Near the end of their May 10th meeting, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen affirmed their commitment to see the Homestead-Chapel Hill High School Multi-Use Path move forward to construction this summer.
Compromise Recommended by the School System Staff and Town of Carrboro Staff
Early in the meeting, Todd LoFrese of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System took to the podium to describe a compromise that had been worked out between school staff and Town of Carrboro staff regarding the Multi-Use Path. That compromise took the following form:
- Reduced the number of Multi-Use Path crossings of the Cross-Country trail from three to one.
- Proposed looking at alternative surfaces (such as ADA-compliant rubber instead of concrete) at the remaining crossing.
- Explore creating as much separation as possible where the multi-use path and the cross country trail parallel each other.
One citizen brought forward an interesting photo (at right) showing staggered gates on a greenway designed to slow riders approaching a potential conflict point. To address concerns of runners worried about bicycles crossing the cross-country trail at speed, particularly during meets, these may be a potential solution to maximize safety.
Citing not only the financial implications, but also years of participation by many Carrboro residents in the process, and the town’s values in support of providing transportation choices and addressing climate change, the Board of Aldermen asked the town staff to explore how to address some remaining engineering questions about what types of alternative surfaces could be feasible and report back one week later, with an eye towards the Board passing a resolution to move forward affirmatively at their May 17th meeting.
What the Town Residents Will Be Getting From This Project
Lest the big goals of this greenway get lost in all the discussion of process, I want to remind everyone of the big, game-changing amenity the town will get when this project is complete- a safe, low stress way for up to 1,000 children living north of Homestead Rd to walk or bicycle to the three schools south of Homestead Rd.
I went out and shot some video (with audio) on the Morgan Creek Greenway and Fan Branch Trail Greenway in Chapel Hill yesterday. We rode about four miles in all, got pizza and did some grocery shopping, and took in all the great natural enjoyments found along the greenway. We saw squirrels, deer, many kinds of birds, and heard a barred owl calling nearby in the woods in the early evening. In a world where we hear talk of “nature-deficit disorder” among younger generations and childhood obesity, imagine what a joy it would be to get to ride to school on a facility like this every day.
You can hear many of the sounds we heard in the clip below, but you can’t smell the honeysuckle- you’ll need to get out there yourself to enjoy it.
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