City Council Okays Wal-Mart, Calls it TOD

The City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina has signed a deal with WalMart to build a SuperCenter in place of an abandoned mall. City Councilmember Nancy Carter says it will create an opportunity for transit-oriented development.

"Soon, the boarded up store fronts and run down parking lots that make up the mostly vacant Amity Gardens Shopping Center will be torn down to make room for a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

After years of discussions, the mega-chain finalized plans to build along Independence Boulevard Monday night. City leaders hope it will be an economic shot in the arm to the city's East Side."


Thanks to Jeff Wood

Full Story: Wal-Mart Supercenter coming to Independence Blvd.



yeah, except not really

Okay, so the "City Council" didn't call it TOD. Only this one council member used the term. And she wasn't actually referring to the Wal-Mart development as "creating" an opportunity for TOD. Here's what she said, as quoted in the linked story:
"I think we have a real opportunity for transit oriented development next door and further out. This will anchor all of those developments."

I'll grant you that Wal-Mart ain't TOD, and I have no idea why Nancy Carter even felt like she should use the two in the same sentence, much less talk about a car-oriented big-box center "anchoring" ... anything TOD. That's weird.

But the reason she drew the connection is that Charlotte's regional transit system, such as it is (they do have a working light rail line!), is planning to run either light rail or BRT down Independence Boulevard sometime in the next 15 or so years, with stops just before and just after this Wal-Mart.

So, no, the city council didn't call Wal-Mart TOD, and neither did Nancy Carter. She was perhaps a bit too sanguine about the positive effects this Wal-Mart might have on some hypothetical future transit-oriented development(s).

But when you're a Democratic member of the Charlotte City Council -- a body that often serves as a stepping stone to higher office -- and you care about things OTHER than Wal-Mart, and a TV station says they want to interview you, you're going to come up with a quote that attempts both to sound positive (why would you bag on a decision that you approved of?) AND convey a sense that you have a vision beyond the big-box.

Why this particular post annoyed me enough to comment, I can't really say. But there it is, run-on sentences and all.

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