I have yet to use the CityLinx Gold Line streetcar along Trade Street and Elizabeth Avenue socially. Two reasons: If I’m driving over to that side of town, I have a specific destination in mind. At that point, I might as well park and get on with it, rather than chasing down the streetcar.
The other reason: If you note the stops, the streetcar is not intended purely for social purposes.
Let’s take a look, shall we? The streetcar stops, ranked: From anxiety-inducing to joyous.
(6) Anxiety-inducing: McDowell Street CityLynx stop:
– Mecklenburg County Jail. I would rather not have a reason to be here.
– In and Out Bail Bonds. Motto: “Sometimes life just happens.” (Bonus points for the sweet ride in the parking lot.)
– Law offices. One window sign screams “DWI criminal traffic.” Nightmares.
(5) Serious. Davidson Street CityLynx stop.
– Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. I got a funny look when I asked to dismount the streetcar here.
– City of Charlotte Neighborhood and Business Services. Excuse me while I report some high weeds and grass right quick.
(4) Panic and reprieve, a blend: Hawthorne Lane & 5th Street CityLinx stop.
– Novant Health campus. If I’m having a medical emergency, I may prefer an alternate mode of transportation.
– Independence Park. Just walk one street up to the Hawthorne Lane/Park Drive intersection to find this oasis for walking, jogging, picnicking, daydreaming and general deep breathing.
(3) Pleasant: CPCC CityLynx stop.
– Note: you have a steep, sweaty (enthusiastic!) trek uphill to get to the bookstore, as well as Crown Station coffee house and pub along with City Deli & Bagel Co. Note to this note: You could also access this spot from the Elizabeth Avenue & Hawthorne Lane CityLynx stop. You could also drive.
– Access point to Little Sugar Creek Greenway. Reason #237 I need to get a bike.
(2) Energetic: CTC/Arena CityLynx stop.
(1) Joyous! The jackpot: Elizabeth Avenue & Hawthorne Lane CityLynx stop.
Which also happens to have ample parking that does not require public transit. Destinations include:
– Earl’s Grocery. Hello, everything I need for a giant salad, wine, specialty snacks and local coffee.
– Carpe Diem. One of my favorite dinner spots for date-night ambiance.
– Elizabeth Creamery. All the chocolate, please.
Now get going! What’s your No. 1?
Photos by Katie Toussaint.
Katie Toussaint @katietoussaint