Climate Change Report

October 9, 2015

On Tuesday night, Nov 10, the Board of Aldermen in Carrboro Town Hall will discuss a report from a Climate Change Task Force around 9 pm.  We don’t know exactly how it happened but there is a black and white recommendation containing within it a plan to revisit and pave the section of Bolin Creek between Homestead Rd and Estes Drive extension, running along the creek from the high school to Wilson’s Park, and a staff suggestion to begin a “facilitated process”.

Friends of Bolin Creek has drafted a letter to present to the Board of Aldermen asking that this proposal be removed from the report and for the BOA to drop all plans to pave. Putting a road close to the creek would harm not only the natural woodland experience for humans and animals, but would destabilize creek banks, harm water quality, increase the velocity of stream flow, and damage woodland ecology within this amazing contiguous forest. Others are tuning out to speak.

Back in 2009 (six years ago) the Board of Aldermen decided to “table”  the greenway routes adjacent to the creeks and asked the Greenways Commission to discuss the pros and cons of this proposal during a year of meetings. Finally the Commission adopted a resolution recommending no action because several alternate north-south routes were already planned.  Then all was quiet until now.  Instead of leaving the uncertainty out there longer, we would like the BOA to end discussion of these creekside routes.  Our draft letter is below.

Please consider attending the meeting tomorrow night and supporting the speakers. The agenda item comes on around 9 pm we believe.  Let us know if you would like to “sign” the letter.

Julie McClintock
Friends of Bolin Creek

October 21, 2015. The idea of paving has come up again in the Town of Carrboro thanks to transportation measures recommended by the town’s Energy and Climate Action Planning Task Force. The town’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) discussed the matter last Thursday and will vote on its recommendations on Thursday, Oct. 30, at its regular 7:30 pm meeting in Town Hall. At this point, the TAB has discussed recommending a reassessment of the need and viability of a bicycle/pedestrian transportation route along Bolin Creek. The public is welcome to come to this next meeting as speakers and observers. The full Board of Aldermen will hear from the Climate Action Planning Task Force at the BOA meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Included in the BOA’s packet will be advice from the town’s advisory boards. A public hearing is to be scheduled tentatively for January.

The Climate task force in its recent Community Climate Action Plan recommends for the Board of Aldermen (BOA) to “formally approve a route/alignment for phases 3 and 4 of the Bolin Creek Plan.” Phases 3 and 4 are the most vulnerable sections of Bolin Forest, taken off the table several years ago by the BOA after substantial community resistance. The task force has suggested that given the “differing positions by stakeholders, this could require a facilitated process,” indicating the time frame would be next year and the year after. Five community members with environmental expertise served on the task force, one of whom was Alderman Michelle Johnson’s husband, Jeff Herrick. Sammy Slade and Randee Haven O’Donnell, an opponent of paving, were the BOA liaisons. Carrboro environmental planner, Randy Dodd, was the staff person.

Each of the town’s advisory boards, except perhaps for its Environmental Advisory Board, has been asked to support the task force’s recommendations, which include numerous other recommendations concerning trees, deer, etc. The report’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicle use by 50 percent by 2025, an exceedingly high bar.

At the TAB’s Oct. 15 meeting, several members of the public opposed to the Climate Action Plan’s transportation goals attended the meeting. At the next TAB meeting on Thursday, Oct. 30, the transportation board will finalize its recommendations with a vote. For those opposed to paving, this is an important vote.

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