Frequently Asked Questions. Frequently Given Answers.
WHY IS THE RAIL TRAIL A GOOD THING FOR CHARLOTTE?
Our vision is that the Rail Trail will:
- Create a unique recreational asset for the ten neighborhoods along the trail and residents from across Charlotte.
- Be a destination where visitors and tourists can experience Charlotte’s real, authentic character and people.
- Support the innovative small businesses in South End and give shoppers an easier way to access the galleries, shops and restaurants along the trail.
- Strengthen the identity of Charlotte as city of creativity and cultural experiences.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
The idea of developing the Rail Trail into a linear park is part of the 2020 Center City Vision Plan adopted by City Council in 2011. In late 2012, Charlotte Center City Partners commissioned the Trail Design Collaborative to develop a vision for the Rail Trail. In late 2013, Charlotte Center City Partners commissioned the landscape architecture firm LandDesign to develop a Framework Plan.
The planning, design and construction of the trail will be a joint effort between Charlotte Center City Partners, the property owners and stakeholders along the trail, our municipal partners and the community as champions. South End’s renaissance grew from grassroots efforts like this. These community connections and public/private partnerships will shape and mold how the Rail Trail will best serve the neighborhoods.
WHAT IS THE TRAIL DESIGN COLLABORATIVE?
Charlotte Center City Partners invited a collaborative team of three stellar local design professionals to develop the vision for the Rail Trail and what it could become. The team includes:
- David Furman, FAIA, Centro CityWorks
- Terry Shook, FAIA, President of Shook Kelly Inc.
- Richard Petersheim, Partner, LandDesign
WHEN WILL THE RAIL TRAIL ENHANCEMENTS BEGIN? WHY DO WE NEED TO DO THIS NOW?
Building out and expanding upon the Rail Trail will not happen overnight. Urban dwellers in dense transit-oriented corridors like this need a different kind of public space. This project will evolve over time, one project at a time. First steps will include sharing the vision with community stakeholders, property owners and Charlotte citizens, and developing a Master Plan for the trail.
YOU SAID THAT THIS IS A VISION FOR THE RAIL TRAIL. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The images and ideas in this vision are concepts; not specific plans. The next steps will include developing a Master Plan for the trail, seeking sponsors, and working with sponsors and adjacent property owners to design specific “episodes” or special places on the trail. The Rail Trail vision also ensures that we are not just focusing on aesthetic improvements for this vital part of the community. Instead, it ensures that we create opportunities for residents and businesses to gravitate to South End and make a long-term, lasting impact on our City. It will build recreation, movement and creativity along the trail, but it is also a unique economic development strategy for the district.
WHAT WILL THIS COST? WHO WILL PAY?
We will not know the cost of designing and constructing the Rail Trail until we have completed the Master Plan. The foundation for the trail already exists, but unlike a municipal park, the Rail Trail will be built over time. There will be a variety of funding strategies. For the plan to reach its full potential, each “intervention” on the Rail Trail will include different funding partners and a different timeline; that is, each opportunity is unique!