In case you haven't seen it yet, Chapel Hill has launched a new mapping tool to report bike and pedestrian issues across town. So far, there are plenty of issues that users have already reported, including unsafe biking conditions on Estes Dr Ext and MLK Blvd, inadequate pedestrian crossing lights on East Franklin St, and a laundry list of concerns around UNC's campus.
I'm glad to see the town proactively gathering this information, especially with the 2015 bond referendum including $16.2 million for streets and sidewalks, including bicycle and pedestrian safety. I hope the data they collect here will directly inform the priorities that can be funded if the bond passes.
Have you used this tool yet? What are your biggest bike/ped concerns around town, and what would you like to see done about them?
On the agenda for this week's meeting of the Town of Chapel Hill Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board is a discussion of bicycle safety improvement. Much of this is in response to the death of a woman on a bicycle who was hit by a motor vehicle near the intersection of Hillsborough Road and MLK Jr. Blvd, a notoriously dangerous part of town on which to ride a bike.
The Town has decided to make bicycle safety a priority and has already taken several steps, including an awareness campaign, changes to pedestrian crossings on MLK Jr. Blvd and adding green-painted sharrows to roads on certain popular bike corridors.
This announcement about bike and ped safety was posted by the town of Chapel Hill this weekend. Unfortunately recently there was another cyclist fatality near MLK and Hillsborough. This occurred where I was hit by a car while biking to work a decade ago. One suggestion I had back then was to have the reminder sign about" sharing the road with cyclist" be moved from uphill going towards downtown to place it going downhill closer to the corner gas station. I was told several times this was going to happen but it was never done. The chronic problem of warning signs being hidden by vegetation needs to be addressed. I know that the sign in that area was hidden by vegetation. It sounds from this memo that more attention will be given to this. When I ran for town council this is one of the things I meant by the town being more proactive rather than complaint driven. (Don't wait for someone to complain that a sign is hidden, have bus drivers or other employees notice and report it.) Having visible to drivers signs showing where a bike or greenway trail feeds into a street is a great idea and I hope the sign for the Bolin Creek Greenway and MLK is placed there quickly.
The U.S. Census Bureau released updated American Community Survey Data a few days ago, and there's some very noteworthy news out of Carrboro in the latest figures: Carrboro's transit commute mode share is now at 16.7%, the highest in all of North Carolina. Chapel Hill's transit mode share is 10.6%, as Carrboro Alderman Damon Seils helpfully pointed out on Twitter yesterday (see the Storify below).
(For any curious readers, you can access this data for all American cities, along with a host of other fascinating data from the American Community Survey, at the American FactFinder website. The data for commute mode share are in table B08301.)
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