In December 2009, Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen considered a plan put forward by the consultant firm Greenways Inc., contained in a draft “Bolin Creek Greenway”. The draft plan included a number of transit bike links or “greenways” which the Board of Aldermen adopted. These “greenways” established needed bicycle connections and substituted in some cases for dangerous sections of bike shoulders along roadways. The one section that brought strong community objections was the greenway proposed for 2 1/2 mile Bolin Creek which the Board did not adopt. The December 2009 action is here.
The Aldermen tabled phases 3 and 4 of the consultant’s report because of concern of putting a paved 10-foot wide concrete bike route with 10 feet of graded surface material on either side, amounting to a 30 foot cleared area along Bolin Creek (between Estes Drive and Homestead Road). Steep rocky slopes hold challenges for this particular narrow valley, unlike other parts of Morgan Creek and Bolin Creek in Chapel Hill which meander through relatively flat terrain. There are additional challenges of building a greenway next to the creek described here. While under state rules, greenways are an allowable use, paved greenways are only allowed if there are no practical alternative according to the Jordan Lake rules. There are several north-south routes that are more direct. One will be built on Seawell School Road when the University for the new Carolina North campus is built as shown in this map. Another was recently built on top of the transmission lines by UNC beginning at an entrance on Homestead Rd and ending near the airport.
In early 2016, the paving issues has come up as several members of the current Board of Aldermen want to revisit the issue. The Manager has proposed a facilitated process to the Board for their discussion. Stay tuned.