The goal of the Uptown Urban Trails Connection Study was to identify and define ways to overcome challenges of cycling and walking through Uptown between existing and future greenways and urban trail facilities by creating comfortable and convenient connections/routes to connect these facilities. These connections will promote access to a wider variety of destinations by different modes of transportation, serving populations in neighborhoods adjacent to and within Uptown. Stewart’s evaluation included short and long term options to provide comfortable multi-modal facilities for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and abilities to connect not only the Little Sugar, Irwin and Stewart Creek greenways through Uptown Charlotte, but link the South End and Uptown segments of the Rail Trail, and the future Mooresville to Charlotte Trail. It was also important to focus on linking key destinations including the parks, stadiums, arenas, ballparks, schools, arts & cultural facilities and transit lines in accordance with the City’s 2020 Vision Plan. One primary focus of this study evaluated the potential and feasibility to implement a multi-use pathway (a primarily off-street option) along the John Belk Freeway connecting Little Sugar Creek Greenway to Irwin Creek Greenway (Cedar Yards). Evaluation criteria for analysis include All-Mode Safety, Bicycle Mobility, Pedestrian Mobility, Transit Rider Access/Mobility, Vehicular Mobility, Parking Access, Placemaking/Identity/Economic Development, Maintenance, and Cost Effectiveness/Project Readiness.
With a selected alternative, Stewart engineers were engaged to complete a design package for the project in the second phase. This includes intersection crossing treatments, barriers, pavement markings and preliminary signing. Final design will add services including utility coordination, drainage, and traffic control plans.
Outreach is informing the public and design process along the way. A unique public pop-up outreach day and ride to the Knights event garnered over 55,000 impressions from extensive news media coverage of the event. The outreach effort is also supplemented by traditional public meetings and online surveys to gather a broad cross-section of stakeholder input.