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Could people working from home prevent a full recovery of Charlotte’s transit system? | DFA 90.7

In April 2019, the Charlotte Area Transit System processed 1.8 million passenger trips.

A year later, in the first full month of North Carolina’s stay-at-home order as the coronavirus raged across the state, the number of users fell to just under 594,000 .

In April 2021, ridership started to increase again, to 721,500 trips. That’s a 21% increase from a year ago, but still a 60% drop from 2019.

“What we are seeing is that ridership is growing slowly,” said Paul Skoutelas, CEO of the American Public Transportation Association.

He said it might take two years for ridership to rebound, but he’s optimistic that will happen.

Labor Day, he said, will be the real start of the recovery. That’s when companies with a strong presence in downtown US cities, including Charlotte, said they would start bringing workers back to their offices.

“We are social beings, we have to get out,” Skoutelas said. “It’s already happening. People go out to restaurants and retail stores. People can’t wait to get out. “

In Charlotte, the stakes are high as to the full return of the runners, if they ever do so.

The city wants Mecklenburg County voters to approve a 1 cent sales tax increase to help fund an $ 8 billion to $ 12 billion transportation plan known as the Charlotte MOVE. Most of the money would go to a new light rail line between Matthews and the airport and possibly into Gaston County, a commuter train line to Lake Norman, and expanded bus service.

The big question: will working from home stay?

If office workers are only in the office three days a week, that doesn’t just mean they don’t take public transportation two days a week, said Steve Polzin, who was a senior advisor at the US Department of Transportation. the Trump administration.

“If the roads are less congested then you are more likely to drive,” Polzin said. “If there is less competition for parking spaces, it will definitely encourage people to drive. “

Steve harrison

Many parking lots in downtown Charlotte are still empty more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic sent many employees home. Office workers are expected to return after Labor Day.

He said after the pandemic, the share of people working from home could double or triple at about 15% of the work force.

“There is even speculation that these changes will cause people to move further away and be prepared to commute longer because they are only doing it a few days a week,” Polzin said. “Which could mean that (people) are moving beyond traditional market areas for transit to areas of lower density. There is certainly some evidence that this is also happening. “

Ron Tober was the first CEO of CATS. He’s one of Charlotte’s biggest public transport advocates, but even he’s concerned about the impact of people working from home.

“You know, a lot of places are talking about going back to the office this fall,” Tober said. “Is a year long enough to see how this ride pattern sets in, how much red do you see on the highway in the afternoon rush hour?” I do not know.”

When Tober was interviewed in May, Duke Energy had recently announced that it was reducing the total footprint of its Charlotteby office by 60%, in part because some employees would have hybrid work schedules.

Tober said delaying the Charlotte MOVES plan was “not (his) preference.”

But, he added: “Frankly, I would be hard pressed to argue against that.”

The 86-page Charlotte MOVES pPlan was published in December, nine months after the start of the pandemic. The trend of working from home is mentioned once in the report, but without any projection or reflection on whether people could do more in the future.

Earlier this year, when the Charlotte MOVES plan took center stage, little was said about what post-pandemic displacement would look like. Because Charlotte is growing up so fast, many city council members, like Malcolm Graham, feel that public transit is necessary no matter what is happening with the people working from home.

“No matter where we are today in terms of data, the data also suggests that more people are moving to our community and we will need to provide a viable option other than cars for people to move,” Graham said.

Michael Smith of Center City Partners said the city should move quickly to implement Charlotte MOVES.

“We shouldn’t dwell for a second on our aspirations for the 2030 transit plan,” Smith said. “I can tell you that when we encounter economic development prospects, it is a key differentiator like our airport. It’s the same type of trump card.

If you look at the transit ridership in Charlotte, there really were two crises.

The first took place from 2014 to 2019.

That’s when ridership fell nearly 20%, despite CATS opening the $ 1.1 billion LYNX Blue Line extension in 2018. During this period , the bus system has seen the biggest declines in traffic, possibly due to people turning to carpooling services or buying their cars.

Then came COVID-19.

In Charlotte, regional express bus ridership for commuters was almost completely wiped out, down 90%.

Ridership on the light rail, which is also dependent on commuters, is down nearly 70%. The local bus service, which serves essential workers, is only down by half.

Polzin says the pandemic could cause transit systems to focus less on preferred passengers who can now work from home a few days a week.

“We have driven out the users of choice (with the tram) and in the meantime we have reduced the bus service and have not helped the market segments that really need public transport,” he said. declared.

Charlotte was hoping to put the transit tax on the November ballot, but a delay with demographics from the US Census Bureau means the vote can only take place in 2022.

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Parking space

MCD Sud is developing a parking management plan for 14 localities

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has prepared a parking management plan for 14 localities by studying the area’s parking demands, parking space and the obstacles that lead to congestion.

These areas are Anand Lok, Aurobindo Marg (IIT to AIIMS), Geetanjali Enclave, Green Park Extension, Gulmohar Park, Kailash Colony, Kailash Hills, Malviya Nagar, Neeti Bagh, Nizamuddin Basti, Panchsheel Enclave, Safdarjung Development Area (SDA), Siddharth Extension pocket and Soami Nagar.
Prem Shankar Jha, deputy commissioner of South MCD’s Income Project Unit, which is developing the plan, said a map of each area has been drawn. It contains details such as parking spaces in these localities versus the number of homes and car owners, details of dumped cars and parking spaces for guests.

“To solve the problem, we need to identify the problem and its extent. So an investigation was carried out, ”Jha said.

The civic organization also plans to favor people with a car over those with two or more cars for a parking space in a public space; declare congested areas as no-parking zones; demolish unauthorized constructions and encroachments on road space; open residential gates in settlements that are closed and used for parking; and clearing dumped vehicles. A senior official said these issues are found in most areas and need to be addressed with strict measures.

The company is seeking suggestions from the RWAs, after which the plan will be implemented, Jha said.
He said these maps are also available on the SDMC website: “We have given RWAs 30 days for their suggestions, which can be sent to [email protected]

The poll

According to the survey, in areas like Green Park Extension, 818 cars are parked along the road. It also shows that there is a parking problem in five blocks, while six blocks have demand equal to supply, and there is no parcel of land available for multi-level parking.

In the case of Siddharth Extension Pocket B, which has 208 apartments, 90 families have one car, 64 have two cars, seven have three, and one family has five cars. It has been suggested that color coded stickers be made for the first car, second car, third and so on from the same family.

The survey shows that in Gulmohar Park, 218 plots have parking space on stilts or indoors, 107 have no indoor parking space, 868 cars are parked indoors, while 669 are parked outside.

In the case of Nizamuddin Basti, it was found that tourist buses and taxis parked on Lodhi Road create traffic jams, roadside mechanics occupied the sidewalk and cycle path on Mathura Road, and vehicles under- valued occupied a lot of parking space.

Proposals for this area suggest street parking with a walkway for buyers, off-street parking next to the Barakhamba monument, multi-level parking on Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, and tourist parking in Amir Khusro Park.

The results of the survey will be used to discourage the use of personal vehicles. “This can be done by not allowing roadside parking in congested areas and asking residents for proof of parking when purchasing vehicles. This would be used so that one family does not have the preference to park in a public space, ”a senior official said.

According to SDMC officials, the DDA’s draft 2041 master plan, which talks about a policy linking the registration of new vehicles to the availability of parking spaces for owners, may also be considered.

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Parking space

No parking space, stadium overhaul on | Nashik News

Nashik: District Guardian Minister Chhagan Bhujbal rejected Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation Limited’s (NMSCDCL) proposal to build a smart parking area in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Stadium which is owned by Nashik Zilla Parishad.
Bhujbal said, “We were playing with the idea of ​​building a parking space to meet the needs. But none of the agencies were prepared to pay the cost of Rs 70 crore. We have now decided to renovate the stadium as planned. The renovation at a cost of Rs 25 crore will start soon.
The government sanctioned Rs 8 crore for the redevelopment of the stadium in 2018. The district sports office has already given Rs 4.31 crore.
DSO Ravindra Naik said the decision was a big relief for the sports fraternity. “The plan for the dirt track, the single-deck administrative office, several sports arenas and a multi-purpose hall as well as the seating arrangement were part of the Rs 8 crore plan. Now we have revised our plan and will add more infrastructure to the stadium, ”Naik said.
The stadium will now have a synthetic track for the athletes surrounding the football field and there will be two fields each for kabaddi, kho-kho and volleyball. A three-storey structure with rooms for badminton, table tennis, squash, wrestling, fencing, table tennis, toilets and changing rooms will be built.
Naik added that there is still room to accommodate a youth hostel for 300 sportsmen, which can be occupied in the second phase of the redevelopment.

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Woman charged with West Side hit and run

A woman was arrested and charged Friday morning in a hit-and-run accident that killed a motorcyclist last month, records show.

Racine Rene Delgado, 36, faces a charge of nonstop and non-assistance resulting in death.

Jerry Alfaro, 54, was riding his motorcycle southbound on General McMullen on May 3. When he reached block 1700, a Delgado-registered Acura MDX struck the back of his motorcycle, causing it to lose control, according to an arrest. affidavit. Delgado then turned around and quickly fled, investigators said.

Alfaro was pronounced dead at the scene.

The affidavit states that Delgado was questioned by officers several days later and told them that her car was stolen by a woman she knew as “Victoria Savage”.

At first, Delgado told officers she didn’t know her vehicle had been stolen until a tattoo parlor employee called her and asked her why her vehicle was parked at a shopping mall on Military Drive, according to the affidavit.

But then Delgado changed her story and told officers she immediately called to report the vehicle was stolen, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the police spoke to the tattoo parlor employees and no one knew who Delgado was.

Investigators said surveillance footage of the mall parking lot showed a woman matching Delgado’s description entering the parking space where the vehicle was located. Phone records also placed Delgado at the crash site and at the mall, according to the affidavit.

Delgado’s bond was set at $ 150,000.

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Developers propose high-rise residential building to replace office buildings on Eisenhower Avenue

At a Carlyle / Eisenhower East Design Review Board meeting on Thursday night, representatives from developer Mid-Atlantic Realty Partners presented plans to redevelop two medical office buildings into a high-rise multi-family residential building.

The site is located off Eisenhower Avenue between Mill Road and Elizabeth Lane. It is 4 blocks east of the Eisenhower Avenue subway station.

The proposed building, which will be called 2121 Eisenhower Ave., is divided into two phases. Each phase consists of the construction of a 24-storey L-shaped tower which will be connected by a six-storey parking garage.

The two towers will contain a total of 788 housing units, including 43 affordable units. The parking garage will have 712 parking spaces. A swimming pool and a furnished terrace will be located above the structure of the parking garage. The space shared between the towers will also serve to visually separate the height and mass of the two towers.

Some board members criticized the design of the building’s facade which, according to the architect, SK + I, will be either masonry or metal. The majority of members thought the design was too busy and disjointed, but otherwise approved of the height, mass and scale of the project. A motion passed approval of the height, mass and scale of the proposal, with the understanding that there will be significant work on the facade of the building before it is submitted to council for administration in August.

Learn more about the project and watch a recording of Thursday’s meeting here.

by the staff of Alexandria Living magazine

June 18, 2021

7:06

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