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North Corridor Rail Demonstration Project Proposed

Skimpy Station Shelters at Future Stops?
Looking at the preliminary design for the south corridor light rail station shelters, it looks like there is going to be very little "shelter" in the shelters. The canopies shown in the recent issue of CATS South Transitions looks like they would not protect more than a half dozen passengers at each of the two shelters shown. We liked the "tree design" chosen, but the length of the canopies needs to be longer or there needs to be more of them on each of the platforms. It is very possible we are only looking at one section of the platform in the graphic, rather than the total of what is at each stop.

We hope that what is being designed here in Charlotte is not a copy of light rail shelters in Southern California. What we are seeing in some of the illustrations reminds us of San Diego and Sacramento. While Charlotte's climate is milder than most northern cities, it does get cold and windy in the winter and better protection needs to be provided than is necessary in those semi-tropical climates. We need good wind breaks and canopies that actually protect people from rain and snow. Even the fancy bus shelters on the Tryon Street Mall apparently failed to do the job and they look about as substantial as some of the graphics we are seeing for our future light rail shelters.

If not enough money has been budgeted to do a more thorough job of building better shelters we need to look at ways to find the funding. One possibility might come from the $30 million saved if Pineville makes the unwise decision to reject light rail. It would also be possible to add improved shelters at a later date, but it would also be less expensive and disruptive to do it now. Doing it later would also start off customer relations on a bad note.

We trust that what we are seeing is in fact "preliminary" and that careful consideration will be given to the protection of the riding public. Even though trains will be spaced no more than 15 minutes apart, it could still be a long wait in the pouring rain or freezing cold.

July, 2002