Inside 3 MORE of Charlotte’s ‘10-Minute Neighborhoods’
Three more parts of our city where residents can walk to what they need
We recently wrote about Charlotte neighborhoods that already come close to achieving a chief goal of the city’s new comprehensive plan: “10-minute neighborhoods.” The plan, which the City Council passed 6-5 on June 21, defines the goal this way: “All Charlotte households will have access to essential amenities, goods, and services within a comfortable, tree-shaded 10-minute walk, bike, or transit trip by 2040.”
You won’t find many here, or in any city in the Southeast or out West, where most cities grew along with a vast system of roads and highways. But you can find a few in Charlotte that come close, or semi-close—places where people can easily walk or ride a bicycle to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, parks, public transit stops, and other community assets.
Last month, we looked at Fourth Ward, Eastover, and Lincoln Heights. Here are three more places that fit, however imperfectly, a version of Charlotte’s future that envisions the car as just one of an assortment of transportation options that includes your feet.
Neighborhood 4: Commonwealth
Where is it? Just south of Plaza Midwood, bounded by Central Avenue, Briar Creek, Independence Boulevard, and the CSX railroad tracks near the Central/Hawthorne Lane intersection. Don’t confuse it with Commonwealth Park, the next neighborhood to the east, toward Eastway Drive.
Grocery store access: 49% of housing units are within a half-mile of a full-service, chain grocery store, although that statistic is a bit misleading. The massive Harris Teeter at Central and The Plaza dominates the western end of the neighborhood.
Pharmacies: 100% within a half-mile: the CVS at Central and Pecan Avenue, the Harris Teeter, and D&D Pharmacy just on the other side of Briar Creek.
Parks: 94% within a half-mile of a park; 19-acre Veterans Memorial Park is practically in the middle of the neighborhood.
Transit: 100% within a half-mile of a transit stop. The CATS 9 bus rolls down Central, and the 17 line serves Commonwealth Avenue and Briar Creek Road.
Banks: 51% within a half-mile of a bank or credit union. A Wells Fargo branch occupies one corner of Central and The Plaza.
Bike-friendliness: 1.6 on a zero-to-three scale that measures the transportation network’s ability to support cycling.
Upshot: Good in most ways, although so many business and services crowded into the western end make it a bit inconvenient for folks who live to the east, nearer Briar Creek, and want to walk or bike.
Neighborhood 5: Cotswold
Where is it? Roughly 4 miles southeast of uptown, southeast of Wendover Road and southwest of Independence. Sharon Amity and Providence roads bound it to the south and west.
Grocery store access: 48% of housing units are within a half-mile of a grocery store. A Publix is on Randolph Road near Sharon Amity, and a Harris Teeter is across the street, at one end of the Cotswold Village shopping center at Randolph and Sharon Amity.
Pharmacies: 49% within a half-mile.
A Walgreens is part of the Cotswold Village shopping center at Randolph and Sharon Amity.
Parks: 55% within a half-mile.
Transit: 99% within a half-mile of a transit stop. The CATS 15 bus runs along Randolph, and the 28 travels Sharon Amity.
Banks: 55% within a half-mile of a bank or credit union. Bank of America and First Citizens Bank branches are next to the Publix.
Bike-friendliness: 1.7 on the scale.
Upshot: Cotswold is a big neighborhood, and it has an issue similar to Commonwealth’s—Cotswold Village is its hub, and it’s toward one end of a mostly residential area. Residents can walk there, but for people who live close to Monroe Road, it’s more than a half-mile away.
Neighborhood 6: The Arboretum
Where is it? South Charlotte, in the southwestern corner of the Providence and Pineville-Matthews Road intersection.
Grocery store access: 83% of housing units are within a half-mile of a grocery store. A Walmart, Harris Teeter, and Natural Marketplace have spaces in The Arboretum Shopping Center.
Pharmacies: 86% within a half-mile. The shopping center has the Harris Teeter, plus a Walgreens.
Parks: None within a half-mile.
Transit: 90% within a half-mile. The CATS 14 bus line runs down Providence Road and ends at the shopping center, and the 51 bus travels Pineville-Matthews Road.
Banks: 53% within a half-mile of a bank or credit union. A Chase branch is in the shopping center.
Bike-friendliness: 1.5 on the scale.
Upshot: We are, admittedly, running out of 10-minute neighborhoods. (Told you we wouldn’t find many.) The Arboretum, which anchors one of south Charlotte’s primary intersections, isn’t anyone’s idea of a “walkable neighborhood.” But this 32-year-old development does demonstrate the general idea of density and walkability, at least for the smattering of homes that adjoin the shopping center. And, true to its name, it has trees.
*Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Quality of Life Explorer data