A Slight Misunderstanding: Charlotte’s East Side Hopes New Super Wal-Mart Will “Anchor” TOD

“I think we have a real opportunity for transit-oriented development next door and further out. This (the Super Wal-Mart) will anchor all of those developments.”

So says Nancy Carter of the Charlotte City Council. You may wonder how a Super Wal-Mart can anchor TOD. Well, so do we, and we’re fairly certain that Ms. Carter doesn’t know what “TOD” is. Perhaps in her world it’s “Target Oriented Development,” you know, where a Target goes in and Bed Bath & Beyond and a Trader Joe’s follows, except in this case with a Wal-Mart. From the video is appears clear that “TOD” is being understood to be development with easy access to automobiles. Carter goes as far as to address what seems to be a concern that motorists find the location difficult to access, “It’s a very easy in and out. People just need to learn it,” Carter said. Now, there are many examples of misuse and abuse of labels such as “New Urbanism” and countless street names (think Meadowbrook Acres Ct., etc.) but “TOD” for cars is going too far.