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Charlotte leaders pass strategic mobility plan

The goal is to reduce dependency on cars by half.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As Charlotte continues to grow, there is a need to reduce the dependence on cars and trucks and other vehicles and the pollution they create.

On Monday, the city council looked at mobility issues as part of its 2040 plan and ultimately passed the strategic mobility plan. Leaders know that if not addressed directly, traffic and sprawl would only worsen. 

Ed McKinney, the Deputy Transportation Director of Charlotte, said we only need to look at other cities for guidance on what can be done.

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"Cities around our country that are doing the same thing, that is achieving the same goals that we are putting in place, so we have peers that show us the way, it's possible," McKinney said prior to the meeting. 

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City leaders know the goal of the 2040 strategic mobility plan is to make the city more pedestrian and bike-friendly by reducing vehicle trips and making the roads safer.

There are four areas of the mobility plan that the council is looking at streets and roads, bike lanes, transit and people walking: ultimately creating more lanes, more sidewalks, and improving our transit system.

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"We've realized we can’t do it by just investing in cars, the amount of money that it takes, the space that's needed it’s just impossible for us to build enough, so we have to invest in different ways," McKinney said. 

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Some on the Charlotte City Council were excited about what this could mean for the Queen City. Many highlighted this action plan will create a greener Charlotte for the future.

Others on the council, like Council Member Tariq Bokhari, said while this is an ambitious plan, there are systematic issues that must be worked through. He said there is a systematic issue with CATS (Charlotte Area Transportation System). He told WCNC Charlotte the plan relies heavily on a system that is failing.

"I am a hard no," Bokhari said. "I will always be a hard no until we can fix the already broken system before putting more to expand it."

Community members took to the mic on Monday and validated the issues CATS faced but said the expansion of the system is a necessity. People with disabilities said right now the CATS bus route only allows for the minimum required. 

Contact Richard DeVayne at rdevayne@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Contact Austin Walker at awalker@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 


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