TAP Grant to improve Waxhaw’s downtown

Citizens discuss the plans for Waxhaw's downtown with Michael Bywaletz (4th from left), of Gresham, Smith and Partners, and Matt Hubert (5th from left), Assistant City Engineer.

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The Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Grant is a $1 million dollar federal grant, passed through DOT and NCDOT, that will provide enhancements to Waxhaw’s pedestrian and bicycle facilities.  Curt White, Downtown Development Manager, explains that through a series of citizen developed plans, “We have consistently heard the needs for improvement to bicycle and pedestrian facilities downtown.  This will allow us to build what we need.”

While the Town of Waxhaw has already been communicating with local businesses and property owners for their input, the meeting held on December 7 was a public input session to review the preliminary concepts.

The TAP Grant has four major goals: encourage a pedestrian/bike friendly environment; support redevelopment of downtown businesses; increase connectivity between businesses, parks, historic landmarks, and local neighborhoods; and finally, enhance safety for all modes of transportation.

The plans for the TAP Grant have already been approved and are currently in the design phase.  The public input session is a chance for the citizens to refine the concepts and give feedback such as: “Are these the best crosswalk experiences?  What do you think of the angling of the parking?  What about the bike lanes and the location and width of the sidewalks?”

The plans are being developed by Gresham, Smith & Partners, an architectural and engineering firm.  Michael Bywaletz, a senior engineer in the firm’s Transportation market, explains ”We’re using transportation planning and engineering staff in our Charlotte office. We started in July by conducting a survey and now we’re in the public comment phase. There will be one more public comment session with the date to be announced soon.”

The TAP Grant was awarded in 2016 and the design process began in July 2017.  Construction is currently set to begin in late 2018.  White explains, “Ideally, this will be constructed all at once.  We don’t want to tear up things twice.  In conjunction with this project, the Town of Waxhaw will replace 95 streetlights, which is not part of the grant fund, but we are working to do at the same time because it makes sense.”

Plans can be viewed at www.Waxhaw.com on the Development Projects page.

Citizens discuss the plans for Waxhaw’s downtown with Michael Bywaletz (4th from left), of Gresham, Smith and Partners, and Matt Hubert (5th from left), Assistant City Engineer.
Anne Simpson and Greg Ferguson, Town Manager, look at the design changes to Waxhaw’s downtown.
Michael Bywaletz (L), of Gresham, Smith and Partners, talks to a local citizen about the changes coming to Waxhaw’s downtown.
Tim Giovanniello, Matt Hubert, and Tracy Wesolek talk about the plans for Waxhaw’s downtown. Giovanniello is a member of the Main Street Advisory Board and is excited to improve Waxhaw’s infrastructure and walkability. Wesolek was part of the TAP Grant walking audit and came to the public forum to see how the plans turned out and hear input from the citizens.
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