Projects

Uptown CycleLink City of Charlotte

Uptown CycleLink - Program Overview


Charlotte has about 190 miles of bikeways and continues finding ways for cycling to serve as a transportation option for our growing population. In recent years, the City has focused on building an Uptown bicycle network. The Uptown CycleLink is the result of 4 years of planning, public engagement, and an evaluation of every block and corridor in Uptown Charlotte. The initial result of that evaluation was the Uptown Connects study,which was published and presented to City Council in the summer of 2017.

The City is currently completing a more detailed feasibility study that evaluates the preferred side of the street, facility type, and cross-sections for the Uptown CycleLink. This work will create a “AAA” (All Ages and Abilities) bike network and transform Charlotte into a world-class bicycle city. With over 20 miles of “AAA” bikeways and trails in design, Charlotte is truly on the verge of something big. Once the Uptown CycleLink is complete, it will connect over 40 miles of bikeways into and across Uptown Charlotte!

Recent project updates

 

Uptown CycleLink Progress

The City is studying the best ways to modify earmarked streets for the Uptown CycleLink. This is a thoughtful task that requires block-by-block evaluation, design, and coordination with adjacent properties, private development, and city service providers. The plan is to pursue the implementation of various segments as conditions and funding allow. See the information and diagram below for the latest progress.

Uptown CycleLink Construction Status Diagram. The text information below corresponds to what is shown in this map.

Length: 2.5 miles
Limits: 
  • 5th St. from I-77 to 6th St.
  • 6th St. from 5th St. to McDowell St.
  • McDowell St. from 6th St. to 11th St.
  • 11th St. from McDowell St. to Alexander St.
Status: This project is funded and in construction now with anticipated completion by the end of 2021. Construction is being phased across project alignment. Intermittent lane closures will occur. Work will be limited to off-peak hours as much as possible to minimize impact to traffic.
Description: The 5th/6th Street project will install a continuous two-way cycle track connection across Uptown, linking the Irwin / Stewart Creek Greenway system to the Cross Charlotte Trail / Little Sugar Creek Greenway system. The project will upgrade the existing pilot project from the Rail Trail to Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Length: 2.3 miles 

Limits: 

  • Pearl Park Way / Baxter St. from Little Sugar Creek Greenway to McDowell St. (Note – This portion is funded through the Belk Greenway Connector Phase 1 project) 
  • McDowell St. from Baxter St. to MLK Jr. Blvd. 
  • MLK Jr. Blvd. from McDowell St. to College St. (Note – A portion of this segment is under construction from Davidson St. to the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. See 2021 Street Repaving, above.) 
  • College St. from MLK Jr. Blvd. to Hill St. Hill St. from College St. to Mint St. (Note – A portion of this is funded through a public-private partnership.) 
  • Mint St. from Hill St. connector to Graham St. (Note – Also see Mint St. / Pine St. Segments) Cedar Yards / Graham St. Connector from Graham St. to Wesley Heights Greenway

Concept Plans

McDowell

MLK Jr Blvd

College St

Hill St

Graham Street Connector

Length: 0.2 miles

Limits: MLK Jr. Blvd. at Davidson St. to McDowell St.

MLK Jr

Update: CDOT is reviewing a proposal to install a portion of this segment beginning Spring 2021 as a part of regularly scheduled street repaving in Uptown. The remaining segments are in the design and not currently funded for construction.


  • Length: 0.25 miles
  • Limits: Davidson St. from 4th St. to 6th St.
  • Status:  This project is not yet funded.
  • Concept Plans: Davidson St

  • Length: 0.45 miles
  • Limits: 
    • Davidson St. from MLK Jr. Blvd. to 4th St.
    • MLK Jr. Blvd. from Davidson St. to the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center
  • Status:  This project is funded and in construction now through regularly scheduled street resurfacing with anticipated completion this spring/summer.
  • Description: 
    • This project will reimagine the traveled way by converting portions of Davidson St. and MLK Jr. Blvd. to complete streets. The City will re-distribute the roadway space to accommodate automobiles as well as a protected two-way cycle track. 
    • As part of this conversion, the bike lanes will be protected with vertical elements. These will include flex posts, "Zebras," and synthetic rubber speed bumps. Green pavement markings will be used at intersections to highlight conflict areas between automobiles and active transportation modes. 
    • Signage will direct cycle track users to utilize the leading pedestrian interval (LPI) walk phase. The LPI is a safety feature that gives pedestrians and cycle track users a 3-5 second head start into the intersection ahead of automobiles. 
    • A two-stage left-turn box will be utilized at the Davidson St. / 4th St. intersection to accommodate turns from the cycle track into the existing bus–bike lane along 4th St.
  • Plans: Spring 2021 Resurfacing - MLK and Davidson

SDavidsonSt_MLKBLVD_Resurfacing Map

Length: 1 mile

Limits: Mint St. at Palmer St. to Pine St. at 6th St.

Status:  This project is not yet funded.

Concept Plans: Mint St and Pine St

​Key Connections to Other Bikeways

The Uptown CycleLink network is anticipated to connect over 40 miles of bikeways into and across center city Charlotte, enabling safe and comfortable bicycle commuting in a transformative new way. The Uptown Cyclelink project team is currently working towards completion of the feasibility study which will determine the preferred side of the street and review cross-sections and overall traffic operations. The Uptown CycleLink corridors will connect important existing and planned facilities including:


See the Uptown CycleLink Report 2021 including concept plans for each planned corridor in the Uptown CycleLink network.

Uptown CycleLink FAQs

​The Uptown CycleLink is a ~7-mile network of separated bike lanes that will connect over 40 miles of bikeways into and across center city Charlotte, enabling safe and comfortable bicycle commuting in a transformative new way. It is a critical focus of Charlotte’s effort to create a “AAA” (All Ages and Abilities) bike network and transform Charlotte into a world-class bicycle city.

The Uptown CycleLink alignment is the result of 4 years of planning, public engagement, and an evaluation of every block and corridor in Uptown Charlotte. The initial result of that evaluation was the Uptown Connects study, which was published and presented to City Council in the summer of 2017.

The Uptown CycleLink alignment was chosen in part because it has the least anticipated impact on vehicular traffic. Other key factors include connections to existing bikeways, access to major Uptown destinations, coordination with adjacent land uses, and input from the cycling community and other stakeholders.

You can ride a portion of it today! The segment of the Uptown CycleLink on 6th Street from Little Sugar Creek Greenway to the Rail Trail has already been installed as a pilot project. Other segments are moving along on separate timelines as resources and funding allow. See information on individual segments below.

In a word, yes. The primary goal of this project is to create safe and comfortable bike commuting options for cyclists of all ages and abilities. There is no space available in Uptown to create a “AAA” bike network without some impacts on vehicle traffic and parking. The Uptown Connects Study revealed that there are currently 34 continuous lanes for vehicles running east-west through the Uptown and zero for cyclists. This project helps to address that imbalance by reallocating some space that is currently used for vehicles.

After evaluating every block and corridor in Uptown Charlotte, the Uptown CycleLink alignment was chosen in part because it has the least impact on traffic. For example, a 2017 pilot project on 6th Street demonstrated that there was only a 5-minute average increase for drivers traversing the length of the Uptown.

Evaluating potential tradeoffs is a part of every city transportation project. In the case of the Uptown CycleLink, the City determined that the significant safety benefits for cyclists and other Uptown travelers, and the opportunity to connect over 40 miles of bikeways into and across Uptown Charlotte, is worth the relatively minor impact to drivers. That tradeoff is consistent with the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan, the Strategic Energy Action Plan, and our commitment to providing safe and comfortable transportation choices for all Charlotteans, no matter how they choose to travel. Also, separated bike facilities have been shown to benefit businesses, promote public health and wellness, reduce emissions, and encourage more people to ride a bicycle.

Active Uptown CycleLink projects

Bicycle Resources

Video Gallery