Charlotte is designated as a Silver-level community due to the city’s commitment to improving the pedestrian experience through innovative planning, policy and staff support. Highlights of Charlotte’s application include:
- The Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) works closely with community organizations and partners across the City to develop plans and projects that align with community goals. CDOT devotes staff time needed to properly plan, design and build road projects that align with the City’s transportation and safety goals.
- The award-winning Charlotte WALKS pedestrian plan establishes the City’s vision for making Charlotte a more walkable place. It sets aggressive targets for make more trips possible by foot, and establishes connections with other policies and plans that address the City’s transportation needs.
- The City ties together its safety initiatives and goals under the umbrella of a Vision Zero program. The Vision Zero Action Plan lays out actions across numerous program areas to improve road safety for all modes.
- For several years, the City of Charlotte has partnered with the Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation Department, Mecklenburg County Health Department, and non-profit organizations to hold a series of car-free events called Open Streets 704. The twice-annual event has 50,000 attendees per year and opens more than four miles of streets for biking, walking, and active use. The City is also supported on many initiatives by Sustain Charlotte, an active advocacy organization that aims to improve active transportation and health citywide.
- The City and Mecklenburg County are also working to advance the Cross Charlotte Trail which expands and connects several segments of existing greenways to create a seamless 30+-mile multi-use path that stretches across the county.
- Charlotte’s Urban Street Design Guidelines seek to implement elements of Complete Streets throughout the city. These guidelines provide mobility for motorists, while also ensuring the comfort and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. In addition to supporting transportation objectives, these guidelines support better linkages between land uses, urban design, and transportation in Charlotte.
- Pedestrian safety is enhanced in Charlotte through supportive roadway infrastructure like refuge islands and curb extensions, which are often constructed in conjunction with on-street parking or to meet transit needs for pedestrians crossing higher speed and volume streets. Using a context-based approach, Charlotte also constructs curb radii based on the function of the street to ensure that safety considerations are taken into account. The city has a Pedestrian Crossing Committee that meets monthly to evaluate requests for the installation or improvement of crossings. The committee includes representatives from the Charlotte Area Transit System.