Charlotte City Council members Monday evening could take the next step toward giving pedestrians and bicyclists a safer path from South End into the Center City.
Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists can currently approach Uptown Charlotte from the south along a 3.5 mile public pathway known as the Charlotte Rail Trail. It runs along the Lynx Blue Line light rail corridor, passing through South End. But trail runs out abruptly just south of the I-277 loop. That leaves pedestrians and bicyclists to negotiate around sidewalks, stairs, and vehicle traffic to make their way into the Center City.
Last June, City Council members approved an agreement for a public/private partnership aimed at building a new pedestrian bridge across I-277. It would connect with the current 3.5 mile Rail Trail, which the City says was used by more than 500,000 pedestrians and bicyclists last year.
Monday night, the council will consider approving up to $1.2 million in spending for design work on the proposed bridge. Under the partnership agreement, Mecklenburg County and the North Carolina Department of Transportation would join the city in providing public funding for the project. The plan also calls for private sector contributions.
Also at Monday's meeting, City Council members will hold a public hearing on City Manager Marcus Jones’ proposed $2.6 billion budget for the next fiscal year. It includes what city officials call a “revenue neutral” property tax rate, though this year’s revaluation will likely still produce higher tax bills for many property owners.
The council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
[UPDATE: The council approved the $1.2 million in design funding.]