Apr 8, 2024 - News

Matheson Avenue's $12.9M makeover to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists

Matheson Avenue is bike route No. 10. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Matheson Avenue is bike route No. 10. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Matheson Avenue near NoDa will ultimately transition from four lanes to two to slow down vehicular traffic and improve pedestrian and cyclist access.

Why it matters: The roughly 0.6-mile stretch between NoDa, Optimist Park, Lockwood, Tryon Hills and Villa Heights is a problematic section in the city's High Injury Network database.

  • This means the corridor has seen several fatal or serious car, bike and pedestrian crashes in recent years.

Driving the news: Charlotte city council approved the $12.9 million Matheson Avenue project Monday night. Council member at-large LaWana Mayfield was the only no vote.

  • The project will span Matheson Avenue between North Tryon Street and Jordan Place.
  • It includes building new sidewalks on the north and south sides and adding a cycle track on the south side facing Uptown to connect to the Cross Charlotte Trail, the LYNX Blue Line and the NoDa neighborhood.
Rendering of Matheson Avenue improvements.
Matheson Avenue bridge. Rendering: Courtesy of the City of Charlotte

What we're watching: This is one of two projects intended to make Matheson Avenue more bike friendly. Eventually, the effort will span Matheson Avenue to The Plaza. The latter project is currently in design.

  • "It just makes the city much more accessible," Mayor Pro Tem Dante Anderson tells Axios. Anderson represents District 1 where Matheson Avenue is.

Between the lines: Projects like this that make neighborhoods more walkable in traditionally High Injury Networks areas should help transform them and help the city achieve Vision Zero, its goal to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries, Anderson says.

By the numbers: Five crashes occurred along Matheson Avenue between North Tryon Street and Jordan Place in 2023 and 15 occurred between Jordan Place and The Plaza along Matheson Avenue, according to the Charlotte Department of Transportation.

What's next: North Tryon Street to Jordan Place is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2027.

Map of where the work will take place on Matheson Avenue.
Map: Courtesy of the City of Charlotte

Editor's note: This story was published on April 8, 2024 and was updated on April 9, 2024 to include data about crashes on Matheson Avenue and a rendering from the city.

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