Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Two Way Streets Rock!

What a difference a two way street make!  Mint Street has just been converted from a one way stretch from Trade Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to a fully functional two way street and you can feel the difference. 

Urban planners will tell you that a one way street is a way to exit traffic quickly from an area, where as a two way street has a calming effect, and will encourage street front retail to grow, something everyone in Charlotte would like to see. 

The two biggest embarrassing views of one way streets destroying a street scape is on College between Third and Fourth, and Third Street between College and Brevard.  Both of these streets were destroyed by the construction of the exits for the BBT Center.  When it was built, the idea was to be able to drive to work, park your car, take an elevator to your office, and then leave the building without ever having to walk on the streets.  The parking garage holds over 1500 cars, and one exit runs next to One Wells Fargo and the Hilton Hotel, killing any street presence there, while the other exit heads north on College and makes the entire ground floor of the BBT Center worthless to any serious street retail.

What were they thinking!  AARGH!

Contrast that now with what is happening in the Third Ward.  The Mint Street conversion is the first step.  The attached photo shows the J-Hook that was Poplar connecting to Mint Street being closed to begin the construction of the Romare Bearden Park, and the photo also shows the asphalt surface parking lots being ripped up to facilitate the building of the park.

In conjunction with that is the changes coming to Third and Fourth Streets. Utility work has begun to extend Third Street up Fourth Street to Mint, where traffic will be diverted a block to connect once again to Third Street. 

Take a walk there and you can feel the changes taking place.

All this means that this section of the Third Ward will begin to become vibrant, as the empty property there will be removed from future market considerations, making the existing property values begin to rise.

No comments:

Post a Comment