Monday, August 18, 2008

Survey results: Uptown by car, foot, bike


The city, as part of its study of I-277 (the famous "freeway cap") study, conducted a survey of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists who use uptown. A synopsis of the results is part of this PowerPoint presentation, which was given last Monday. If you can follow that link, the PowerPoint contains a drawing (above) of one possibility for what South Tryon might look like in years to come. The artist was Ed DeLara of the consulting firm HNTB, which conducted the design workshop pro-bono.

Here are some highlights from the survey results.

From motorists:

Commuters and visitors think signs that list more exits and the distances to them, and better lighting on signs, would improve I-277. They think more signs directing drivers to I-277 access streets are needed.
Other concerns commonly voiced by commuters and visitors:

  • Difficulty merging onto and across I-277 to reach their exit.
  • Fast and aggressive driving on I-277
  • Inadequate signage to alert drivers to when and where their exit is.
  • It's not wide enough for a “breakdown lane” to get fender-benders and breakdowns out of traffic.
  • Too dark, poor visibility on several stretches of I-277 at night.
  • Poor driving conditions in the rain; standing water.
  • Trash and litter.
From pedestrians:
  • The chief complaints are the prevalence of jaywalking and the aggressiveness of uptown drivers who speed through intersections and make turns into pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Also, the sidewalks across I-277 at Tryon and College are not perceived as pedestrian-friendly. Sidewalks, particularly on College, are narrower and traffic moves faster than in the center of the city. There was also a comment that these sidewalks are dirtier and more littered.
  • Darkness and poor visibility under the I-277 overpasses.
From bicyclists:
  • Bikers' chief concern is being visible to drivers who are driving fast and aggressively, often distracted by cell phone conversation.
  • Concern over the speed with which drivers exit onto streets such as South Boulevard and College from the right, where the cyclists are riding.
  • Darkness and poor visibility under the I-277 overpasses. (Gee, anyone notice a pattern?)

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

What? These following pedestrian complaints can't be right!

"The chief complaints are the prevalence of jaywalking and the aggressiveness of uptown drivers who speed through intersections and make turns into pedestrian crosswalks. There was also a comment that these [uptown]sidewalks are dirtier and more littered."

Based on comments under Mary's previous topic, I thought that uptown walking is heaven, and that safely negotiating SouthPark and Ballantine streets is hell. Gee, could those blog commentors have been wrong? YEP!!!!!!!!!

James said...

"The chief complaints are the prevalence of jaywalking and the aggressiveness of uptown drivers who speed through intersections and make turns into pedestrian crosswalks. There was also a comment that these [uptown]sidewalks are dirtier and more littered." That can be said for pretty much any part of the city. Still, uptown is lot easier to walk than the suburbs, plus there are actually thing to walk to in uptown. Uptown, southend, noda, dilworth, plaza-midwood, elizabeth are all much more walkable than Ballansprawl. Some parts of Southpark are ok, but connectivity is an issue (getting from pedestrian friendly enclave to pedestrian friendly enclave.)

Anonymous said...

So James, just how much walking do you do all over this city to be an expert on every neighborhood? It must be nice to have nothing else to do.

Sloan from Uptown said...

Darn ! After hearing how great center city is, and how much of your tax money will be spent on it, we moved uptown this past weekend, downsizing into a four-bedroom penthouse. And then this report comes out. Wait ‘til I get my hands on that realtor and the dude from Center City Partners.

We’re coping so far, but our kids hate it. It’s too far to walk to Providence Day, and they refuse to ride the local bus routes. It looks like home schooling here we come.

Anonymous said...

Crossing Tryon is nothing compared to crossing Sharon. Anyone who think it's easier to walk in Southpark has obviously never attempted to walk uptown. Get a clue...

Anonymous said...

Push the button, get the walk signal and walk. Works anywhere in this city. Even on Sharon Road. Quit sniveling and get your own clue.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You mean push the button, wait 5 minutes for the light to turn, take one step into the street, get back on the sidewalk to avoid a turning motorist who's on his cell phone and never saw you, take another hesitant step, watch 2 more cars go by, make eye contact with the next guy so he understands what you're doing, quickly scoot across to the median, step back to allow someone to run the red light, notice that you've got 3 seconds left to get across the final lanes, sprint to the finish and say a prayer of thanks that you've still got feeling in your legs.

As opposed to wait 30 seconds, cross the street along with 20 other people and arrive safely on the other side 10 seconds later. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

You mean your kids walked from southpark to providence day???

Rebecca said...

CATS bus drivers are the biggest offenders in all categories - I nearly get run over about once a day by them turning right into a sea of pedestrians, daring one of us to keep walking when we have clarly have the right of way. The turn from Tryon onto 6th is the worst. They will cut cars off in traffic in awy that is dangerous for all, and play chicken with cyclists. I have been ON the bus when the bus was involved in accidents three times in the last year.

Eric said...

Chief complaints - ending sidewalks and not enough bike racks.

Anonymous said...

"...cross the street along with 20 other people."

Yes, that's typical of the uptown herd mentality. Safety in numbers is the only way to survive up there.

"You mean your kids walked from southpark to providence day???"

And you actually take Sloan seriously? Lighten-up.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

think you might need to be the one and "lighten up". So much for civil debate.

Anonymous said...

12:00 must be one of those friendly people from up north.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, that's typical of the uptown herd mentality. Safety in numbers is the only way to survive up there."

Which is why uptown is the safest district in the city, and suburban crime rates are skyrocketing.

Safety in numbers WORKS, whether you're crossing the street or calling the cops to stop a crime.

Anonymous said...

Just give 'em 10 more years and the Burbs will be in such decay they wont be able to give the homes away. Take a look around. It's already begun.

Anonymous said...

No turn on reds - citywide would be awesome. But I suspect some of the drivers of the motorized wheelchairs would disagree.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100%, no turn on red would solve half the problems.

Anonymous said...

Making no turns on red is ridiculous. Drivers just need to learn how to drive while in a downtown area (one way streets). If you can't do it, get a bus, cab or LYNX into the city and spare the rest of us.

It's insane in this town. I see people going the wrong way down one way streets all the time. People fly out of parking garages practically running you over in the process.
Last week a lady actually lightly hit me coming out of the Hearst building garage. I put my hands on her hood and kicked my feet up, otherwise I would have been under the car.

I constantly see people stop in the middle of the road if they don't know where they are going to look at a map or yell to someone for directions. Sorry, idiots, you find a place to park, get out and go ask for help.

I just love when they stop their big ass SUV's right in a lane of traffic during rush hour to let someone out. And do you think that person getting out has any concept or concern that they are holding up traffic ? No, they take their sweet time.

You know what ? All the time people do these things they act like its everyone else's fault. If someone blows a horn at them for rushing head on into traffic the wrong way - they loose their mind.

Okay, here's a question to all of you.
Is it legal yet in Charlotte to turn left on red when entering a one way ?

I spoke to a police officer about 2 years ago and he said the city was currently looking into making it legal since it is in so many cities and most city drivers are use to it.

Anonymous said...

If you can go left on red AND right on red, why not just replace the stoplight with a stop sign? The whole point is to regulate traffic so you don't have people cutting each other off, which is exactly what happens with turns on red.

Anonymous said...

o one cuts anyone off if people could drive properly. I've never seen right on reds as an issue anywhere I have lived except Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't mean they AREN'T an issue, it just means you haven't seen it...

Anonymous said...

If you can go left on red AND right on red, why not just replace the stoplight with a stop sign?

Aside from stuff I've written here, this is probably the most sensible thing I've ever read on this blog.

Anonymous said...

"Just give 'em 10 more years and the Burbs will be in such decay they wont be able to give the homes away. Take a look around. It's already begun."

Just give uptown one more year and it will be even deader. Or haven't you heard of "The Park" and similar on-hold or stopped development ventures up there. In 10 years there won't be an uptown. People will finally come to their senses that concentrating Charlotte's economy in skyscrapers located so close together will just tempt terrorists.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about replacing stop lights with stop signs, but doesn't it seem a waste of tax dollars to contruct, place and maintain speed limit signs, when most of us usually drive 10-15 miles over the limit posted on them?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anon 8/20/2008 08:34:00 PM,

Uptown will be dead ???? What a joke. Get you butt out there on Thur, Fri or Sat night and pray you can even get in anywhere after 8pm without waiting 2 hours in lines around the block.

I live at Avenue and here's how I see it from a point of view of someone who is actually uptown 24/7

First of all, the VUE is going up, Garrison on Graham is going up, Wachovia is still going to build their condo tower, Encore is close to being ready to break ground, the Green Market/condo project already broke ground as well as the Catalyst being almost complete.

Avenue totally sold out even with the developer receiving 90 units back when it came time to close due to the credit crisis and buyers not being able to close. Not bad for a supposedly "difficult time for uptown condos" as you put it.

One Charlotte was never going to happen. Too many units at too high a cost for Charlotte at present day. Maybe in 5 or more years when we have more retail and entertainment, but not now, not at those prices. The Park was due to simple financial blunder and the EpiCenter is just a legal feud between developer and the banks.

So out of all this all I see is that 300 S. Tryon was stalled a bit until the credit crisis straightens itself out. To me, that's a wise move on their part.

Uptown is experiencing the same troubles with units sitting a little longer before sale as any other area of Charlotte. Less so if anything. I have many realtor friends and they all say the same thing. The market has cooled off slightly from 2 years ago but it is still stronger than the rest of the city and county. The ones that specialize in Uptown said they are glad they do, otherwise they would be starving now.

The city is dumping so much into center city. New parks, markets, retail already under construction, Ritz, A-Loft hotel and at least 20 more restaurants have been announced to open by years end.

Keep on thinking what you want Burban buttheads and we will see who's laughing in 5 years.

Haaaa Haaaaaa ..... see, I've already started.

Anonymous said...

BOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!

HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!

Anonymous said...

^

I am sure you are a Bush fan as well. You fit the "FEAR" stereotype perfectly.