Daily Tar Heel (Chapel … /
May 31, 1979, edition 1 /
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From business to residence
Bikeways system to connect village
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By ROBERT THOMASON
Liz Rooks can look through the trees outside her office
window and see the grade-separated bike path beside Airport
"A grade-separated path is built over the curb, Rooks
explained. "It's built apart from the road. She should know
Part of her responsibility as a planner for the town of Chapel
Hill is to develop a bikeways system.
Chapel Hill hike routes
Black lines indicate bike paths,
dotted lines indicate bike lanes
"Eventually, we would like to connect the central area (the
Franklin Street business district and the university) with the
residential areas of town, said Rooks.
But for now. Rooks is keeping an eye on the construction
of three bike paths that will complete the first phase of the
The first phase was started last summer when bike lanes
were established on Cameron Avenue. White lines were
painted on the sides of the road, and parking was prohibited
during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
"It was relatively inexpensive to build the lanes," Rooks
said. But the bike path construction is more complicated.
"The three grade-separated paths will be on the uphill sides
of the major conduits coming into town, Rooks said. These
roads are N.C. 54, where the path is already finished; Airport
Road, where the path is under construction; and Franklin
Street, where work has not yet begun.
"We're behind schedule on the construction," Rooks said.
"The weather kept people from getting out to work." The
entire path system should be completed by midsummer, she
The uphill paths were built first because planners believed
uphill paths would be more useful to bicyclists. "We felt that
bicyclists could compete better with-cars,, if they were
traveling downhill," Rooks said.
Once these bike paths are completed, $250,000 will have
been spent on the paths and lanes. In March 1976, Chapel
Hill voters approved a $100,00 bond referendum. The town
government expected a grant from the federal government to
cover the remaining costs, but criteria for the grant were
incorrectly published in the Federal Register. After the
planning department learned that the town did not qualify
for the grant, the Board of Aldermen used $ 1 50,000 from the
street improvement fund to finish building the paths.
The second phase of bikeways program is undefined and
just a political dream now. More paths and lanes and some
bike trails will be built if a bond issue passes the referendum
schedule for fall of 1981.
- 4 I
Cyclists use new bike lanes
Bike paths would be added to the downhill sides of
Franklin Street, Airport Road and N.C. 54. Merritt Mill and
Pittsboro Roads are targeted for paths, but planned state
improvements to Pittsboro Road will affect the design and
construction schedule of a path on that road.
A grade-separated path would be built on Estes Drive,
connecting the paths on Airport Road and Franklin Street.
Bike routes would be established on downtown Franklin
Street and on the 15-501 access roads.
"Bike routes are usually on the roads with low traffic
speed," Rooks said.
A bike trail may be constructed beside Bolin Creek, which
flows parallel to Umstead Drive.
A bike lane would be designated on Country Club Road.
The bikeways system plan calls for a bike lane on Rosemary
Street, but Rooks says that would take a number of years to
complete. "There would be a problem with parking."
THE Daily Crossword by Arfio Micci I
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942-4388 or 942.4391Monl 5pm
405. W. Franklin St. Tues-Fri 9-6 D.m
next to Dunkin Donuts
Sat 9-5 p.m.
The Best Buys For Your Money At
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Around the corner next to Eckerd's
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Mastercharge & Visa
10 The Summer Tar Heel Thursday. May 31. 1979
Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
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