Recently one of the hot topics for our local political race for Mayor of Charlotte, NC has been what we call our light rail. It has been debated heatedly on both sides and recently had some wins for it. The big issue with the light rail and street cars is that it has been historically not very well managed. Charlotte’s sprawl is pretty insane for the population it has roughly 1.8 million people in the “city” of Charlotte. I put The word city in quotes because it’s about the looses use in terms of a densely packed city as you can get. Our city or downtown area is no more than 10 block by 10 blocks, where everyone lives outside the city. The sprawl is immense, going over a hundred miles in any direction.
It’s pretty funny when you are in Fort Mill South Carolina and you ask them where they live and they reply “Charlotte” but that is the mentality of the Charlotte area, we all want to live in Charlotte, but we want a full on house with a 2/3 acre lot.
I found these great videos about Cincinnati’s push for mass transit and it sounds like our own here in Charlotte in a way. Now being from Charlotte, not Cincinnati I can’t really speak on house close these two scenarios are, but they do share some similarities and makes a case for mass transit in general.
First up is a viral marketing ad they made about their street car which is pretty funny.
What impact did/does mass transit have?
Here is a news report about the street car