Ever been to the High Line, the New York City public park built on a section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad spur? Envision something similar here.
|NYC High Line rail park garden|
It's an intriguing idea with lots of promise, though there are still several unknowns including the costs. It will take advantage of the existing walkway alongside the Blue Line, and aims - with the help of supporters - to transform the trail into a network of gardens, public art, and places to play and congregate. The 3.3-mile trail would connect communities and neighborhoods from Sedgefield, Southside Park, Brookhill, Dilworth, Wilmore and South End to uptown.
Charlotte's Rail Trail wouldn't be exactly like NYC's High Line, located on Manhattan's lower west side. It's longer than that 1-mile park and promoters say inspiration is coming from a number of other rail parks. But there's a lot about the High Line to like and emulate. It was developed in stages, just like promoters suggest here and its public landscape was created with guidance from a diverse community of supporters - also the idea here.
And High Line is visually engaging, as you can see from the accompanying photo. We like the idea, and the value Charlotte Center City Partners says it could bring - unique recreational space for seven neighborhoods along the trail and others across Charlotte who will flock to it; a destination for tourists and other visitors to experience the authentic character of Charlotte and its people; support for small businesses and easier access for shoppers to galleries, shops and restaurants; and strengthening cultural experiences in the city.
Sounds good. We're eager for Center City Partners to learn more about cost and who will pay for it.
Editor's note: Observer Publisher Ann Caulkins serves on the Center City Partners board. She was not involved with the reporting or writing of this piece.