• South End leaders work with city to transform pedestrian trail

    By: Sarah Rosario


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Neighborhood leaders in South End are working with the city, CATS and Park and Rec to transform the current pedestrian trail into a linear park. It would connect south end to other greenways in the metro area. Eyewitness News learned it could put the Queen City among the likes of places like New York and even Paris.

    "Right now, the path just kind of runs into 277, so we have creative ways to get over that and then loop around and come back in to South End" said Ted Boyd.

    Historic South End director Boyd said the plans are part of the 2020 Center City Vision plan which the Charlotte city council approved in 2011.

    The goal is to spruce up the pedestrian trail and turn it into a 3.3-mile greenway that would tie South End to Uptown.

    "I think it's an awesome idea and a great improvement to the city. I used to walk from the Arlington, where I live, down to Bank of America, where I work, and I often wished that there was a pedestrian overpass over 277," said South End resident John Charnes.

    The plans are still in the beginning concept phases but sketches show what organizers hope it turns out to be. The concept would create about a half a dozen parks along the greenway. Along the route people could make stops at shops and restaurants.

    Boyd said the idea was inspired by New York City'sHigh Line, a linear park built on an elevated railway line. There's a similar park like it in Paris called the Premenade Plantee.

    While the High Line has generated $2 billion in development for the Big Apple, there's no estimate on how much the Rail Trail would bring here or how much it would cost.

    Part of the funding for the project would have to come from the city and from sponsors.

    Organizers will talk to the public Tuesday night. If they approve the next step will be to create a master plan and figure out ways to fund it

    The public will get a chance to weigh in on it Tuesday.

    The Rail Trial Vision Meeting will take place at Byron's in the Design Center of the Carolinas at :30 p.m.

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