Leaders debate adding another Light Rail stop in SouthEnd

(Ben Williamson | WBTV)
Updated: Oct. 18, 2018 at 5:01 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The LYNX Blue Line carries thousands of passengers a day in Charlotte, many to or through the SouthEnd area.

At the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization meeting on Wednesday, a proposal was presented to add an additional stop along the light rail.

The new stop would be near Iverson Way, behind the Publix. Currently, there is a stop along New Bern Street and a stop at East/West Boulevard with pedestrian crossing along Remount.

However, the goal of the proposal is to continue to increase accessibility in one of Charlotte's fastest growing areas.

“Growth is inevitable in SouthEnd and along the light rail, and the more we can do that sustainably with a light rail, the better it is for everyone,” said Kate Cavazza with Sustain Charlotte. “The distance between light rail stops puts a transportation constraint on people that live here.”

CATS currently has planning underway for a pedestrian crossing of the LYNX Blue Line in the area of Iverson Way, but this proposal would turn it into a light rail station.

“This is, since the original stop was not put in, the unsolved mystery. Why was it left out?,” said Teri Shook, an architect and President of Historic SouthEnd. “This stop would be huge for the area surrounding the Atherton Mill. Atherton is where SouthEnd started.”

Scott Hart is a managing partner of Luna's Living Kitchen in Atherton Mill.

“It is definitely a hassle for staff and customers alike, to determine which station to access Atherton Mill,” said Hart. “Any direct contact with the rail trail would be a positive for this area.”

Currently, it is difficult to access Atherton or the Publix without walking to the pedestrian crossing at Remount Road or Tremont Road.

“Anything we can do to draw traffic off of South and onto the light rail is good for transportation,” said Hart. “I hope this is something that is going to happen sooner than later.”

According to the proposal, the first two years of the project would be funded with a CATS fund and the following construction would be a public-private partnership.

According to sources familiar with the process, a vote by the CRTPO could come in November.

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