Urban Design

​Elizabeth Connectivity Initiative

The Planning Department's Urban Design and Community Planning staff teamed with Engineering & Property Management and the Charlotte Department of Transportation to implement some of the recommendations of the 2011 Elizabeth Area Plan for enhanced connectivity. The major goal of the project, which was funded through the Planning Department's Area Plan Implementation program, was to provide a safer, more direct route from the Sugar Creek Greenway through the Elizabeth neighborhood to Chantilly Park and the Briar Creek Greenway.

The project has four components:

  1. Belk Plaza Multi-Use Path

  2. Opening and renovation of the Charlottetowne Avenue Tunnel

  3. Tunnel to Park Drive Connection

  4. East 8th Street Multi-Use Path

​1. Belk Plaza Multi-Use Path

A 10’ wide multi-use path was constructed from the Little Sugar Creek Greenway across Central Piedmont Community College's Belk Plaza to the Kings Drive underpass. From here, an existing multi-use path next to Memorial Stadium leads to the pedestrian tunnel under Charlottetowne Avenue.


(LEFT) The new concrete path branches off from the Little Sugar Creek greenway path. (CENTER) The new path runs parallel to Kings Drive before turning right to go underneath Kings Drive. (RIGHT) The Kings Drive underpass, where the route connects to an existing multi-use path adjacent to Memorial Stadium. 

2. Charlottetowne Avenue Tunnel

The pedestrian tunnel underneath Charlottetowne Avenue was renovated and then re-opened for use.  Work included cleaning and re-painting, repair of the lighting, removal of gates, and new concrete paving at the entrances.

Tunnel with bike Bicycles entering tunnel

(LEFT) Prior to renovation the tunnel was closed and gated. It often flooded in heavy rains. (RIGHT) After renovation, the tunnel was reopened to pedestrians and bicyclists, providing a safer way to cross Charlottetowne Avenue.

3. Tunnel to Park Drive Connection

A hard surface path was built to connect the south end of the tunnel, which opens onto the Independence Park recreational fields, with the street. Work included re-grading, a new retaining wall, a new concrete path. and drainage improvements.

Tunnel ConnectorTunnel Connector

(LEFT) Before the connector path was built, the Charlottetowne Avenue tunnel opened into a playfield, which often flooded. (RIGHT) The new path connects the tunnel up to the street at Charlottetowne and Park Drive. New drainage improvements have reduced the flooding conditions.

4. East 8th Street Multi-Use Path

The final project component was the construction of a new multi-use path along an existing public right-of-way from East 8th Street to Bascom Street, providing a safe and convenient connection to Chantilly Park and the Briar Creek Greenway. A side path also connects to the end of Ranier Avenue. Work included clearing, grading, construction of a 14' wide asphalt and concrete path, landscaping, and trail lighting.


(LEFT) Before construction, East 8th Street ended at this barrier but the public right-of-way continued through to Bascom Street. (CENTER) Construction of the new multi-use path in the summer of 2016. (RIGHT) The same view after project completion.


 The path has become a neighborhood favorite place for strolling, dog walking, cycling, or just hanging out with friends.