Uptown CycleLink

Uptown CycleLink header

Program Overview

The Uptown CycleLink is an approximately 7-mile-long network of separated bike lanes that, once complete, will connect more than 40 miles of bikeways into and across center city Charlotte. One segment of the Uptown CycleLink, the 5th Street/6th Street Protected Bicycle Lane, was completed in December 2021 and connects Irwin Creek Greenway to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and to multiple destinations within Uptown and beyond. 

The remaining road segments of the Uptown CycleLink are entering the Advanced Planning & Design phase. During this time, city staff and consultants will refine concepts from the 2021 Uptown CycleLink Feasibility Report through public outreach, stakeholder coordination, alternatives and traffic analysis to produce 30% design plans and cost estimates.

Remaining Road Segments

In Progress icon - This project is in progress Belk Greenway Connector: 2.3 miles long; Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, College Street & Hill Street (in progress)

In Progress icon - This project is in progress Davidson Street: 0.25 miles long; Davidson Street from 4th Street to 6th Street; concept plan(PDF, 3MB) (not yet funded)

In Progress icon - This project is in progress  Mint Street & Pine Street: 1 mile long; from Mint Street at Palmer Street to Pine Street at 6th Street; concept plan(PDF, 12MB)  (not yet funded)

Video Presentation

View the video below to learn about the Uptown CycleLink and next steps


Transcript: Uptown CycleLink Presentation

Thank you for your interest in learning about the City of Charlotte's Uptown CycleLink Project.

In this presentation, you will learn about the future of our citywide bicycle network, the history and status of the Uptown CycleLink and the next steps thecCity is taking to implement the new bicycle network.

The core mission for the citywide bicycle network is to create a safe, interconnected and equitable way to access and move around Uptown. We are aiming to provide viable options for the everyday person to travel into and around Uptown without a vehicle. We are giving people choices on how they can move.

Over half of our household income is spent on the rising costs of housing and transportation. This disproportionately affects our most vulnerable users. There are approximately 250,000 Charlotteans who do not drive; whether it be that they cannot afford an automobile, or they choose not to drive. The Uptown CycleLink will provide mobility freedom for those who don't have the means to drive as well as those who do and select riding bikes as their form of travel.

Currently inside the I-277 loop there are approximately 20 continuous roadways. By comparison, there is only one continuous, dedicated bicycle facility through Uptown.

The Uptown CycleLink will act as a hub to connect people to destinations Uptown. Once the Uptown CycleLink is completed, it will connect 47 miles of existing bikeway outside of Uptown, which includes greenways, shared use paths and bike lanes.

In the future, once the Uptown CycleLink, Cross Charlotte Trail and the CATS Silver Line are completed, it will connect an additional 118 miles of bikeway connections which will eventually result in a ride-shed over 165 miles!

The Uptown CycleLink will consist of seven miles of bicycle network that is classified as AAA, which stands for all ages and abilities. The light blue shown on the map represents the entire Uptown CycleLink bike network. The light green shown connecting to the light blue is our existing bike infrastructure as of today.

The purple lines are the portions of bike network that have been constructed between 2017 and 2022. More information on this will be shared on the next slide.

The darker green lines represent projects currently funded through other City programs and partnerships, and the segments shown in red are our future segments of the bike network the City is currently evaluating and designing. These are the segments that will be built in the coming years.

In 2017, the City of Charlotte conducted the Uptown Connects Study to identify segments within Uptown Charlotte that will provide users with an alternative mode of transportation to get around Charlotte. The study evaluated various roadways, as well as a side-of-street analysis to determine which side of street the cycle track will best accommodate its users and adjacent businesses.

By 2022, the City installed segments of the cycle track on North Davidson Street, Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and 5th, 6th, & 7th Streets.

The I-277 Rail Trail Bridge and the Belk Greenway Connector are currently underway and are anticipated to start construction in 2023 and 2025. Both projects are critical connections to the bicycle network.

The I-277 Rail Trail Bridge is a new bridge that will provide pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between South End and Uptown.

The Belk Greenway Connector will connect Little Sugar Creek Greenway to Irwin Creek Greenway. This connection will start at Baxter Street, turn north along McDowell Street, and connect to the existing segment of the Uptown CycleLink on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The city is currently evaluating all remaining segments of the Uptown CycleLink. The City will begin design on South College Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridors in the third quarter of 2022. Following these corridors, the city will then focus its design efforts on the remaining corridors.

Thank you for your interest in the City of Charlotte's Uptown CycleLink project. If you have any questions or are looking for updates, you can visit the project website at charlottefuture.com/cyclelink, or contact Kristie Kennedy, Senior Engineering Project Manager with General Services, at Kristie.kennedy@charlottenc.gov.

The City of Charlotte thanks you for your continued support and interest in growing our multi-modal transportation network!


Map of Completed and Planned Road Segments

The city is studying the best ways to modify earmarked streets for the Uptown CycleLink. This is a thoughtful task that requires block-by-block evaluation, design and coordination with adjacent properties, private development and city service providers. The plan is to pursue the implementation of various segments as conditions and funding allow.

A map showing completed, funded and future segments of the Uptown CycleLink, alongside existing bike infrastructure

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the Uptown CycleLink?

The Uptown CycleLink is a ~7-mile network of separated bike lanes that will connect over 40 miles of bikeways into and across center city Charlotte, enabling safe and comfortable bicycle commuting in a transformative new way. It is a critical focus of Charlotte’s effort to create a “AAA” (All Ages and Abilities) bike network and transform Charlotte into a world-class bicycle city.

Why is it planned where it is?

The Uptown CycleLink alignment is the result of 4 years of planning, public engagement, and an evaluation of every block and corridor in Uptown Charlotte. The initial result of that evaluation was the Uptown Connects study, which was published and presented to City Council in the summer of 2017.

The Uptown CycleLink alignment was chosen in part because it has the least anticipated impact on vehicular traffic. Other key factors include connections to existing bikeways, access to major Uptown destinations, coordination with adjacent land uses, and input from the cycling community and other stakeholders.

When can I go ride it?

You can ride a portion of it today! The CycleLink along 5th Street and 6th Street is open and available for public use, as well as Davidson Street from 4th Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from Davidson Street to McDowell Street. Other segments are moving along on separate timelines as funding and resources allow. 

Will this reallocate some space that is currently used to move and park cars?

In a word, yes. The primary goal of this project is to create safe and comfortable bike commuting options for cyclists of all ages and abilities. There is no space available in Uptown to create a “AAA” bike network without some impacts on vehicle traffic and parking. The Uptown Connects Study revealed that there are currently 34 continuous lanes for vehicles running east-west through the Uptown and zero for cyclists. This project helps to address that imbalance by reallocating some space that is currently used for vehicles.

After evaluating every block and corridor in Uptown Charlotte, the Uptown CycleLink alignment was chosen in part because it has the least impact on traffic. For example, a 2017 pilot project on 6th Street demonstrated that there was only a 5-minute average increase for drivers traversing the length of the Uptown.

Evaluating potential tradeoffs is a part of every city transportation project. In the case of the Uptown CycleLink, the City determined that the significant safety benefits for cyclists and other Uptown travelers, and the opportunity to connect over 40 miles of bikeways into and across Uptown Charlotte, is worth the relatively minor impact to drivers. That tradeoff is consistent with the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan, the Strategic Energy Action Plan, and our commitment to providing safe and comfortable transportation choices for all Charlotteans, no matter how they choose to travel. Also, separated bike facilities have been shown to benefit businesses, promote public health and wellness, reduce emissions, and encourage more people to ride a bicycle.