CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For four hours Sunday, "Open Streets 704" closed off some south Charlotte streets to create a temporary, linear park by opening the roads to pedestrian, bicycle and other "people-powered" transportation.
It was a 5 1/2-mile loop that connects Madison Park, Selwyn Park, Montford Park, Freedom Park, Myers Park, Ashbrook, LoSo and Colonial Village neighborhoods. The streets were to be used for walking, cycling, playing and connecting with neighbors.
"It's all about making folks more aware of their public spaces and encouraging healthy behaviors," said Scott Curry with the Charlotte Department of Transportation.
The event also kicked off a conversation about new traffic projects in some of the neighborhoods.
CDOT has begun setting up two temporary roundabouts, one at the intersection of Jameston and Irby Drive in Myers Park, and another at Castlewood Road at Belrose Lane in Ashbrook.
"The idea is, they slow traffic down, and they also give cyclists a point of reference for knowing how to get around the city on these low volume neighborhood streets," Curry said.
"I'm excited for it," a neighbor said. "I live on the corner and I see people blow through here, blow off the stop sign."
The neighbor said her neighborhood still has a lot of questions.
"What the reason is for it if it's cost effective? How it will be maintained?” the neighbor asked.
CDOT did a similar test and survey in May with bike lanes in Plaza Midwood. The city has yet to move forward with the project. The test was also done around an Open Streets 704 event.Midwood. The city has yet to move forward with the project. The test was also done around an Open Streets 704 event.
"It's a public engagement strategy,” Curry said. “We're doing it as a temporary installation before we would spend any money to do something permanent."
Cox Media Group