2016 is going to be a huge year for the Rail Trail. Check out three projects now underway

2016 is going to be a huge year for the Rail Trail. Check out three projects now underway
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The rail trail is one of my favorite things about this city. It’s unique, it’s cool, it’s convenient and it’s organically growing. Over the past year alone you may have noticed an exclamation mark, a chalkboard, trees covered in yarn and a power substation lit up.

[Agenda story: 15 stops along the Charlotte Rail Trail and 3 sample itineraries to explore]

rail-trail-lights

All these things come together to give the Rail Trail life and a personality, to bring it beyond just bringing someone from point A to point B. 2016 has a lot in store for the trail.

Transformer Park

Transformer Park

Located on the southwest corner of the light rail & Carson (there is a big transformer box housed by brick walls) will be an incredible pocket park. Consisting of an arbor, swings, and “deck,” this will add much needed stopping points to the trail.

Transformer Park looks to change that with incredible urban integration into the trail, seating and interactive features. Work has just begun and this should be complete by summer.

transformer-park-construction

Bland Plaza

bland-station-update-rendering-1

bland-station-update-rendering-2

This is another great pocket park/plaza that will be located just west on a patch of grass at the Bland Station. What is so cool about this one is again, the seating and integration into the trail. The hope is to add a ping pong table to add further interactivity with the rail and further advance Bland as one of the premier stops on the Blue Line. There will also be sculptures and other art integrated into Bland Plaza and this is just another great example of “place making” along the trail.

This is another (hopefully) completed by summer project but this one may take longer than Transformer Park.

bland-street-station

Kingston Connection

Kingston-Connection

One thing that’s really irked me is the dead end of Kingston with no access to the Rail Trail. 2016 will change that with the help of CDOT. There will be an access ramp and stairs connecting Kingston to the Trail. Art will also be incorporated and I love the connectivity this will have with the area.

Timeline is up into the air on this one; tough to judge when CDOT is involved.

All of these things are going to have substantial impacts on the Rail Trail and further advance it’s “coolness” and I can’t wait.

For more projects and information check out their website.

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