Friday, June 8, 2012

A new look for South Tryon Street

It's little things like this project that will add up, over time, into a much more pleasant experience for people walking into and out of uptown Charlotte from South End and Morehead Street. Here's a photo of the newly widened sidewalk on South Tryon Street on the bridge over the I-277 freeway.

It used to be a stark, back-of-curb concrete sidewalk where you had to choose whether to get uncomfortably close to traffic or uncomfortably close to the railing where you could look down and see where your body would splat if you leaned too far. (Technically, the railing would have protected you from falling, but the place still felt dangerous.)

The city of Charlotte oversaw a project to shrink the number of travel lanes, widen the sidewalks from 5 feet to 12 feet and add bike lanes. A few cosmetic improvements include changing the railing and adding pedestrian-scale street lights.

The project cost, including design, was $2 million. The bridge over I-277 is state-owned, so the Charlotte Department of Transportation worked with the state DOT, which had to approve the changes.

Here's a piece I did in 2010 about the project. You can decide for yourself whether the reality looks like the drawing that envisioned the project then.

A ribbon-cutting will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday (June 19).

Photo: Courtesy of City of Charlotte


tarhoosier said...

Typing as a cyclist, this is a huge improvement. Trying to bicycle on the former sidewalk was insane and dangerous beyond consideration. Now there is a lane and the many pedestrians using the walkway to downtown and back are free to carry bags and pass each other. What a concept!

Anonymous said...

.thanks for sharing

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