photo by Grant Baldwin Photography courtesy of Envision Charlotte


The Charlotte Department of Transportation has completed an effort in partnership with Charlotte Center City Partners to develop the Uptown Connects Study. The study identifies challenges of bicycling in Uptown Charlotte and provides a series of recommendations to make cycling more comfortable and safer.  The Study also provides recommendations to link existing and future greenways and urban trail facilities and destinations through Uptown.

The City worked with a consultant to evaluate options to connect the Little Sugar, Irwin and Stewart Creek greenways and destinations Uptown. The Uptown Connects Study has resulted in recommendations for a more comprehensive bicycle network.

The study process tool took about 14 months to complete.  A technical oversight team, including City and County staff, consultant team and staff from Charlotte Center City Partners staff, was charged with developing recommendations for review by the public. This team participated in working sessions and bicycle tours.  The Study also included a substantial public engagement process.  Stakeholder meetings were held early in the process to gather information on what the public perceived as challenges to bicycling Uptown.  More than 140 people attended the first public workshop on September 20, 2016.  At this meeting the project team shared initial findings about a potential bicycle network. The workshop was a highly interactive open house with 10 'stations' where citizens could learn more about the overall project and provide feedback.

The final public meeting was held on February 23, 2017 to share the two primary recommendations of the study.   At this meeting, the public input gathered validated the study recommendations. ​


The Uptown Connects Study has been finalized and is now available here:

Uptown Connects Study - Final Report (28MB)​

Cycle Track in Calgary

Next Steps

Two primary recommendations are moving forward from the Study,  

  1. Implementation of the Belk Greenway Connector
    Visit the project web page
    A primary focus of the study evaluated the potential to build a multi-use pathway along the John Belk Freeway connecting Little Sugar Creek Greenway to Irwin Creek Greenway.  The multi-use facility will provide cyclists of all ages and abilities the opportunity to have a primarily off-street option through Uptown.  This facility is recommended to be built in three phases as follows. 
    • Phase One (eastern segment – Kenilworth to Davidson)
      • Design Started.  Fully funded.  Schedule TBD. 
    • Phase Two (western segment – Mint/Stonewall to College)
      • Working with developers to preserve land for trail. 
      • Not yet funded. 
    • Phase Three (middle segment – College to Davidson)
      • Working with developers to preserve land for trail.
      • Coordinating with NCDOT on any I-277/Belk Freeway modifications.
      • Not yet funded. 
  2. Implementation of the 5th/6th Protected Bike Lane (Visit the project web page)
    This recommendation provides an on-street solution to give cyclists a way to travel through Uptown linking greenways and many destinations.  The implementation of the 5th/6th Street protected bike lane is recommended to occur as follows:
  • Demonstration protected bike lane project being proposed as part of Biketoberfest – October 22-29 2017 
    • A one week demonstration along 5th and 6th Streets is proposed for October 22-29.  This demonstration will include a one-way cycletrack design.  The City will use this demonstration to evaluate operations and public perception.    
  • Permanent protected bike lane project

The City intends to design a two-way 'cycletrack' along 5th and 6th Streets ( starting in early winter 2018.   The design process will take approximately one-year.  The project is funded for design, but currently unfunded for construction.  

Chronology of Public Engagement and Technical Team Bike Tours

Planning Bike Tours May 2016

City of Charlotte and Charlotte Center City Partners staff participated in two bike tours to review existing conditions for the potential Belk multi-use pathway and a review of Uptown streets. View the Belk Freeway Bike Tour ESRI storybook map.

Stakeholder Sessions June 2016

A series of stakeholder interview sessions and walking tours were held June 14-16, 2016 to obtain public input and ideas. These small group sessions provided an opportunity to review public support for additional bicycle facilities and potential bicycle infrastructure locations.

Staff hosted five stakeholder interview sessions, two walking tours and a wrap up session at the end of the three day series. The wrap up session provided an overview of key takeaways from the interviews and walking tours.

Public Workshop September 2016

More than 140 people attended the public workshop on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. The project team shared initial findings about a potential bicycle network. The workshop was a highly interactive open house with 10 'stations' where citizens could learn more about the overall project and provide feedback. In addition, attendees were able to grab a B-Cycle and ride a pop-up protected bike lane on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard! Thanks to B-Cycle for providing bicycles for the attendees!

Public Workshop February 2017

The final Uptown Connects Study public workshop was held on Thursday, February 23, 2017. The meeting included a short presentation followed by an open-house where attendees learned greater details about the study and provided comments on a recommended protected bike lane pilot project along 5th and 6th Streets between Irwin Creek Greenway and Little Sugar Creek Greenway. 

Public workshop meeting materials are located under project documents.  

Study Schedule and Timeline

  • Project Kickoff – April 2016

  • Data Collection / Fieldwork – Spring/Summer 2016

  • Planning Team Belk Bike Tour – May 26, 2016 

  • Planning Team Uptown Bike Tour – June 9, 2016 

  • Stakeholder Meetings - June 14 - 16, 2016 

  • 1st Public Meeting – September 20, 2016

  • 2nd Public Meeting – February 23, 2017

  • City Council Dinner Briefing on the draft Uptown Connects Study – June 12, 2017

  • Study Complete – July  2017