Charlotte Streetcar

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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Project Categories: Urbanism
Year Started: 2010
Status: adopted
Size: 11259 acres
Partners: URS Corporation

The DPZ Charlotte team recommended stop locations based on a standard logical assessment. They highlighted opportunities to integrate land use on the streetcar line. Four factors played important roles in the streetcar stop location assessment. They are the ‘Cool Spots’ concept, the idea of a ‘transit metropolis,’ the emergence of transit-oriented developments (TOD’s), and the economic effect of the streetcar on development.

The ten-mile line, which will share streets with other vehicles, covers a route from the Rosa Parks Place Community Transit Center on Beatties Ford Road through Center City via Trade Street to Eastland Community Transit Center on Central Avenue.

An earlier study proposed thirty-eight transit stops. DPZ’s team validated twenty two of them. In addition, the team relocated nine stops, identified three additional emerging transit oriented development locations, and recommended an additional four stops.

Cool Spots, an interactive GIS-based planning system, was used to identify popular destinations along the streetcar corridor and to map pedestrian sheds around retail businesses, schools, parks, and health services.

Using the transit metropolis approach, the team identified paths to connect the transit system, such as the Lynx Blue Line, North Corridor Commuter Red Line, Silver Line, the Streetcar, the Gateway Multimodal Station, and others, using a gridded network supported by circulators. To foster transit-oriented developments (TOD’s), some stop locations shifted slightly or took on different characteristics. A design evolution of the currently proposed streetcar corridor would retool the current conventional approach to include light imprint infrastructure to reduce costs.

The team collaborated with the Charlotte Department of Transportation, Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte Planning Department, Charlotte Engineering and Property Management, and Charlotte Economic Development Department. Three lead consultants for the project provided manpower and expertise during the collaborative assessment and stakeholder meetings.

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