Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bike/Ped & Transportation Highlight Latest DCDP Meeting

The third installment of the Charlotte Avenue Detailed Corridor Design Plan (DCDP) was held last night with a much smaller crowd in attendance than meetings past. The congregation representing the Charlotte Ave. Church of Christ did not make an appearance at this meeting. Maybe Rite Aid's departure has taken the wind out of their sails.

The MPC staff went over a revised Concept Plan based on the feedback they received from the meeting in February. The revised plan illustrated conceptual zoning along the various sections of the area. All properties fronting Charlotte have been designated as Mixed-Use, a majority of the properties along Alabama Avenue have been designated as Commercial, and pockets of Mixed Housing and Transition Buffers were worked in as well. (the revised plan will be available for download on the MPC webpage soon)

One intriguing part of the plan was the fact that the area along Richland Creek has been given a wider buffer to allow for an amenity along the creek (such as a park or wetland conservation area) rather than just having to develop something around the creek.

In addition to the concept plan presentation, two of the team members from the MPC got up and spoke specifically about bike and pedestrian impacts as well as transportation.

The bike/ped presentation was encouraging as it showed which sections of the plan were slated for sidewalk improvements/additions. It was also pointed out that bike lanes are proposed for 51st, Charlotte and 46th (continuing north) Avenues. Proposed greenways that impact the area were also highlighted, which showed the greenway continuing north of McCabe golf course along the creek towards the Cumberland River as well as an eastern spur that connects to Richland Park. The staff member was quick to point out that this plan is not set in stone - the proposed route north of the golf course has raised a lot of eyebrows since the greenway would go through the back of their property.

Transportation was also promising in that Charlotte Avenue holds great potential for adding bike lanes and on street parking, which would make it a more pedestrian friendly thoroughfare. It was also found that certain sections of Charlotte (esp. on the western end of the study area) are in dire need of access management. An example was made of the many curb cuts that encompass the area near Wendell Smith's and Dairy Dip. The graphic showed the many options a vehicle has for entering and exiting the businesses in that area, illustrating just how convoluted that system currently is. The second graphic showed how reducing the number of curb cuts would create a more streamlined and predictable traffic situation for both vehicles and pedestrians.

On street parking is another necessity that the community wishes to see implemented with this plan and an estimated 190 parking spaces are potentially available along the northern side of Charlotte Avenue. WOW! That doesn't even include the parking at Richland Park, or proposed on street parking on the side streets (47th-50th). One other idea proposed, was widening the sidewalk on the south side of Charlotte between 50th and 54th Avenues.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd. At this meeting the MPC will be talking about building regulations which will be a discussion about proposed building types on a block by block basis.

Remember if you missed the meeting last night, the MPC will have the documents posted from the meeting on their website in a few days. The meeting was also taped and can be seen on Cable Channel 10 at the following times:

Sundays at 4 p.m.
Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

Thursdays at 5 p.m.
Saturdays at 11 a.m.

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