The bicycle & pedestrian advisory commission met last Monday to discuss numerous items, including a bill passing through the North Carolina Senate that could affect bike lanes, the mountain to sea trail, and the fate of the bike share program in Raleigh.
Evan Brigham noted that H44, a bill passing through the North Carolina Senate, would affect the possibility of bike lanes being drawn in the area. The bill stipulated at the North Carolina Department of Transportation would now have to receive authorization from the Board of Transportation to complete “road diets” where roads are slimmed down a lane and allow for the marking of bike lanes.
Eric Lamb, in the city’s planning department, said the bill would affect Wake Forest Road, which is currently being considered to move from four lanes to three with the addition of bike lanes.
Harry Johnson of BPAC said that the bill was in the shadow of the budget and that this would be a good time to email or mail state representatives.
Organization Making Progress on Mountains to Sea Trail
Kate Dixon, from the Friends of the Mountain to Sea Trail, gave a presentation about the progress of the trail, which is currently constructed through paths and roadways throughout North Carolina. The trail itself is 1,150 miles with 500 connecting roadways, starting in the Great Smoky Mountains and ending at the coast. It passes small towns, historic sites, and is primarily a footpath.
“More and more people are starting to complete the entire trail,” Dixon said.
Some of the hikers who traveled the entire trail walked in segments, coming back from year to year to finish more. The goal, she said, was to make the trail one of the great trails in the world and to showcase North Carolina’s natural beauty.
Their current goals were to work on up-to-date hiking directions through a published guide. Two new camping areas were opened in Falls Lake and there is now a need for “trail angels” to look out for hikers. The trail was maintained and work completed through a partnership with various nonprofits and government agencies.
City Council Votes Down Bike Share Program
Committee reports and staff reports came next in the meeting.
Eric Lamb told BPAC members that city council had voted against the bike share program earlier that day. Lamb said that while councilors were interested in the program, that the majority felt that it wasn’t the right time for it. The vote had taken place at the budget work session, which was a 2-6 vote, with councilors Stephenson and Gaylord voting for approval.
A representative from Walk Your City gave a presentation about Walk Raleigh, which will add new signs to be placed up on various parts of the city. In June 2014, council authorized a relationship between Walk Your City City, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the city of Raleigh. The targeted areas are Six Forks Road, Creedmoor Road, House Creek Trail, and South Park.
“It has been a multidepartment effort,” the representative said, citing the planning department, public works department, and legal staff who had been involved.
Editor’s note – a previous version of this article misidentified the organization “Walk Your City” as “Walker’s City.” We apologize for the error.