My hat's off to the City of Charlotte for innovative thinking. Much respect for the folks in the brainstorming room who came up with the concept of Shared Streets. As the pandemic shifts the way we do everything from shop for groceries to educate our kids, one constant is the need for fresh air and exercise to support mental and physical health. Shared Streets give residents another great option for healthy living.
The streets remain accessible to residents and people performing essential services (like emergency workers, garbage pick-up and street-sweeping), and on-street parking is not impacted.
Shared Streets are marked with special signage that reads "Road Closed to Thru Traffic," placed at key intersections.
These protected spaces provide more recreational areas in proximity to more Charlotteans. Folks can also continue to use parks, greenways and nature preserves run by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, which are all open, though the department is operating at a limited capacity due to COVID-19 (restrooms, recreation centers and playgrounds remain closed).
Shared Streets are opening in phases. As of the end of June, the following Shared Streets are open (click on the links for maps):
- McClintock Rd. from The Plaza to Morningstide Dr.
- Romany Rd. from Euclid Ave. to Kenilworth Ave.
- Jameston Dr./Irby Dr./Westfield Rd. from Freedom Park to Brandywine Rd.
- Marney Ave. (from the Grier Heights Community Center to Stancill Pl./St. James Pl./Leroy St.)
- State St. (Turner Ave. to the street's end)
- Andrill Tr. (Washington Ave. to N. Summit Ave. and ending at Martin St.)
Motorists using Shared Streets must always yield to pedestrians and give them the right of way.
This is a pilot program that will be monitored and adjusted as public health officials provide ongoing guidance.