Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Charlotte was abuzz yesterday on social media (and I assume in coffee shops and around water coolers—people still talk there, right?) with the city and a few of our residents being prominently featured in a New York Times article titled, "Young Americans Lead Trend to Less Driving" (posted online Monday night; ran in Tuesday's print edition). The writer cites studies and uses the Queen City to explain that "Charlotte and other American cities have not abandoned their cars or their sprawling growth. But ... that American driving patterns have downshifted — perhaps for years to come." It's an interesting read.

Here are five things that stood out to me as I read the article:
  • The first paragraph describes Uptown Charlotte as "a pedestrian-friendly quarter with new office buildings, sparkling museums and ambitious restaurants." I couldn't have explained it better myself in 13 words.
  • Shouts out to my friend Ted Boyd, director of Historic South End, who recently partnered with me on an event, for being photographed and interviewed.
  • According to the article, Dan Mauney is opening two stores in South End, "one to sell women’s shoes and another men’s underwear." This is the first I've heard of that. Dan is most known as a co-owner of Sloan boutique in Dilworth, and as an organizer of the annual "BRIEF! A Fete for Fashion" men's underwear/swimwear fashion show and fundraiser.
  • The writer mentions the success of the light rail, and that "President Obama has nominated the city’s mayor, Anthony R. Foxx, to be the next transportation secretary." I anticipated that would be included in the article. But I think it should've also been addressed that Charlotte is currently struggling with its plans for a streetcar.
  • The driving trends could be reversed one day with "the emergence of self-driving vehicles [that] 'may re-empower elderly people to continue using cars far into their last years,' offsetting any potential decline from younger adults." Self-driving cars. Need. To. Happen. Now!


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