Essential to our progressive community, one that values air quality, are bicycling lanes that reduce pollution from cars. But also essential is the natural value and climate-enhancing properties of the Bolin Creek Valley and its outstanding creek.
In terms of bike routes, Save Bolin Creek decided it would be helpful to commission a GIS map to look more closely at the Carolina North and Bolin Creek area to see what is on the ground now and what is planned for the future. We offer that here: http://wp.me/pKe0Q-9U
This map, and other documents that Save Bolin Creek has gathered, show the good progress we are making to plan for bicycle connections that will also preserve one of our most valuable resources, Bolin Creek and its contiguous forest. We call on the Carrboro Board of Alderman to fund these biking priorities identified above and keep pavement away from the forest.
As Carrboro and Chapel Hill grow – and the new UNC Carolina North campus is built at the present Horace Williams airport site – UNC, Carrboro and Chapel Hill are coordinating plans and funds for appropriate bicycling routes. We applaud UNC’s commitment to build bike facilities to fill this need, and we support preserving the Bolin Creek valley and building better cycling connections.
What’s been accomplished so far to plan for bike lanes? The Carolina North Agreement signed in June 2009 includes significant commitments to building bicycling facilities. This agreement committed UNC to building bike paths along both sides of Estes Drive from Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to Seawell School Road, and then along both sides of Sewell School Rd between Estes Drive and Homestead Road.
Moreover, in a route yet to be determined, there is to be a preferably off-road connection between the Carolina North tract and UNC’s central campus. These potential campus connector routes include either a route along the railway via Libba Cotton and the Cameron Ave bike route, or a route starting in central Chapel Hill that connects to Umstead Park. All of these above routes will ensure connectivity with the new campus. See http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1356
Also both Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Orange County Boards have made recommendations for cycling facilities to the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), responsible for making transit and funding decisions. See http://www.dchcmpo.org/
What remains to be done?
- Citizens need to participate in the final decision concerning bike routes, especially the location of the campus-to-campus connector. They also need to lobby for bike route construction before Carolina North is built.
- Both towns need to continue to press the important cycling routes with their elected representatives at the MPO.
- Both towns need to coordinate with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools to ensure good cycling connections are established on school property.
- All parties need to work to preserve and restore our most valuable environmental resource, Bolin Creek, its valley and its forest. Anything less would be a loss for our community.
Julie McClintock for
Save Bolin Creek
Julie McClintock joined Save Bolin Creek which opposes a Carrboro Greenways Commission proposal to build a 10-foot-wide transit corridor in the Bolin Creek valley. It would alter the natural landscape, deteriorate stream ecology and harm wildlife habitat in a 425-acre forest. Join us at http://savebolincreek.wordpress.com