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Charlotte ( ) is the largest city in the state of North Carolinamarker and the seat of Mecklenburg Countymarker. Charlotte's population was estimated to be 687,456 in 2008, making it the 18th largest city in the United Statesmarker. Residents of Charlotte are referred to as "Charlotteans".

Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte (as well as the county containing it) is named in honor of the German Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who had become queen consort of British King George III the year before the city's founding. A second nickname derives from later in the 18th century. During the American Revolutionary War, British commander General Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out afterwards by hostile residents, prompting him to write that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion," leading to another city nickname: The Hornet's Nest.

In 2007, the Charlotte metropolitan area had a population of 1,701,799. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a wider thirteen-county labor market region or combined statistical area that has an estimated population of 2,338,289.Forbes named Charlotte as the third most undervalued real estate markets in the U.S. in 2007. In 2008, Charlotte was chosen the "Best Place to Live in America" by relocate-America.com in its annual ranking, based on factors including employment opportunities, crime rates, and housing affordability. It was also named #8 of the 100 "Best Places to Live and Launch" by CNNMoney.com - cities picked for their vibrant lifestyles and opportunities for new businesses. Lifestyle was also noted when Prevention Magazine rated the Queen City 4th in the nation and the best "Walking City" in North Carolina in 2007 and Self Magazine named Charlotte one of “Five Cities with Big Outdoor Appeal” for features like its Public Art Walking Tour, accessible museums such as the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, and nearby outdoor excursions like the U.S.marker National Whitewater Centermarker.

History

The area that is now Charlotte was first settled in 1755 when Thomas Polk (uncle of United States President James K. Polk), who was traveling with Thomas Spratt and his family, stopped and built his house of residence at the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers.One of the paths ran north-south and was part of the Great Wagon Road; the second path ran east-west along what is now modern-day Trade Street. In the early part of the 18th century, the Great Wagon Road led settlers of Scots-Irish and German descent from Pennsylvaniamarker into the Carolina foothills. Within the first decades following Polk's settling, the area grew to become the community of "Charlotte Town," which officially incorporated as a town in 1768. The crossroads, perched atop a long rise in the Piedmont landscape, became the heart of modern Uptown Charlotte.

In 1770, surveyors marked off the new town's streets in a grid pattern for future development. The east-west trading path became Trade Street, and the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina.The intersection of Trade and Tryonmarker is known as "Trade & Tryon" or simply "The Square." It is more properly called Independence Square.

Both the town (now a city) and its countymarker (originally a part of Anson County) are named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the German-born wife of British King George III. The town name was chosen in hopes of winning favor with the crown, but tensions between the United Kingdommarker and Charlotte Town began to grow as King George imposed unpopular laws on the citizens in response to the townspeople's desire for independence. On May 20, 1775, the townsmen allegedly signed a proclamation later known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a copy of which was sent, though never officially presented, to the Continental Congress a year later. The date of the declaration appears on the North Carolina state flag. Eleven days later, the same townsmen met to create and endorse the Mecklenburg Resolves, a set of laws to govern the newly independent town.

Charlotte was a site of encampment for both American and British armies during the Revolutionary War and, during a series of skirmishes between British troops and Charlotteans, the village earned the lasting nickname "Hornet's Nest" from frustrated Lord General Charles Cornwallis.An ideological hotbed of revolutionary sentiment during the Revolutionary War and for some time afterwards, the legacy endures today in the nomenclature of such landmarks as Independence Boulevard, Independence High Schoolmarker, Independence Center, Freedom Park, Freedom Drive, and the former NBA team Charlotte Hornets.

Churches, including Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Catholics, began to form in the early 1800s, eventually giving Charlotte its nickname "The City of Churches."

In 1792 the eastern half of Mecklenburg county made up of small rural independent farmers tired of traveling all day by horse and buggy to the county seat of Charlotte Town decided to go to Raleigh and secede to form its own county in the state legislature where they garnered a tie vote that was broken by an ex-naturalized Frenchman, eastern NC legislator Stephen Cabarrus. Cabarrus was thought to have been paid under the table by this new county and was allegedly hanged for horse thievery years later. The new county was named for Cabarrus and the town of Concord became its county seat. Oddly in 1799 or years before as many believe, in Cabarrus allegedly a 12-year-old Conrad Reedmarker brought home a large gold rock he found in Little Meadow Creek, weighing about 17 pounds, which the family used as a bulky doorstop. Three years later, a jeweler determined that it was near solid gold, and bought it for a paltry $3.50. The first verified gold find in the fledgling United States, young Reed's discovery became the genesis of the nation's first gold rush. Many veins of gold were found in the area throughout the 1800s and even into the early 1900s, thus the founding of the Charlotte Mint in 1837 for minting local gold. The state of North Carolina "led the nation in gold production until the California Gold Rush of 1848," although the total volume of gold mined in the Charlotte area was dwarfed by subsequent rushes. Charlotte's city population at the 1880 Census grew to 7,084.Some locally based groups still pan for gold occasionally in local (mostly rural) streams and creeks. The Reed Gold Minemarker operated until 1912. The Charlotte Mint was active until 1861, when Confederate forces seized the mint at the outbreak of the Civil War. The mint was not reopened at the end of the war, but the building survives today, albeit in a different location, now housing the Mint Museum of Artmarker.

The city's first boom came after the Civil War, as a cotton processing center and a railroad hub. Population leapt again during World War I, when the U.S. government established Camp Greene north of present-day Wilkinson Boulevard. Many soldiers and suppliers stayed after the war, launching an ascent that eventually overtook older and more established rivals along the arc of the Carolina Piedmont.

The city's modern-day banking industry achieved prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, largely under the leadership of financier Hugh McColl. McColl transformed North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) into a formidable national player that, through a series of aggressive acquisitions became known as NationsBank and eventually merged with BankAmerica and was rebranded as Bank of America. Another bank, Wachovia, experienced similar growth, and was acquired by San Franciscomarker based Wells Fargo. Measured by control of assets, Charlotte is the second largest banking headquarters in the United States after New York City.

On September 22, 1989, the city took a direct hit from Hurricane Hugo. Passing through Charlotte as a Category 1 hurricane with wind gusts over 100 mph (160 km/h) in some locations, Hugo caused massive property damage and knocked out electrical power to 98% of the population. Many residents were without power for several weeks and cleanup took months to complete. The city is just over 200 miles inland, and many residents from coastal areas in both Carolinas often wait out hurricanes in Charlotte. The city was caught unprepared, as almost no one expected a storm to strike with hurricane force this far inland. Over 80,000 trees were destroyed in Charlotte.In December 2002, Charlotte (and much of central North Carolina) was hit by an ice storm (which some dubbed, "Hugo on Ice") that knocked out power to over 1.3 million Duke Energy customers. According to a Duke Energy representative: "This ice storm surpasses the damage from Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which had 696,000 outages." During an abnormally cold December, many were without power for more than two weeks. Much of the damage was caused by Bradford pear trees which, still having leaves on December 4, split apart under the weight of the ice.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 242.9 square miles (629 square kilometers). Out of that, 242.3 sq. mi. (627.5 km²) of it is land and 0.6 sq. mi. (1.6 km²) of it is water. The total area is 0.25% water.

Charlotte constitutes most of Mecklenburg Countymarker in the Carolina Piedmont. Uptown/downtown Charlotte sits atop a long rise between two creeks and was built on the gunnies of the St. Catherine's and Rudisill gold mine. There is much disagreement about the use of the interchangeable terms "Uptown" and "Downtown" for the center city area. Prior to the late 1980s, the term "Downtown" was always used as a reference for Charlotte's center city area and many area residents still use the "Downtown" term. On February 14, 1987, the Charlotte Observer began calling the center city area "Uptown" in order to help promote a positive image of the area.

Charlotte's elevation is 870 feet above sea level (at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport).

A 2007 American Lung Association report ranks Charlotte as having the 16th highest levels of smog among U.S. cities; however, the region's air quality has improved significantly in recent years, and is expected to continue to do so, even with increasing travel.

Charlotte is located in North America's humid subtropical climate zone. The city has cool to cold winters and warm, humid summers. In January, morning lows average around 32 °F (0 °C) and afternoon highs average 51 °F (11 °C). In July, lows average 71 °F (22 °C) and highs average 90 °F (32 °C). The highest recorded temperature was 104 °F (40 °C) on September 6, 1954 and during the August 2007 Southeastern heat wave. The lowest recorded temperature was -6 °F (-21 °C) in January 1985. Charlotte's location puts it in the direct path of subtropical moisture from the Gulf as it heads up the eastern seaboard along the jet stream, thus the city receives ample precipitation throughout the year but also a very large number of clear, sunny, and pleasantly warm days. On average, Charlotte receives about 43.52 in (1105.3 mm) of precipitation annually, including 6 inches of snow and more frequent ice-storms.

Cityscape

Charlotte has 199 neighborhoods which span from Uptown to Ballantyne. Uptown has undergone a massive construction phase with buildings from Bank of America, Wells Fargo and multiple condos. Elizabeth Avenue has also had large residential buildings under construction. On Kenilworth and Charlottetowne Avenues, near Carolinas Medical Center, the Metropolitan, a major mixed-use project, was recently completed.



Image:QueenCharlotte.jpg‎|Public Art in Downtown Charlotte

Economy

Charlotte has become a major U.S. financial center, and the nation's largest financial institution by assets, Bank of America, calls the city home. The city was also the former corporate home of Wachovia until its purchase by Wells Fargo in 2008; Wells Fargo is in the process of integrating Wachovia, with the two banks expected to be fully merged by the end of 2011. Bank of America's headquarters, along with other regional banking and financial services companies, are located primarily in the uptown financial district. Thanks in large part to the expansion of the city's banking industry, the Charlotte skyline has mushroomed in the past two decades and boasts the Bank of America Corporate Center, the tallest skyscraper between Philadelphiamarker and Atlantamarker. The 60-story postmodern gothic tower, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli, stands 871 feet tall and was completed in 1992.

The following Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Charlotte metropolitan area, in order of their rank: Bank of America, Lowe's in suburban Mooresville, Nucor (steel producer), Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive, Family Dollar, Goodrich Corporation, and SPX Corporation (industrial technology). Other major companies headquartered in the Metro Charlotte include Time Warner Cable (formerly a business unit of Fortune 500 company Time Warner), Continental Tire North America (formerly Continental/General Tire), Muzak, Belk, Harris Teeter, Meineke Car Care Centers, Lance, Inc, Bojangles', Carlisle Companies, LendingTree, Compass Group USA, Food Lion, Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated Company (the nation's second largest Coca-Cola bottler), and the Carolina Beverage Corporation (makers of Cheerwine, Sun Drop, and others) in suburban Salisbury, North Carolinamarker. US Airways regional carrier CCAir was headquartered in Charlotte. Charlotte is home to several large shopping malls, with Carolina Place Mallmarker, SouthPark Mall and North Lake Mall being the largest.
NASCAR Hall of Fame


Charlotte is also a major center in the US motorsports industry, with NASCAR having multiple offices in and around Charlotte. Approximately 75% of the NASCAR industry's employees and drivers are based within two hours of downtown Charlotte. Charlotte is also the future home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, expected to be open May 10, 2010, a week prior to the Sprint All-Star Race. The already large presence of the racing technology industry along with the newly built NHRA premier dragstrip, zMAX Dragway at Concordmarker, located just north of Charlotte, is influencing some of the top professional drag racers to move their shops from more expensive areas like California to the Charlotte area as well. The recently announced small racetrack at the former Metrolina Fairgrounds location which is at Sunset and Statesville Roads is expected to bring more local racing to the area along with a skate park, shoppes, restaurants and an upscale hotel will offer recreation of many types. Located in the western part of Mecklenburg County is the National Whitewater Rafting Center, consisting of man-made rapids of various degrees and is open to the public year round.

The center city/uptown area of Charlotte has seen remarkable growth over the last decade. Numerous residential units continue to be built uptown, including over 20 skyscrapers either under construction, recently completed, or in the planning stage. Many new restaurants, bars and clubs now operate in the Uptown area. Several projects are transforming the Midtown Charlotte/Elizabeth area.

Law, government and politics

Charlotte has a council-manager form of government. The Mayor and city council are elected every two years, with no term limits. The mayor is ex officio chairman of the city council, and only votes in case of a tie. Unlike other mayors in council-manager systems, Charlotte's mayor has the power to veto ordinance passed by the council; vetoes can be overridden by a two-thirds majority of the council. The council appoints a city manager to serve as chief administrative officer.

Unlike some other cities and towns in North Carolina, elections are held on a partisan basis. The current mayor of Charlotte is Anthony Foxx a member of the Democratic Party.

Charlotte tends to lean Democratic. However, voters are friendly to moderates of both parties. Republican strength is concentrated in the southeastern portion of the city, while Democratic strength is concentrated in the south-central, eastern and northern areas.

The city council comprises 11 members (7 from districts and 4 at-large). The Democrats currently control the council with an advantage of 8-to-3. Of the at-large seats, Democrats won three out of four in the last election. While the city council is responsible for passing ordinances, many policy decisions must be approved by the North Carolina General Assembly as well, since North Carolina municipalities do not have home rule. Since the 1960s, however, municipal powers have been broadly construed.

Charlotte is split between three congressional districts on the federal level—the 8th, represented by Democrat Larry Kissell; the 9th, represented by Republican Sue Myrick; and the 12th, represented by Democrat Mel Watt.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) is a combined jurisdiction agency. The CMPD has law enforcement jurisdiction in both the City of Charlotte, the town of Mint Hillmarker and the few unincorporated areas left in Mecklenburg County. The other small towns maintain their own law enforcement agencies for their own jurisdictions. The Department consists of approximately 1600 sworn, armed, law enforcement officers, and several hundred civilian support personnel. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department divides the city into 13 geographic areas, which vary in size both geographically and by the number of officers assigned to each division.

The residents of Charlotte are provided emergency medical service by MEDIC, the Mecklenburg EMS Agency. MEDIC responded to over 90,000 patients in 2008, and transported nearly 18,000 of them with life-threatening conditions. The Agency employs nearly 350 Paramedics, EMTs, and EMDs. At any given time, between 20 and 40 ambulances will be deployed to cover the county. In addition, MEDIC will deploy tactical SWAT paramedics, bike teams, and vehicles equipped to deal with mass casualty incidents should the needs arise.

Crime

Charlotte has a crime rate above the national average. The total crime index for Charlotte is 648.0 crimes committed per 100,000 residents as of 2007. The national average is 320.9 per 100,000 residents. The Charlotte-Gastonia Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked as the 12th "Most Dangerous Metro Area", by Morgan Quitno Press for the year of 2006.

According to the Congressional Quarterly Press; '2008 City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America, Charlotte, North Carolina ranks as the 62nd most dangerous city larger than 75,000 inhabitants. However, the entire Charlotte-Gastonia Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked as 27th most dangerous out of 338 metro areas.

Education and libraries

School system

The city's public school system, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is the second largest in North Carolina and 20th largest in the nation. About 132,000 students are taught in 161 separate elementary, middle and high schools.
  • For many years, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has sought to become the premier urban, integrated system in the nation. At its inception, that vision was audacious, viewed by many as completely unattainable. Years later, significant work remains. But it is also true that a focus on equity and student success, coupled with unwavering commitment and hard work by many people and agencies, has brought us to excellence in many ways. The goal of being the premier urban system no longer seems audacious. Instead, over the past decade, many national experts and observers have singled out CMS as one of the best school districts in America. Some examples:


  • In 2002, CMS was one of four school districts across the country recognized by the Council of the Great City Schools for improving academic achievement and narrowing the achievement gap. CMS has also been recognized by the council as a school district “Beating the Odds” by improving academic achievement for all students despite high levels of poverty and other risk factors.


  • In 2004, CMS was a finalist for the national Broad Prize, which recognizes the top urban school districts for improving academic achievement and narrowing the achievement gap.


  • In 2005, CMS became the first large school district in the nation to receive a district-wide accreditation quality achievement award from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). CMS was also honored by SACS as a high-quality school district.


  • In 2005, four CMS high schools were ranked among the nation’s top 100 by Newsweek magazine, and 14 were ranked among the top 900 for providing students access to the most challenging academic courses. CMS has more students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses than do many states, and was the first district in North Carolina to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma.Secular and religious private schools are prominent, from well-established schools with large campuses to others that are small and new. The relatively recent phenomenon of charter schools, independently operated public schools, are another education option.


Colleges and universities

The west side of UNC Charlotte's main campus


Charlotte is home to a number of notable universities and colleges such as Johnson & Wales University, Queens University of Charlotte, Johnson C.marker Smith Universitymarker, Charlotte School of Law, and University of North Carolina at Charlottemarker. Located in the nearby suburb of Davidsonmarker is Davidson College, ranked in the top 10 nationally among liberal arts colleges according to U.S. News & World Report. UNC Charlotte is the city's largest higher education institution. It is located in University City, the northeastern portion of Charlotte, which is also home to University Research Park, a 3,200 acre (13 km²) research and corporate park. At 24,000 students and counting, UNC Charlotte is the fastest-growing university in the state system and the fourth largest. Central Piedmont Community Collegemarker is the city's junior college system and the largest community college in North Carolina and South Carolina. There are multiple campuses, all in the Charlotte metro area.

Pfeiffer University has a satellite campus in Charlotte and Wake Forest Universitymarker, with its main campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolinamarker, also operates a satellite campus of its Babock Graduate School of Management in the SouthPark neighborhood. Wake Forest is currently looking to move the campus to Uptown Charlotte.

Libraries

Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Facade of the Main Library in Charlotte
The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Countymarker serves the Charlotte area with a large collection (over 1.5 million) of books, CDs and DVDs at 19 locations in the city of Charlotte. There are also branches in the surrounding townships of Matthewsmarker, Mint Hillmarker, Huntersvillemarker, Corneliusmarker and Davidsonmarker. All locations provide free access to Internet-enabled computers and WiFi and a library card from one location is accepted at all 24 locations.

Although the Library's roots go back to the Charlotte Literary and Library Association, founded on January 16 1891, the state-chartered Carnegie Library which opened on the current North Tryon site of the Main Library was the first non-subscription library opened to members of the public in the city of Charlotte. The philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 dollars for a library building on the condition that the city of Charlotte donate a site, and $2500 per year for books and salaries, and that the state grant a charter for the library. All conditions were met, and the Charlotte Carnegie Library opened in a imposing classical building on July 2, 1903.

The 1903 state charter also required that a library be opened for the disenfranchised African-American population of Charlotte. This was completed in 1905, with opening of the Brevard Street Library for Negroes, an independent libraryin Brooklyn, a historically black area of the city of Charlotte, on the corner of Brevard and East Second Street (now Martin Luther King Blvd.) The Brevard Street Library was the first library for free blacks in the state of North Carolina,some sources say in the southeast.This library was closed in 1961 when the Brooklyn neighborhood in Second Ward was redeveloped, but its role as a cultural center for African-Americans in Charlotte is continued by the Beatties Ford branch, the West branch and the Belmont Center branch of the current library system, as well as by Charlotte's African-American Cultural Center.

People and culture

Demographics

As of 2008, census estimates show there are 687,456 people living within Charlotte's city limits, and 935,304 in Mecklenburg County. The Combined Statistical Area of Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC had a population of 2,338,289. Figures from the more comprehensive 2000 census show Charlotte's population density to be 861.9/km² (2,232.4/sq mi). There are 230,434 housing units at an average density of 951.2/sq mi (367.2/km²).

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 56.0% of Charlotte's population; of which 50.3% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 33.7% of Charlotte's population; of which 33.2% were non-Hispanic blacks. Hispanics and Latinos made up 10.6% of Charlotte's population.American Indian made up 0.4% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 4.0% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 4.0% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 1.8% of the city's population; of which 1.3% were non-Hispanic.

The median income for a household in the city is $48,670, and the median income for a family is $59,452. Males have a median income of $38,767 versus $29,218 for females. The per capita income for the city is $29,825. 10.6% of the population and 7.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Religion

The birthplace of Billy Graham, Charlotte is locally known as the "The City of Churches."(Charlotte is the historic seat of Southern Presbyterianism), but the changing demographics of the city's increasing population have brought scores of new denominations and faiths to the city. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Wycliffe Bible Translators' JAARS Center, and SIM Missions Organization make their homes in Charlotte. In total, Charlotte proper has 700 places of worship.
The Billy Graham Library and Birth Place in Charlotte, NC


The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America is headquartered in Charlotte, and both Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminarymarker have campuses there; more recently, the Religious Studies academic departments of Charlotte's local colleges and universities have also grown considerably.

Charlotte's Cathedral of Saint Patrick is the seat of the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. The largest Christian congregation within Charlotte is that of St. Matthew Catholic Church. The Traditional Latin Mass is offered by the Society of St. Pius X at St. Anthony Catholic Church in nearby Mount Hollymarker. The Traditional Latin Mass is also offered at St. Ann, Charlotte, a church under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Charlotte.

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME Zion) is headquartered in Charlotte.

There are other religious institutions in the Charlotte area, including two Unitarian Universalist Churches and the Eidolon Foundation.

The Salvation Army's headquarters for the North and South Carolina Division is located in Charlotte, as well as many local corps community centers and Boy's and Girl's Clubs.

Charlotte has the largest Jewish population in the Carolinas. Shalom Park, in South Charlotte is the hub of the Jewish community, featuring two synagogues Temple Israel and Beth El and a community center.

Museums



Media

Sports

Club Sport Founded League Venue
Carolina Panthers Football 1995 National Football League Bank of America Stadiummarker
Charlotte Bobcats Basketball 2004 National Basketball Association Time Warner Cable Arenamarker
Charlotte Checkers Ice hockey 1993 ECHL Time Warner Cable Arenamarker
Charlotte Knights Baseball 1976 International League Knights Stadiummarker, Fort Mill, SCmarker
Charlotte Eagles Soccer 1993 USL-2 Waddell Stadium
Charlotte Lady Eagles Soccer 1993 W-League Waddell Stadium
Carolina Speed Indoor football 2006 American Indoor Football Association Bojangles' Coliseummarker
Charlotte Rugby Football Club Rugby union 1989 Rugby Super League Skillbeck Athletic Grounds
Charlotte Roller Girls Flat Track Roller Derby 2006 USA Roller Sports Grady Cole Centermarker
NWA Charlotte Professional Wrestling 2009 National Wrestling Alliance NWA Charlotte Coliseum


Transportation

Mass transit

LYNX Light Rail opened in November 2007
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is the agency responsible for operating mass transit in Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County.CATS operates light rail transit, historical trolleys, express shuttles, and bus service serving Charlotte and its immediate suburbs. The LYNX light rail system comprises a 9.6-mile line north-south line known as the Blue Line. Bus ridership continues to grow (66% since 1998), but more slowly than operations increases which have risen 170% in that same time when adjusted for inflation. The 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan looks to supplement established bus service with light rail & commuter rail lines as a part of a system dubbed LYNX.


Roads and highways

Charlotte's central location between the population centers of the northeast and southeast has made it a transportation focal point and primary distribution center, with two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-77, intersecting near the city's center. Charlotte's beltway, designated I-485 and simply called "485" by locals, is partially completed but stalled for funding. The new projection has it slated for completion by 2013. Upon completion, 485 will have a total circumference of approximately 67 miles (108 km). Within the city, the I-277 loop freeway encircles Charlotte's downtown (usually referred to by its two separate sections, the John Belk Freeway and the Brookshire Freeway) while Charlotte Route 4 links major roads in a loop between I-277 and I-485. Independence Freeway, which carries US 74 and links downtown with the Matthews area is undergoing an expansion and widening in the eastern part of the city.

Air

Charlotte/Douglas International Airportmarker is the 9th busiest airport in the world, as measured by traffic. It is served by many domestic airlines, as well as international airlines Air Canada and Lufthansamarker, and is the largest hub of US Airways. Nonstop flights are available to many destinations across the United States, as well as flights to Canadamarker, Central America, the Caribbeanmarker, Europe, and Mexicomarker.

Intercity rail

Charlotte is served daily by three Amtrak routes.



The city is currently planning a new centralized multimodial train station called the Gateway Stationmarker. It is expected to house the future LYNX Purple Line, the new Greyhound bus station, and the Crescent line that passes through Uptown Charlotte.

Sister cities

Charlotte's sister cities are:

See also



References

  1. [1]
  2. Charlotte-Named-Best-Place-to-Live: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
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  4. ____/fitness/walking/walking.goals/walking.and.your.health/0/1
  5. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina USGenWeb Project
  6. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story: History Timeline: Mecklenburg Declaration
  7. Blanchard Online: American Rarities (Retrieved on 05-22-07)
  8. This entire scenario has been questioned over the ages since it seemed to be a very odd timely coincidence that large gold quantities and deposits were discovered at roughly the same time these eastern Mecklenburg farmers wanted to split away and form their own county leading many to believe it was a rigged and in the end we know Mecklenburg lost half its county size including all the gold and in the end only got to be a federal mint for this first discovery in America of this extremely valuable ore as hundreds of mines sprang up all the new county mining many mega millions that in today's prorated values would total in the tens of billions of more. Most of the poor farmers thus became very wealthy selling or renting their farmland to the gold mine companies. This massive gold rush lasted 50 years or until the 1849 discovery of gold in northern California hills of San and Sacramento that created the second great American gold rush boom town. In retrospect it seems fairly obvious as many knew in those olden days that Mecklenburg county as a whole was quite literally tricked and robbed of half its land size and all of its gold plus the historical significance of being the original place of gold discovery by a mere band of uneducated farmers. Much of this version of events has been covered up or lost in time. In those early days not long after the Revolutionary War of 1776 it was not uncommon for secessionism to prevail, but in hindsight the massive scheming trickery of these rural farmers to prevail in Raleigh, literally stealing 50% of the county away and all of the gold, is quite stunning and breathtaking; but it has been forgotten over the more than 200 years. This highly engineered secessionist success could go down as one of the greatest masterminded plots in US history and much bigger than even today's Ponzi schemes. Also using the small boy with the doorstop myth may go down as one of the all time greatest ploys. The Charlotte Branch Mint
  9. American Lung Association, Annual Air Quality Report Card (2007)
  10. Weather History
  11. "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 22-28, 1995. 82. Retrieved on July 25, 2009.
  12. "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 23, 1999. 68. Retrieved on September 30, 2009.
  13. http://www.wfae.org/wfae/1_87_316.cfm?action=display&id=5577
  14. http://www.city-data.com/city/Charlotte-North-Carolina.html
  15. http://www.statestats.com/cit07pop.htm
  16. http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime2008/citycrime2008.htm
  17. http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/MetroCrime2008_Rank_Rev.pdf
  18. http://media.newsobserver.com/content/news/education/wake/story_graphics/20071012_wschools.jpg Media.newsobserver.com
  19. CHLT - Colleges
  20. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=ChangeGeoContext&geo_id=16000US3712000&_geoContext=&_street=&_county=Charlotte&_cityTown=Charlotte&_state=&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=ACS_2007_3YR_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null®=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=
  21. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=16000US3712000&-qr_name=ACS_2007_3YR_G00_DP3YR5&-ds_name=ACS_2007_3YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-_sse=on
  22. Eidolon Foundation - Home
  23. http://www.nwacharlotte.com/NWACharlotteColiseumSeatingChart.pdf NWA Charlotte Coliseum
  24. http://www.charlotte.com/transit/story/242097.html
  25. News 14 | 24 Hour Local News | TOP STORIES
  26. http://www.aci.aero/cda/aci/display/main/aci_content.jsp?zn=aci&cp=1-5-54-57_9_2__
  27. Charlotte's Sister Cities


Further reading

  • Hanchett, Thomas W. Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class, and Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875-1975. 380 pages. University of North Carolina Press. August 1, 1998. ISBN 0-8078-2376-7.
  • Kratt, Mary Norton. Charlotte: Spirit of the New South. 293 pages. John F. Blair, Publisher. September 1, 1992. ISBN 0-89587-095-9.
  • Kratt, Mary Norton and Mary Manning Boyer. Remembering Charlotte: Postcards from a New South City, 1905-1950. 176 pages. University of North Carolina Press. October 1, 2000. ISBN 0-8078-4871-9.
  • Kratt, Mary Norton. New South Women: Twentieth Century Women of Charlotte, North Carolina. Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in Association with John F. Blair, Publisher. August 1, 2001. ISBN 0-89587-250-1.


External links




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