The city and county projects coincide with a major private transformation of 20 acres of 1990s shops along the lake at University Place. Developer EB Arrow expects to begin work this spring on the first phase of Waters Edge, which will include a 182,000-square foot office building near the main bridge; a 2.5-acre linear waterfront park; and...
I-85 North Bridge project moves forward

I-85 North Bridge project moves forward

Charlotte’s engineering department reports that construction should begin in early 2021 on the future I-85 North Bridge connecting University Place and University Research Park. The bridge and associated new and upgraded roadways should open in early 2024. Funded by Charlotte and the state, the I-85 North Bridge and its partner, the already completed I-85 South Bridge, will provide much improved linkage between University Research Park employment hub and two major LYNX light-rail stations along North Tryon Street. Current work on the I-85 North bridge project includes real-estate acquisition and development of the final design. The project team and the NC Department of Transportation staff also are working to get various approvals needed before the design is completed.   Learn more about the I-85 North Bridge project Project website Street cross-sections Bridge aesthetics Final road...
LYNX update – more riders; deck rules; LYFT expands

LYNX update – more riders; deck rules; LYFT expands

Thinking of riding the LYNX? These changes and a reminder may smooth the trip: New riders: With UNC Charlotte back in session, be prepared for many more riders. New discount: LYFT has expanded its first-mile/last-mile discounts to include the University City Blvd. station area. Parking deck reminder: You can park for free in our two LYNX decks – unless you need to leave between 3 and 6 pm weekdays. Here are the details. More 49ers aboard! Don’t be surprised by the sudden surge in riders aboard the LYNX light-trail trains, even late at night. Nearly all of UNC Charlotte’s 30,000 students get a transit pass that lets them ride all light-rail trains and CATS buses. The cost is included in the students’ mandatory fees as a way to reduce the demand for campus parking. Faculty and staff can get a big break on LYNX and bus fares, as well.   Lyft expands first-mile/last-mile ride discounts to University City Blvd station area Light-rail riders needing to reach destinations near the University City Blvd LYNX station can now take advantage of a special first-mile/last-mile discount from Lyft, the on-demand transportation service. The service, already available at the JW Clay Blvd and Parkwood stations, provides a $4 discount on Lyft rides between the stations and nearby destinations. The goal of the program is to provide affordable and reliable transportation via LYFT to busy destinations near the stations but too far away to reasonably reach by walking. Click here to learn how to access the program.   Reminder: Parking in decks will cost – if you leave 3-6 pm weekdays While most LYNX...