Plaza Midwood is a beautiful neighborhood filled with diverse architecture, gorgeous trees — and characters to boot.
But if you decide to go and peruse the neighborhood on foot or two wheels, you can feel like you’re taking your life into your own hands.
That’s why neighbors have united to create the “Stroll and Roll PM” campaign, advocating for a more pedestrian and bicycling friendly neighborhood.
I was reminded first-hand why this is vital to the livelihood of my former hood when a friend and I recently took our children strolling with their classic Dairy Queen vanilla-with-sprinkles-on-top ice cream cones down Pecan Street. For the most part, we used the sidewalks, even with two strollers and 3 preschoolers, until the sidewalks abruptly just stopped and started again on the other side of the road.
That is when my 3-year-old was almost run over by a truck. Not blaming the driver nor city planners, just hoping for change, as this neighborhood surely has, even since I lived on Thomas Avenue just eight years ago.
With over 2,000 apartments expected within 1 mile over the next year or so, think of the thousands of more cars. We hope they’ll be thinking about bicyclists, especially after a bicyclist was tragically killed on Parkwood in September 2015.
According to neighbors, Plaza Midwood is just not fit for strolling and rolling with the amount of traffic there is now, and simply hoping for change is not enough in this case. The Plaza Midwood neighbors and the leadership of the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association, with the help of Sustain Charlotte, have hit the pavement with their Stroll and Roll petition which now “lives” with a goal of 500+ signatures.
Here are the nuts and bolts of their petition:
The request covers the 3-mile target area where the neighborhood’s primary streets, Central Avenue, The Plaza and 10th Street connect residents to the business district into Uptown. This is what the ywant
- Protected bike lanes
- Frequent and safe pedestrian crossings
- Pedestrian warning signs and signals
- Wider and/or buffered sidewalks
- Welcoming bus/transit stops
- Signal changes to improve pedestrian safety, like “all-walk” crossing points
- Safer and more efficient turning lanes for motorists
Ultimately they want to make alternative travel choices more convenient, attractive and safe so that people do not need to rely solely on automobiles.
Currently, Plaza Midwoodians (may have to shorten that to PMers) have the support of over 375 people, so slow down, and park yourself here to sign the petition. I know quite a few families will thank you as will I.
The campaign is not just about safety, although that’s a main goal, but protected bike lanes and more walkable streets will also help with connectivity, allowing more commuters to bike and walk through neighborhoods, commute to work, run errands, and enjoy different parts of our city on foot or bike, creating a healthier, more unified city culture and allowing for more conversation, neighborly interaction.
If you’d like to help get the word out about the Stroll and Roll Plaza Midwood campaign, here are seven ways you can help and support this campaign:
(1) Sign the petition.
(2) Use hashtag #strollandrollpm to share photos while walking and biking in Plaza Midwood.
(4) Send us an email to provide feedback or volunteer to help.
(5) Invite people to hear more about the campaign at this Saturday’s movie in Midwood Park (They’re playing Frozen, so the 3-year-old I spoke of earlier and I will definitely be there, maybe in Elsa gear.)
(6) Walk and ride your bike as often as you can.
(7) You can also come along with the neighbors for a door-to-door petition drive. What a great way to meet neighbors and local business owners. So many cool people to get to know.