Blue Line Extension already transforming neighborhoods

- The Blue Line Extension won't begin scheduled service until at least March 2018, but some neighborhoods near the tracks are already seeing development before the first passengers hop on the trains.

"The construction is definitely a huge piece of that change that I have noticed in Charlotte," said Janelle Dunlap.

The rapid development across Charlotte is at times bringing forward people in search of answers regarding growth. 

The League of Creative Interventionists focused their meeting Tuesday night on transportation after someone came forward wondering why only certain bus stops in the Queen City included shelters and benches.

"I don't think it's necessarily a surprise that people would feel neglected by rapid development of the city when they see their part of town isn't begin enhanced in a way that they can benefit from," said Dunlap.

Tuesday's conversation also focused on transportation as a whole. One of the top projects in the Queen City right now is the more than $1 billion Blue Line extension.

"So when the 36th street closure happened everyone was prepared for it, but now it has extended beyond 2 years," said Rebecca Henderson.

The trains were originally scheduled to hit the tracks this month, but officials said in February they wanted more testing.

Although there are no riders along the blue line extension right now, it is already transforming the industrial area along Optimist Park, which is just outside NODA.

FOX 46 Charlotte counted more than half a dozen construction sites, which are mostly on the North Brevard Street side of the tracks.

"They are sorta not seeing literally the other side of the tracks as an equitable investment," said Henderson.

While there may be little construction in other neighborhoods now, only time will tell what an operating light rail system could bring.

"It's easy to complain about the day to day and miss out on the big picture. I just really hope that the big picture I have in mind is the same big picture they have in mind," said Henderson.

Blue Line extension service is scheduled to begin in March of 2018.

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