Monday, January 8, 2007

Charlotte's Next Move

Charlotte is a notable member and up and comer to the Transit Space Race. Their plans are ambitious and include 5 new rapid transit lines and a streetcar. After a 1998 half cent sales tax was raised to expand transit. The first line, the Lynx Blue Line (South Corridor) is under construction and will be complete at the end of this year.

The next line, the northeast corridor, is planned to run from downtown to the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Leadership from the University President, City Council and Ron Tober of CATS were very helpful in keeping the region on track after some costs for the south corridor were over budget and the community was worried about the long range plan. After some calls to rescind the tax from some libertarians egged on by Wendell Cox and a postponement of BRT to study Light Rail on the southeast corridor, things are looking up again.

So it comes as no surprise that even before the northeast corridor has gone into preliminary engineering in the new starts process, people are building TOD on properties adjacent to the future line as reported today by the Charlotte Observer. This is amazing and shows that new transit lines really have the ability to shape neighborhoods. I'm interested to see what happens to the next few years but as for now, Charlotte is up there with Denver in my book.

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