Thursday, February 11, 2010

Charlotte streetcar shelter design workshop planned

A streetcar shelter design workshop is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in Room 267 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center at 600 East Fourth Street.

City officials are looking for design ideas for the stops on a planned 10-mile route for streetcars. Part of that route passes near the Merry Oaks neighborhood, with one planned stop near Arnold Drive and Central Avenue.

The workshop is the same night as the neighborhood’s general meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Merry Oaks Elementary School.

Here are excerpts from the neighborhood newsletter about the streetcars and their impact on Merry Oaks, based on a November meeting:

The City of Charlotte’s Engineering and Property Management Department and CATS hosted a public meeting in late November to discuss the Charlotte streetcar proposed in the 2025 Corridor System plan.
The engineers expect to be at the 30 percent mark of preliminary planning by fall of 2010. The project requires looking at utilities, stops, and a maintenance facility. Engineers are trying to position the project for federal funding and determine how to minimize the impact of construction. They said a discussed north corridor does not meet federal funding requirements.
Streetcars would be larger than buses but smaller than rail cars. A packed bus carries about 60 persons, and a streetcar could carry about 100.
The entire route for all lines would be about 10 miles long and have 34 stops. The cars would hook up with transportation centers, including a new Amtrak station planned just west of the Square in uptown Charlotte, and the route would have varied destinations, such as Central Piedmont Community College, a new uptown branch of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Presbyterian Hospital, retail shops, businesses and hotels.
The portion of the routes nearest to Merry Oaks (the Central/Hawthorne Corridor) would have stops at Hawthorne Lane, the Plaza area, Veterans Park, Morningside Drive, Arnold Drive, Briar Creek Road, Eastway Crossing, Sheridan Drive, Darby Acres, Rosehaven Drive, Winterfield Place and the Eastland Transit Center.
In the summer of 2010, trolley stops will be discussed at a charette design meeting for community input.
In a separate development, the city council voted Jan. 25 to apply for a recently announced federal grant for 1.5 miles of streetcar service. There is no guarantee that the grant would be awarded. If granted, construction would begin within 18 months.

The new Amtrak station.
A pdf of the Merry Oaks newsletter: Visit Neighborhood Link, and look under “Documents and Pages.”
Map of proposed streetcar route.

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