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Independence Boulevard Widening.


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#1 iBBB

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 09:56 PM

I drove on independence blvd towards downtown and i was taken by a surprise seeing most of those road side businesses taken down, and the big road work behind Town n Country Ford, so i googled what in the hell are they actually planning do there.

 

Heres what i found:

 

-Sharon Amity Road Intersection-

IndependenceBlvd_01a.jpg

 

 

-Idlewild Road Intersection-

IndependenceBlvd_02a.jpg

 

 

-Conference Drive Intersection-

IndependenceBlvd_03a.jpg

 

 

It... looks... beautiful...

 



#2 Doyle

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:52 AM

I've been in Charlotte since 2000 and it seems like they have been doing construction out there the entire time.



#3 MadHatter

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:02 AM

They are turning Independence into a Freeway from downtown to out past Sharon Amit/Idlewild.

 

No direct access from Independence to the businesses......this is what is killing them. 

 

 



#4 Cat

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:18 AM

They were dying out long before that though.



#5 iBBB

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

They are turning Independence into a Freeway from downtown to out past Sharon Amit/Idlewild.
 
No direct access from Independence to the businesses......this is what is killing them.


well not to individual businesses but there are plenty shopping center entrances from the freeway.

#6 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:37 AM

Now if they'd only do that from there to about... say... Rockingham... it'd make my trip to Charlotte a HELL of a lot easier...

#7 Niner National

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:46 AM

They were dying out long before that though.

Eh not sure I agree with this. Turning 74 into an expressway killed a lot of businesses and that blight kept spreading to nearby areas. Maybe it would have happened anyway, but 74 was a catalyst.

 

The NCDOT was supposed to buy a lot of that land and demolish the buildings when they did the expressway conversion, but they didn't and that led to a lot of shady hotels and businesses bringing the whole area down.



#8 natty

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:54 AM

Independence is the one bottleneck I have in my daily commute.  It's been a problem since...forever.  I welcome any improvements, but what I really want is the light rail extended in that direction.  



#9 Niner National

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:25 AM

Independence is the one bottleneck I have in my daily commute.  It's been a problem since...forever.  I welcome any improvements, but what I really want is the light rail extended in that direction.  

You'll be waiting a really long time for that. Not only Independence lack the necessary density to get federal funding, the state is unlikely to fund any new rail projects in Charlotte for a while.

 

We'll see the Blue Line built out to the University area and the Streetcar constructed, but I doubt we'll see anything else in the near future.



#10 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:31 AM

I can remember decades ago when Independence was thriving with businesses and the original coliseum was still the primary entertainment venue.  With that in mind, traveling down Independence now is just sad and reminds me of a dilapidated rust belt city where all the business have failed and been abandoned.  Of course the area is still in a transition stage during an immense project that is taking what seems like forever to complete. 

 

Hopefully when it is all done it will look as good as the pics posted by the OP.  It seems like the neighborhoods on either side of Hwy 74 have suffered immensely from the loss of the economic activity that used to exist along that corridor. 



#11 Niner National

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:38 AM

Depends what part you are talking about. 2 miles down 74 and in, those neighborhoods are thriving. The neighborhoods don't really start to go downhill until you get around the original coliseum. 

 

Plaza-Midwood and Elizabeth flank the sides of 74 closer to downtown and they're doing very, very well.



#12 Cat

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:49 AM

Eh not sure I agree with this. Turning 74 into an expressway killed a lot of businesses and that blight kept spreading to nearby areas. Maybe it would have happened anyway, but 74 was a catalyst.

 

The NCDOT was supposed to buy a lot of that land and demolish the buildings when they did the expressway conversion, but they didn't and that led to a lot of shady hotels and businesses bringing the whole area down.

 

Haverty's left ages ago, the Ramada Inn has been a crap hole since the early 90s, most of the large stores left the area ages ago, which left huge empty buildings, it's been run down and emptying out for a very long time.

 

  Kind of reminds me a little bit of what we are seeing out in the University area where Best Buy and Walmart use to be. I'm curious to see how it turns out there.
 



#13 Cat

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:55 AM

Depends what part you are talking about. 2 miles down 74 and in, those neighborhoods are thriving. The neighborhoods don't really start to go downhill until you get around the original coliseum. 

 

Plaza-Midwood and Elizabeth flank the sides of 74 closer to downtown and they're doing very, very well.

 

That's a good distance away from the old retail areas on Independence.  Behind the Coliseum is Grier Heights, that area is one of the worst crime areas in Charlotte.



#14 Niner National

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:59 AM

Well the expressway project was planned in the 80's. A lot of those companies had already planned to leave and invested little in maintaining their buildings because they knew they would be leaving. Many of them also planned to be bought out by the state, but that never happened.

 

NCDOT really fuged that area of town. It was an NCDOT project and not a city one.

 

The University area has some issues, but I think light rail may help it out some. There have also been a lot of corporate relocations out there in recent months and years, so the workforce there has expanded immensely. I'm hoping some of those abandoned buildings will be torn down and apartments or office space put in their place. I don't want any more discount stores there.



#15 Niner National

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:07 AM

The best thing the city could really do is bulldoze all the blighted retail areas, put up a brick wall, and sell that land to developers for residential / small scale retail development. Basically make all development have its backside to 74. As an expressway, 74 does not need to have retail that enters/exits directly.




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