Articles about Transportation

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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


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Airlines, facing a crisis, make up a big part of the Charlotte region’s economic heft
   March 20, 2020
Ely Portillo, Katie Zager
Charlotte is home to the world’s sixth-busiest airport by takeoffs and landings, and Charlotte Douglas International is often cited as the region’s most important economic asset. That’s why the airline industry’s sudden existential crisis could be especially consequential for the region. Because of the coronavirus crisis, American Airlines and other carriers are struggling with the twin blow... Read more


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Would closing these streets help our lack of public space?
   March 9, 2020

Clayton Sealey, CLT Development
A steady rain of giggles falls on a busy street in Uptown Charlotte. It’s May 2019, and a neat row of see-saws undulate back and forth, bright LED strips highlighting their movement, as elated, carefree riders push off. The smell of food trucks serving eager patrons wafts through the air. Parents watch, relaxed, knowing they don’t have to pull their child out of oncoming traffic, as kids run... Read more


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‘You can only make roads so big’: Charlotte region launches first transit plan
   February 24, 2020
Ely Portillo
Leaders from across the region gathered Monday in a conference room at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with an ambitious goal: Creating a comprehensive plan for public transit, covering a dozen counties and setting the transit agenda for decades.  Called CONNECT Beyond, the 18-month planning effort by the Centralina Council of Governments is, to put it simply, big. The... Read more


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Trains, buses and people: More lessons for Charlotte
   February 10, 2020
Martin Zimmerman
In his recent book, Trains, Buses, People – An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit, Christof Spieler dispenses a refreshly forthright  assessment of 47 of America’s larger systems, including Miami, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas and other Sun Belt cities. Never before has a publication compared this many cities and transit modes for a mainstream audience. Research included photographs at... Read more


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‘Raise our expectations:’ Four takeaways from Charlotte City Council’s retreat
   January 16, 2020
Ely Portillo
Charlotte faces a wide range of needs, from affordable housing to more police, bigger parks and better transit, but they all share a similar root cause: growth.  That was one of the main themes at City Council’s annual planning retreat, held this week over four days in Durham at the Washington Duke Inn. There was little anxiety about when the city’s boom might end. Instead, the focus... Read more


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Should Charlotte make its transit system free?
   January 15, 2020
Ely Portillo
There’s been a lot of planning lately for Charlotte’s growing transit system, with new rail lines, improved bus service and the first inter-county transit links in the works — as well as questions about how to pay for that growth But one Charlotte City Council member raised a different idea this week at the group’s annual retreat: How about getting rid of fares altogether? Read more