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Saturday, March 21, 2015

New cycling fund to build a more bike-friendly, livable Charlotte with $600,000 from Knight Foundation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — March 4, 2015 — Foundation For The Carolinas will help manage a new project to make Charlotte more bike-friendly as a way to engage residents in community life and create incentives for talented people to live and stay in the city.  The Knight Charlotte Cycling Fund was created with $600,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


"New Cycling Fund moves Charlotte, N.C., forward" by Susan Patterson on Knight Blog
Knight support will kick off a planning process with experts, community leaders and representatives from city cycling organizations to introduce fun, fast ways to make Charlotte more bike-friendly. The Knight Charlotte Cycling Fund will be used to implement ideas developed out of the plan and introduce new programs and events to get others involved, such as safety classes or street festivals.
The project will build on city efforts in the last 10 years to increase cycling routes from one bike lane to 174 bike lanes and add signage for bike routes and off-road paths. It will also encourage more connection and coordination among the many enthusiastic city cycling organizations that offer rider education programs for various levels and groups.
“City leaders are increasingly recognizing that a thriving Charlotte will help to attract and keep the young talent that contributes to a healthy economy, while encouraging people to make connections and get involved in civic life,” said Susan Patterson, Knight Foundation program director for Charlotte. “Through this project we hope to make Charlotte more bike-friendly and provide the quality of life improvements that help contribute to city success.”
“When you consider the great cities of the world, one thing nearly all have in common is a commitment to being bike and pedestrian-friendly,” said Brian Collier, executive vice president of Foundation For The Carolinas. “Charlotte has made great strides, but we look forward to partnering with Knight to create an even more vibrant, livable community.”  
Support for these projects forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts in Charlotte to attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement. Knight has also invested in a vision plan to re-energize uptown Charlotte’s North Tryon corridor, and recently supported Foundation For The Carolinas’ efforts to revitalize the historic Carolina Theatre at Belk Place.
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