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On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Mecklenburg County commissioners will hold the first budget hearing to receive resident input on the fiscal year 2024 budget. The county is also in the process of drafting the next five-year Capital Improvement Plan, a program that funds a range of projects, including creating new community resource centers, updating county facilities, and expanding our park and greenway system. 

This is an opportunity for us to help shape the discussion at the County Commission’s budget retreat on Jan. 24. 

Below are two ways to urge your elected officials to support funding for equitable investment in parks and greenways. 
(📷: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation)

Speak at the hearing!

The public hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 during the regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center at 600 E. Fourth St. 

We will be speaking and are looking for others to join us. The more who speak on this, the more impact we will have! If you can’t come in person, there is also an option to speak online.

You can sign up here and will have three minutes to speak. The deadline to register is Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. Let us know if you sign up, and we are happy to help with talking points.
Sign up to speak

Email your representatives!

We’ve made it easy to send an email to your elected officials. It’ll take just a minute to complete our action alert asking county commissioners to prioritize community mobility, equity, and sustainability. 

Now’s the time to speak up for continued funding to support a vibrant, healthy, and equitable community for all.
Sign our action alert!
Thank you for using your voice,


Shannon Binns
Founder + Executive Director

Top stories

(📷 Wes Hicks/Unsplash)

We have a serious problem with traffic violence

There's been a barrage of heartbreaking news about traffic violence in Charlotte over the last week.

On Jan. 6, Kristie Crowder was killed when she was struck by a driver while riding her bike on Hamorton Place, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

On Jan. 10, Amanda Hopkins was killed when a driver struck her on The Plaza as she backed onto the street away from police responding to a 911 call about her, CMPD said. Later that same day, four people — Edwin García, Arturo García, Kevin Turcios, and Miguel Portillo — were killed when the truck they were in struck a vehicle that was parked on Interstate 85, according to the N.C. State Highway Patrol.  
On Jan. 11, we were reminded of a November hit-and-run on Brookshire Freeway that killed pedestrian Jesse Sigler, as CMPD announced an arrest in the case.

And a Queen City Nerve report early this week analyzed vehicle-related deaths in Charlotte (excluding those on state-patrolled highways) in 2022, finding that nearly one third of those who died were pedestrians. We have long said that pedestrians and people on bikes are the most vulnerable road users. We need our streets to be made safer for all users, especially those most at risk for serious injury or death from cars.

We will have more to say about potential street design solutions in the future. For now, our thoughts are with the families of all of those who have lost loved ones to traffic violence.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, right, is seen at the state Legislative Building in Raleigh on Jan. 11 as the 2023 legislative season began. (📷 NC Speaker Tim Moore/Facebook)

A top NC lawmaker's comments bring Charlotte's mobility goals into the spotlight

On Jan. 9, North Carolina's top two lawmakers — state House Speaker Tim Moore and state Senate leader Phil Berger — were in Charlotte to preview the legislative session that began this week. Moore, asked about Charlotte's $13.5 billion transportation plan, was dismissive and said he thought it would spend too much money on public transportation and infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. Instead, Moore said, the plan should focus on road capacity for cars.

We strongly disagree with the speaker's statements, which were especially troubling considering the traffic deaths we just mentioned. In one of those cases, the death of Kristie Crowder, police said Ms. Crowder was on a street that did not have a bike lane as she entered an intersection and was struck by a driver. We desperately need more protected bike lanes, sidewalks, greenways, and other infrastructure that will help keep pedestrians and people on bikes safe.

On top of that, building wider roads will only increase car traffic, not alleviate it — a concept known as induced demand.

“We also need major investment in rail and bus service,” our founder, Shannon Binns, told WFAE. “These are the most efficient ways to move people in fast-growing metros like ours. Wider roads mean more cars, and that means more traffic and congestion.”

Shannon added that you can never widen roads enough because “they will just fill up with more cars" and that cities that have “tried to widen their way out of congestion” have “abandoned that approach in favor of transit.”

You can read the WFAE story here. Shannon also spoke with Axios Charlotte for a similar story, which you can read here.

(📷 Charlotte Area Transit System)

Could we be looking at a bus driver strike soon?

Charlotte Area Transit System announced that many of its bus drivers, who are employed by a third-party company and represented by a union, voted to potentially go on strike as soon as February. That doesn't mean that a strike is guaranteed to happen, and we hope the drivers' union and the company that employs them reach an agreement soon. It should be noted that only bus drivers are employed by a third party. Light rail, streetcar, and paratransit operators are employed by the city of Charlotte and would not be part of the strike.

CATS also laid out contingency plans that would go into effect if a strike takes place. In essence, there would be substantial service reductions. Even in the best-case scenario, thousands of bus riders could be unable to get where they need to go. As previously stated, we hope an agreement is reached in time to avoid a strike, which could have cascading effects — and we hope that agreement provides good working conditions for drivers.

“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, and we want to see that end result of fast, frequent, reliable service,” our director of engagement and impact, Meg Fencil, told Queen City News. “We also know to get that excellent service, we need drivers, operators, and mechanics who are supported and can take care of their families.”

You can read that story here.

A note of thanks — to YOU

We extend our sincerest thanks to all of our members and supporters who donated to our end-of-year fundraising campaign — and we welcome all of our new members!

YOUR support helped us blow right past our $20,000 goal to raise nearly $34,000! We are humbled by our supporters’ generosity, and you can count on us to keep up the hard work in 2023.

Our immediate priorities in this new year include advocating for an expanded greenway network, long-term funding for transportation needs and solutions, dependable public transit, pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, and equitable community involvement. You can read our list of resolutions here in case you missed it last week.

Partner news

💡 Renewing partner spotlight: Duke Energy 💡

We are so grateful to Duke Energy for renewing their annual partnership in our corporate partner network as a Bronze Partner! Duke Energy is a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte that provides electricity to more 8.2 million customers in six states and natural gas to 1.6 million customers in five states. Duke Energy is also in the midst of a clean energy transition plan. You can learn more at

Businesses that join our partner network are committing to support our efforts toward a healthy, equitable, and vibrant Charlotte for generations to come. 

To learn more about how your company can become a partner, visit!

Events + opportunities

(📷: City of Charlotte)

You can celebrate MLK this weekend!

Be sure to check out the Atrium Health Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Celebration. The city and county governments are teaming up to celebrate the late civil rights leader's life and legacy with several events that are open to the public.

  • Friday, Jan. 14, all day: Watch several high school basketball games at the MLK P.E.A.C.E. Basketball Showcase.
  • Sunday, Jan. 15, from 2:30-3 p.m.: Watch the holiday march toward Marshall Park in uptown.
  • Sunday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m.: Watch a memorial service at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Marshall Park
  • Monday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m.: Watch the official celebration on WBTV.

Learn more about the events here.

What we're reading

Widening highways doesn't fix traffic. So why do we keep doing it? (The New York Times)

Indianapolis gets serious about car crash investigations (Bloomberg CityLab)

Transport is the leading source of U.S. emissions — again (Streetsblog USA)

U.S. aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 under inter-agency blueprint (Mass Transit)
Thank you to our partners!

We genuinely appreciate all of our partners. Their generous year-round support allows us to work towards our mission.



BirdBoingo Graphics - Ekologicall - Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont 
HDR - Integra Architecture - Lime - Little -  Moore & Van Allen
NC Sustainable Energy Association  -  QTS GroupRenu Energy Solutions
Self-Help Credit UnionStantec - The Mill Coworking 

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