Apr 7, 2016 - News

CATS has narrowed plans for a new Silver Line light rail route in east Charlotte to these options

People who commute on Monroe Road or Independence Boulevard in east Charlotte have been waiting on mass transit for years.

And plans now appear to be solidifying for a line that tracks those thoroughfares into Uptown. The Charlotte Area Transit System is holding public meetings this week to unveil the latest possibilities for where the Silver Line would run and how it would pass through the center city.

One huge piece of news: It’s definitely going to be light rail. Streetcars are off the table.

monroe-road-header

CATS has narrowed the Silver Line down to four options.

They’re taking everyone’s opinions this week and want to narrow them down to two. They’ll then do detailed analyses on them.

CATS-Silver-Line-routes

All four routes run from Matthews to Uptown. They essentially break down into two categories: mostly tracking Independence and mostly tracking Monroe. But there is a lot of crossover.

Click here for a full-size image.

Tracks around Independence Boulevard would operate in an exclusive path. Along Monroe Road, they’d run in the middle of a greatly widened street.

There are plans for some pocket parks and a walking path along the Independence corridor as well.

Option A (red on the map): 29-33 minute travel time.

Option B (blue on the map): 32-36 minute travel time.

Option C (green on the map): 31-35 minute travel time.

Option D (purple on the map): 34-38 minute travel time.

silver-line-uptown-map

Here’s how it would enter Uptown

Six options on the table. I looked at this map for a long time and couldn’t decide which I liked the best.

Click for a larger view.

Option 1: Circles around the north side of Uptown to the proposed Charlotte Gateway Station. Transfer point to the Blue Line around 11th Street once the extension is finished.

[Agenda story: Boarding an Amtrak train uptown might one day become a reality]

Option 2: Follows the northern path and then plunges through Uptown along the Blue Line route (no need to get on another train).

Option 3: Essentially follows the streetcar route and hits the Charlotte Transportation Center.

Option 4: Swings down Stonewall Street and ends up at Gateway Station. This would access a whole lot of the development going on there as well as the Midtown area.

Option 5: Similar to Option 4 but ends up at Carson Station in South End.

Option 6: Similar to the two before it, but on the south side of I-277.

All the options have a lot of optionality of going farther west in the future, perhaps to the airport.

There’s one more public meeting on this.

At least for this stage of the planning. The meeting is tonight (April 7) at the International House on Central Avenue. Starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 7:30 p.m.

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