Monday, November 10, 2008

Charlotte Photo Dump

Charlotte is turning into a great place (Not that it wasn't good before). Here's a small tour of what is going on.

The Dilworth Streetcar Suburb. Look familiar?


Because there was no comprehensive plan for the South End, everything is Zoned TOD.


It's going to be a sad that they will have to cut down some of these trees.


New development in the south end.



New Streetcar Tracks on Elizabeth Ave.


The Surveyer


Fall Foliage



Mid-Day Thursday ridership

Light Rail


Anonymous said...

Is that mid-thursday ridersihp unusual? That seems like they should be adding some additional frequency or be using double units.

Also-whats happening with those TOD zoned areas? I dont quite get it (sorry for the stupid question)

Impressive growth overall, for sure

Dave Reid said...

I assume the TOD zoning is to allow for much higher density. Further people might wonder if having windows facing the train would be noisy. Funny thing is those trains are near silent.

j said...

Yes midday ridership is usually that crowded, CATS simply does not have enough cars to operate two car trains all day.
Let me clarify about Charlotte's TOD: The South End Plan (which is technically bounded by South Blvd, Remount Rd, S Tryon St., and Carson Blvd) and the South End Transit Station Area Plan (1/2 mile from each light rail stop) are both rather specific in what they suggest. CharMeck's zoning ordinance for TOD/PED/TS more or less allows any property within a 1/2 mile of a station to have a higher intensity of development than the surrounding area in order build up the areas bordering the transit lines (fulfilling the goal of the City's Corridors Centers and Wedges plan). As for the pictures taken (correct me if I am wrong) they are on the edge of Dilworth's Historic area probably within two blocks of South Blvd. I also have an interesting insight: when Dilworth and Myers Park were first built, the forest was clear cut leaving zero trees for several square miles- it iss amazing what almost a century can do for the tree canopy.

jon said...

i was just reading about the charlotte streetcar line on wikipedia... correct me if i have it wrong but theyre just laying some of the tracks now as they redo the streetscape on charlotte avenue but the route wont be fully built or operational for at least another 5 years?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

That's correct Jon. Instead of ripping up the street in 5 years, they are putting the tracks in now. Though I expect they will build the line faster now that they have some motivation.

jon said...

its very smart so long as they do build it. sometimes i think doing stuff like this ends up cursing it... DC buying the streetcars for anacostia yet the route fell through, seattle tunnel tracks placed in 1990 ending up having to be replaced, new orleans building a little spur off the canal street line for the desire streetcar line which will now probably never be built, plus look at all the freeway ramps that lead to nowhere in anticipation of freeways that were never built. i'm sure theres tons more examples out there.

one place in particular where this thinking ahead did pay off is the MAX green line in Portland along I-205. when I-205 was planned 30 years ago they designed for a future transitway seperated from traffic and running along the side of the freeway. they even built tunnels and a graded right of way. instead of a busway it became a light rail line but otherwise the whole old transitway is being utilized.

njh said...

jon, aren't your examples are caused by lack of 'follow through' on good projects rather than being bad to plan ahead?

jon said...

to some degree, and some of, is it murphy's law?... that when something is assured to happen it will automatically fall through

njh said...

jon, yep... sounds about right.

ChiefJoJo said...

It was mentioned on the tour... Charlotte's TOD zoning is by right, not conditional use (as one local architect advocated)... which tends to favor a speedy development process. It has it's merits, in that development has moved at a breakneck pace... but subjectively, the urban design & execution of some projects are lacking, and they have already approved upzoning of several parcels in the TOD districts from 120 max to ~230 feet (which I do not agree with at this stage). To be clear, though, Charlotte has historically been very developer friendly. At least this is the good kind.

I think the Beatties Ford/Trade/Elizabeth/Central streetcar will be a huge success and putting in the tracks will *definitely* provide a nice push for the city to get that project moving ahead of schedule.