Councilwoman: Use streetcar money to fund neighborhoods - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Councilwoman: Use streetcar money to fund neighborhoods

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A Charlotte city councilwoman says Mayor Anthony Foxx's streetcar proposal is "absurd" and is proposing splitting the project money and spending it on improvements in three districts.

Already, the city of Charlotte has spent big money to install tracks for the streetcar project, but before it goes any further, City Councilwoman Claire Fallon says the money should be spent on district facelifts. Fallon is proposing splitting the $120 million project idea three ways and allocating $40 million into districts 2, 3, and 5.

"Who in their right mind on a rainy day is going to get on a streetcar, then have to get on a transfer, and stand in the rain for a bus?," Fallon said.

Fallon wants to use the $40 million to improve sidewalks, roads and lighting. She says the money could also bring in potential businesses to the area.

 "I think we do need improvement on this side of town," said resident Lamiya Grimes.

Grimes walks up and down Beatties Ford Road everyday and sometimes at night. She applauds Fallon's idea and says lighting this neighborhood is a "must."

"There's been plenty of times when I've walked on the side and have to hurry up and move over because that car has not seen me," she said.

Not everyone think's Fallon's idea makes sense. Especially folks near Johnson C. Smith who say a streetcar would only help.

"It would preserve gas. I don't have to spend a lot of money on gas because I live across town. I'm an off campus student," said JCSU student Quincy Timberlake.

Fallon says the conversation should be more than preserving gas. She says preserving the entire city is the most important issue right now.

"Why shouldn't their roads be as nice as anything in Dilworth. Why shouldn't they have the good lighting?," Fallon said.

Fallon is a councilwoman at large meaning the entire city is her district, pointing out that she is not playing favorites. WBTV called Mayor Foxx's office for his reaction to her plan. We did not hear back.

City officials say there will be several more streetcar meetings before a final vote is counted, most likely later this spring. For more on the streetcar project, visit

http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/growthstrategy/Pages/CharlotteStreetcar.aspx

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