Friday, April 4, 2014

City to Discontinue Bike Rack Program

The City of Charlotte is discontinuing its bicycle rack program at the end of this month (April 2014).   The reason is apparently due to lack of interest and support.  If you did not know about this program, it once offered Charlotte businesses bike racks installed at little to no cost.  These bike racks are the common inverted black "U" racks that you see scattered around Charlotte.  Do you think this shows a lack of marketing on the part of the city or does it show complacency with cycling improvements?

A typical city bike rack installed at the One Morrocroft Building.

Monday, March 10, 2014

LYNX - Blue Line Extension Overview

This 6-1/2 minute video was recently created by the city and traces the path of the LYNX Blue Line Extension between 7th St. and UNC-Charlotte. It shows where the stations will be and includes some renderings of them.  A light rail yard and office will be constructed alongside Brevard St. similar to the one north of Clanton Rd.   There is no discussion of a multi-use trail alongside the line in the non-elevated portions, although bike lanes are mentioned along the section of N. Tryon, which are already in place.  You can currently take your bike on any LYNX train. See this page for more information on stowing your bike on LYNX trains. In addition, there are bike lockers at all of the stations from New Bern south.  No word on whether the LYNX Blue Line Extension will include bike lockers at the stations.

Friday, March 7, 2014

2014 Walk Score Rankings

Charlotte, North Carolina is currently the 17th most populated city in the United States.  At a population of just over 775,000 and growing at nearly 6% per year, Charlotte is now larger than Boston, Denver, Seattle, and even the District of Columbia.  With that being said, it is difficult to accept how low we rank in terms of walkability and bikeability among other large American cities.

The Walk Score website has recently updated their rankings for 2014.  If you are not familiar with Walk Score, they rank larger cities in terms of their transit, walkability, and bikeability.   These rankings are based on several factors, which are listed on the website.  Within these listings, Charlotte ranks close to the bottom for both walkability and bikeability.  The walk score for Charlotte is 24.4 and the bike score is 35.2.  As a comparison, the highest ranked large city for bikeability is Minneapolis (population 392,880) with a score of 78.5.   The lowest is Birmingham (population 212,038) at 28.8, which is only 3 cities below Charlotte.  The city with the lowest walk score is Fayetteville, NC (population 202,103) at 18.0.  The highest is New York at 87.6.

There are small pockets of Charlotte where the scores are higher.  For instance, Plaza Midwood's bike score (66.0)  is considerably higher than the Charlotte average bike score.  NoDa has a high walk score of 80, which could be even higher if there were a nearby grocery store.  There are areas where it is much lower, too.  The 28217 zip code (south of the airport) has a walk score of 18 and a bike score of 16.  This  is understandable, as this area has almost no sidewalks, bike lanes, or stores.

If you are considering relocating to Charlotte, within Charlotte, or anywhere else and these issues are important to you, I strongly recommend visiting the Walk Score website.

Charlotte Bike Score
Overall Charlotte is considered "Somewhat Bikeable" by the Walk Score website.  The yellow and green areas show the most bikeable areas and the orange and red are the least bikeable areas.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Charlotte's A-Peel'ing Bike Benefits Program

One of the newest Bicycle Benefits members in Charlotte is the new Pizza Peel restaurant that opened in Plaza Midwood a few weeks ago.  It is at the corner of Central Ave. and Thomas Ave.  There are currently over 70 businesses in Charlotte that participate in this constantly growing program that encompasses any kind of business from beer to yarn.  Get your Bicycle Benefits sticker today and support the businesses that support us!

Pizza Peel, Plaza Midwood Bicycle Benefits (10% discount off food)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bike Route 10 Extension

The city recently extended Bike Route 10 by 3 miles.  The newer portion extends from Camp Greene along Remount Rd. and onto Ideal Way.  This route now makes a semi-circle around the west side of Charlotte.  The end points are in NoDa and Dilworth.  The original section from Ashley Rd. to Remount Rd. is now signed as a "spur."

Bike Route 10 is shown in magenta below.

View Charlotte Bicycle Routes in a larger map