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Designing Complete Streets In Charlotte


On Oct. 22, 2007, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, adopted Urban Street Design Guidelines to be used to create "complete" streets, an urban infrastructure that provides adequate capacity and mobility for motorists while improving safety and comfort for pedestrians, cyclists and neighborhood residents. 

"The Guidelines will allow us to provide better streets throughout Charlotte – streets that reflect the best aspects of the streets built in the past, and that will provide more capacity and safe and comfortable travel for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders," the Guidelines explain.
The guidelines are the implementation tool for planning and designing Charlotte's streets.
"They support a variety of City policies, including the Centers, Corridors and Wedges growth framework and the recently adopted Transportation Action Plan, which describes the transportation-related policies and programs needed to help Charlotte maintain its many advantages as it continues to grow," the guidelines explain.
Include is information an explanation of the rationale behind this guidelines, how the guidelines should be applied, and how specific design features should be used for different types of streets.  
The guidelines seek to implement the emerging vision for Charlotte. That vision includes:
  • More compact and focused growth
  • Protections of environmentally sensitive areas
  • Expanded travel choices
  • Mix of uses/integration of live, work, shop and play
  • Viable and healthy economy
  • Maintenance of quality, livable neighborhoods
  • Revitalization and infill in older areas
  • Variety of housing choices and costs
  • High quality urban design
  • Infrastructure needed to support development
  • Empowered, informed and engaged citizenry
The guidelines have been added to the Best Practices.