Articles about Transportation

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Here's what the next 20 years could hold for uptown Charlotte
   June 23, 2020
Ely Portillo
A new “Central Park” for Charlotte. A Tryon Street that prioritizes pedestrians over cars. A new neighborhood built around the Carolina Panthers’ stadium, and the burial — or even total elimination — of I-277. These are some of the big ideas planners are batting around as they work on the new Center City Vision Plan, meant to guide development in uptown and the surrounding neighborhoods for the... Read more


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Is Charlotte car culture finally changing?
   June 17, 2020
Ely Portillo
As a post-World War II, Sunbelt city that grew up in the age of the automobile, a car has long been pretty much a prerequisite for a comfortable and convenient life in Charlotte. Despite the completion of the Blue Line light rail, added miles of greenways and bike lanes, and new options like fleets of shared electric scooters, Charlotte is still a city where more than eight out of 10 people... Read more


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Post-coronavirus, everything will change in cities — or not
   June 4, 2020
Mary Newsom
We who write about cities are quick to make predictions. Some will prove prescient. Some won’t. But nobody really knows. Cities aren’t all alike. New York’s texture, way of life and pandemic experience are not Charlotte’s, or Houston’s, or Seattle’s. And this: We humans have a long history of behaving both predictably and unpredictably. Read more


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Three lessons our city should learn from COVID-19
   June 2, 2020
Ely Portillo
The novel coronavirus is extracting a terrible toll from our society, replete with mind-boggling statistics: A death toll of more than 100,000, 40 million people unemployed, a 95% plunge in airline passengers and so many more. The losses are immense. Grief is immeasurable. It’s still unclear how far-reaching and deep the economic pain we’re facing will run.  Amidst that, however, the... Read more


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Keeping the conversation about public space alive past coronavirus
   May 13, 2020
Ely Portillo
Projects that usually take years are happening in weeks during the coronavirus pandemic: Cities are closing streets to cars, opening public space for sidewalk cafes and investing more in pop-up parks and outdoor amenities.  Planners are responding to a desperate desire for more public, outdoor space, as restaurants, gyms, bars, concert venues, offices, schools and other indoor gathering... Read more


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Can Charlotte’s auto-dependency be cured? Planners launch Strategic Mobility Plan
   May 12, 2020
Martin Zimmerman

The heightened attention to COVID-19 aftershocks has not  distracted  local planners from tackling related issues that beg for solutions. High among these is overcoming Charlotte's long-standing love affair with the car — especially reliance on driving alone, even when carpooling, light rail, cycling or other options are readily available. Charlotte Department of Transportation Deputy Director...

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Adding open space: How other cities are opening streets to pedestrians during coronavirus
   April 27, 2020
Ely Portillo
Across the Charlotte region, parks have been full and streets largely empty for the past several weeks, as people try to get out of their houses for fresh air and exercise while staying home from work and school. Other cities have been opening vast stretches of their streets to walkers, joggers, bicyclists and others seeking outdoor space while following social distance guidelines. The... Read more


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Inequalities in Charlotte: Coronavirus shines a spotlight
   April 9, 2020
Ely Portillo
As unemployment rises and schools remain closed, the coronavirus crisis is highlighting some of the many inequalities in the Charlotte region.  Those problems go beyond the ones we’re familiar with, such as income inequality and patterns of segregation. They point to deeply embedded inequalities in how we’ve built our city and our region, as well as access to key infrastructure.  Read more


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Five things coronavirus could change in Charlotte
   March 30, 2020
Ely Portillo
Closed bars, restaurants and breweries. Hundreds of thousands of employees working from home while trying to home-school children. Near-empty road and no toilet paper on the shelves.  The immediate impacts from the coronavirus crisis are highly visible. But the virus could have more long-lasting and farther-reaching impacts beyond the immediate unemployment and economic disruption we’re... Read more


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As Mecklenburg shelters in place, crowded housing conditions vary widely
   March 24, 2020
Ely Portillo, Katie Zager
Mecklenburg County residents are directed to stay at home through a new proclamation Tuesday, in order to limit their social contacts and slow the spread of coronavirus. But some residents could find that harder to do: The rate of crowded housing varies widely across the city of Charlotte and the rest of the county. Read more