Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Assessing Charlotte's transportation

(The city adopted a bicycle plan last year to help riders such as this)
This is for transportation policy wonks, among others. The city of Charlotte's transportation department has issued its yearly report on how the city is doing on its Transportation Action Plan. Here's a link, if you'd like to read it in full.
The good stuff: The city adopted a Bicycle Plan, and the light rail ridership substantially outstripped its projections.
But there's cause for concern: Despite new city policies, more attention to pedestrians and requirements for building more sidewalks, the percentage of city residents who live within a quarter mile of schools, parks and transit is lower now than in 2004. Of course, that may have as much to do with the lack of neighborhood parks and with school-siting decisions than with whether sidewalks are adequate.
Here are some "issues and challenges" identified in the report (their wording, not mine):
- The percentage of population within ¼ mile of schools, parks and transit is lower today than in 2004, making access by walking, bicycling, and short vehicle trips less viable.
- The percentage of multifamily units being approved in the wedges [not near the transit or major business corridors] is higher than the land use targets called for in the Centers, Corridors and Wedges growth framework.
- NCDOT’s project designs typically do not reflect Charlotte’s urban needs (for example Mallard Creek Extension).
- Gas tax revenues at the federal and state levels continue to decline, reducing the funds available for building and maintaining roads.
- ½-cent sales tax revenues for transit are lower than anticipated.
- Without a local dedicated transportation funding source, at levels consistent with the TAP, Charlotte will struggle to keep pace with continued growth and increased travel demand.
Here are some of the accomplishments the plan notes (again, their wording):
- Charlotte residents passed $160M+ in transportation bonds during 2008.
- Key road and intersection projects were advanced as depicted in Map 1.
- LYNX Blue Line averaged over 15,000 daily riders in its first year of service.
- The Committee of 21 [a local group] and the 21st Century Transportation Committee [a state group] convened and identified transportation revenue options to address transportation needs at the state and local levels.
- Both the Federal Highway Administration and the North Carolina American Planning Association honored the TAP as a model plan.
- Council adopted the City of Charlotte Bicycle Plan.


JAT said...

No, LYNX did NOT have 15K avg. riders, it had 15K avg. RIDES. Big difference.

This is a common mistake that the transit special interest lobby encourages with its "ridership" language.

Correct that when you get a chance.

Arleigh Jenkins said...

I'm glad you followed something for the bicycling in the area.

I would love to deep dive this a little more when you get a chance.

Thank you

arleigh at gmail dot com