Order up! We’d like one re-do on University City, please. Make it over easy with a college-town feel. Not in the image of some clique, mind you, such as (dare we say it?) Chapel Hill or Madison, Wis.
Instead, let’s break away and be distinctive. How about a place that’s not afraid to be both urban and suburban, a place with new history that’s walkable, safe and hip?
That’s the central vision offered by readers of this blog for making the area around UNC Charlotte feel and function more like a university community. Currently, it’s sterile and congested. You’d hardly know the fourth largest campus in the state is there.
What would change that? Readers recommended the following:
- Sidewalks and bike lanes
- A light rail line through campus.
- Redo John Kirk Road with stores and nightlife.
- Bulldoze apartments and replace them with neighborhoods.
- A campus radio station (hey, that would be cool.)
This post sums it up:
“I think it is simple, stop building developments with giant parking lots around them so no one wants to ride or walk and build wide highways around the university. Get the light rail line through the campus and build some Southend type development around it. Also, fix the roads that surround the university with landscaped medians, bike lanes and wide sidewalks. Create pedestrian refuges and bulbouts (sic) to slow down traffic rather than trying to get traffic out to Cabarrus County as fast as possible."
(To read other thoughts on what makes a college town a college town, check out Get Schooled).
Here’s the question: What will it take to get additions such as sidewalks and bicycle lanes done? Should the university or the city take the lead?