Charlotte Shared Streets program kicks off

Updated: May. 9, 2020 at 10:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Lisa Waggoner and Dixie, who live near McClintock Road in Charlotte, enjoyed the extra space on their walk Saturday.

McClintock is one of five streets that are part of Phase One in the City of Charlotte’s Shared Streets program.

The City of Charlotte says the Shared Streets program is supposed to be a way to support outdoor exercise while giving people space to be socially distant.

Signs that say, “Road Closed to Thru Traffic,” block half of the intersection of the road as an indicator that cars aren’t supposed to drive there.

However, it’s not a pass to socially congregate with other people.

There are five streets that are part of the Phase One project.

  • McClintock Road from The Plaza to Morningside Drive
  • Romany Road (Bike Route 11) from Myrtle Avenue to Kenilworth Avenue
  • Jameston Drive/Irby Drive/Westfield Road from Freedom Park to Brandywine Road

“A lot of people have dogs here and you’re always trying to like sidestep each other, so I guess in a way, that’s good because you could go in the street whereas there would be cars,” Emily Hewitt said.

Hewitt said she would support a more permanent shared streets program.

“Especially in Plaza Midwood," she said, “I feel like it’s one of the most walkable areas next to NODA.”

Some cities are taking shared streets to a more permanent basis, such as Seattle, Washington.

Charlotte is considering seven other streets too, including Thomas Avenue, 8th Street and Fifth Street. A webpage for the Shared Streets program for the City of Charlotte says they would only consider that if they aren’t major thru-ways and that speed limits are less than 30 mph.

However, it’s not easy to keep cars away and on its first day not many people seemed to take advantage of it.

“I think it’s a good idea I mean we’ll see how it goes I don’t know if they’ll be able to keep cars off,” Waggoner said.

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