Downtown Carrboro Ped/Bike Connections

For years now I've used the informal trails linking my neighborhood around Lloyd Street/Broad Street near downtown Carrboro, Northside, Bolin Creek, and the rest of Carrboro to navigate as a pedestrian and a biker. Every time I cross the ditch on an old railroad tie and then straddle the railroad tracks to get to Harris Teeter or the Pleasant Street neighborhood, I marvel at the fact that the geographic center of Carrboro/Chapel Hill is still so isolated from the surrounding neighborhoods. At night as I see folks wandering through the informal dirt paths that connect Pleasant Street to Lloyd Street, I worry about the safety of the dark trail and wish that there was a way to put some resources into making these vital links for those of us who can't or choose not to drive much more user friendly and safe.

I'm told that the biggest obstacle is the train tracks and inflexibility on the part of the owner of the tracks to allow for any kind of sanctioned crossing. But I'm getting a bit tired of the arguments for inaction and wish we could get some clear guidance on what we as citizens can do to push the connectivity of downtown neighborhoods forward fast. Apart from the train track crossings, there are lots of opportunities to connect downtown with key areas around Bolin Creek without even crossing the tracks (though there might need to be some easement purchases and path building.

I've created a map using a new tool on the web that allows folks to pull up parks data and other conservation minded layers online (full disclosure: I helped create this website in my work with the nonprofit NatureServe). The map includes my best approximations of historic neighborhood trails that are heavily used by residents (in yellow) and also at least one potential path (in blue) that could serve as a great link between downtown and Bolin Creek, bypassing Estes Drive and the apartment complex. I also have this map as a jpg, but am not yet savvy enough to get that posted on this blog. With Ruby's help I might post that later. [I added a screenshot. -Ed.]

I'd be interested in hearing what others think about the level of need for connecting these neighborhoods together through more official footpaths and crossings. Is anyone working on this currently? I hear about grad students in the planning department that crank out studies advocating better paths around the neighborhood, but it doesn't seem like anyone really pays much attention to their good ideas. And couldn't a nice trail from downtown to Bolin Creek be a great excuse for folks to spend time and money in downtown Carrboro and consider our town a day trip destination that includes both urban sophistication and more wild but easily accessible and family friendly trails?


In tough economic times, does it not make sense to effectively increase the disposable income of citizens by $10-15 thousand dollars per year by enabling them to live car-free?

Excerpted from the STAC Regional Transit Vision Plan (May 2008):

2008 Auto Driving Costs for North Carolina
  Small Sedan Medium Sedan Large Sedan Car Average SUVs Minivan
COST OF CAR $17,935 $21,250 $26,700 $21,961 $28,126 $26,230
AVERAGE MPG 36 31 25 30.6 21 23
Cost per gallon* $3.5950 $3.5950 $3.5950 $3.5950 $3.5950 $3.5950
MILES PER YEAR  10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000

Operating Costs
Gas $0.0999 $0.1160 $0.1438 $0.1175 $0.1712 $0.1563
Maintenance $0.0398 $0.0467 $0.0507 $0.0457 $0.0547 $0.0476
Tires $0.0055 $0.0085 $0.0077 $0.0072 $0.0093 $0.0067
Total Operating Cost per Year $2,177.42 $2,567.52 $3,033.00 $2,555.75 $3,527.86 $3,159.07
Total Operating Costs per Mile
(rounded to nearest cent)
$0.15 $0.17 $0.20 $0.17 $0.24 $0.21

Ownership Costs
Full-coverage Insurance** $815.00 $874.00 $846.00 $845.00 $814.00 $710.00
License, Registration $68.00 $68.00 $68.00 $68.00 $68.00 $68.00
First-year sales and property taxes *** $660.15 $782.17 $982.77 $808.37 $1,035.26 $965.47
Depreciation (15,000 miles annually) † $3,228.30 $3,825.00 $4,806.00 $3,952.98 $5,062.68 $4,721.40
Finance Charges ‡ $968.49 $1,147.50 $1,441.80 $1,185.89 $1,518.80 $1,416.42
Total Ownership Cost per Year $5,739.94 $6,696.67 $8,144.57 $6,860.24 $8,498.75 $7,881.29
Total Ownership Cost per Mile
(rounded to nearest cent)
$0.57 $0.67 $0.81 $0.69 $0.85 $0.79
Total Cost per Mile $0.72 $0.84 $1.02 $0.86 $1.09 $1.00
Total Cost per Year $10,787.33 $12,612.52 $15,249.86 $12,846.11 $16,275.98 $14,981.01

*Price based on April 29, 2008 average NC gas price for a gallon of unleaded self-serve fuel.
**Based on full-coverage policy, $100,000/$300,000 coverage with $500 collision deductible and $100 comprehensive.
***NC sales tax at 3%, NC property tax estimated at .6808/$100
†Depreciation based on 18 percent per year
‡Finance charges for 1 year based on 6% for 60 months after 10% cash down

Anyone who is interested in how transit could be used in and benefit the Triangle communities and how other localities have successfully incorporated transit into their land use planning might want to take a look at Scott Bernstein's presentation "Driven to Debt or Driven to Wealth": gave this talk to Triangle Transit members and guests on Thursday.  Be warned, it is a very large (8MB) file and contains 97 slides.  But it is full of interesting facts about the history of transit here in the Triangle and what effects that developing (or not) transit might have on our quality(ies) of life.  Well worth a look IMHO if you have time.

Oops, I copied the table from the STAC report, but NCATA points out that the math is flawed, and I agree.  The table mixed assumptions of 10,000 and 15,000 miles per year resulting in overstated ownership costs.  Correcting, I get:

Total Operating Cost per Year $2,177.42 $2,567.52 $3,033.00 $2,555.75 $3,527.86 $3,159.07
Total Operating Costs per Mile
(rounded to nearest cent)
$0.15 $0.17 $0.20 $0.17 $0.24 $0.21
Total Ownership Cost per Year $5,739.94 $6,696.67 $8,144.57 $6,860.24 $8,498.75 $7,881.29
Total Ownership Cost per Mile
(rounded to nearest cent)
$0.38 $0.45 $0.54 $0.46 $0.57 $0.53
Total Cost per Mile $0.53 $0.62 $0.75 $0.63 $0.80 $0.74
Total Cost per Year $7,917.36 $9,264.19 $11,177.57 $9,415.99 $12,026.60 $11,040.36

So, that's eight to twelve thousand dollers annually per car-free citizen.

Then what would Gene and Cameron at Auto Logic do for jobs? Al's Garage would probbaly shut down too.

Living entirely without a car is very hard, especially if you don't live in a city.  Living with a car but not driving it very much is nice but really, in this town I don't think it's going to save much money considering how much higher the taxes are here than in surrounding areas.  I mean, if your choice is to live close to UNC and bus/walk/bike to work and save money on gas, parking and car wear and tear or else to live 5-10 miles away and drive every day then I doubt that the difference is great.  And that's one reason why so many people do it.   And guess what everybody...those cars are putting pollution in the air.  Right?  Maybe we could use some of the tax revenues to build a big dome over CH/C to keep out all smog that's generated by not having enough housing for people to close to where they work.

Living entirely without a car is very hard, especially if you don't
live in a city.  Living with a car but not driving it very much is nice
but really, in this town I don't think it's going to save much money
considering how much higher the taxes are here than in surrounding
areas.  I mean, if your choice is to live close to UNC and
bus/walk/bike to work and save money on gas, parking and car wear and
tear or else to live 5-10 miles away and drive every day then I doubt
that the difference is great.

Yes, living without a car (transportation) is very hard, if you don't live in a city (near transit and walkable).  ( Housing + Transportation ) costs tend toward leveling because housing sites that depend on automotive (expensive) transportation are inherently worth less, and that is recognized in the market as lower property values.  As you point out, by living farther out, you trade housing costs for transportation costs.Therefore, we can increase property values by providing inexpensive transportation options.  Extending bus or commuter rail radially outward into exponentially less dense territory would be a very costly way to increase property values and would not support bidirectional ridership as rural residential areas lack compelling destinations.  Ped/bike enhancements are the least costly transportation infrastructure to build and to operate, and are simultaneously also the most flexible and inexpensive to use.  Building, completing and protecting these paths and connections is vital within the urban (transit dependent) area and important in the outlying (transportation starved) areas too.  Unfortunately, because they are inexpensive to build and operate, they suffer from lack of capitalist-driven political support--unlike more expensive transportation, bike/ped projects receive little to no positive pressure from vendors.

And that's one reason why so many people
do it. 

Yes, making that choice (cheap housing + expensive transportation) consciously does often make sense--some people farm, raise horses, or need to be reclusive.  For many, the choice to spend more time and more money on transportation is made less consciously--it is based on habits, phobias, or lack of recognition of these somewhat hidden costs of residing in an area unsupportive of one's daily living needs and resources.  This shows up as a feelings of loss and betrayal when the housing cost savings get eaten up by transportation costs, and commuting time devours leisure time--arousing jealousy, resentment and road rage. People are learning though--especially younger people--seeing beyond 20th century automotive marketing.  That is why market forces are exerting upward pressure on transit oriented development and walkable neighborhoods.  Market forces are strong in new development, but wise planning is key to building and preserving bike/ped connectivity in the built environment.

It continues to blow my mind that we have a coal fired power plant right here in downtown Chapel Hill. Those railroad tracks sole use is to transport coal to UNC's power plant.

I understand how cheap coal energy generation is. I know we all need a lot of electricity. But in such a environmentally progressive community you think we'd do something about this problem in our own backyard.

When Carolina North is built the University is going to have to figure out a way to generate electricity in the long term WITHOUT using coal. Their entire plan should include the plants they have now. Can any of our local representatives shed some light on the future of energy generation at Carolina North?

Solutions to help persuade UNC that coal fired energy is not necessary: Putting up windmills to generate electricity on top of buildings and towers IN CITY LIMITS and on campus, using biofuel to run electric generators, increasing efficiency on campus, constructing large battery banks to store electricity, installing new cheap photovoltaics, update the local power grid to take energy from new plant at Carolina North to old campus, etc.

Sorry if this is off topic but the issue of dealing with the railroad and the federal agency that governs it would be moot if UNC where generating electricity in a more sustainable and less polluting way.

Ever drive through campus after dark when students are gone. Every building is lit up despite being empty.

It seems like such a waste. 


Good point, and I don't intend to detract from your call for UNC to show more leadership on cleaner energy, but (picking nits, sorry) I think that spur is also used by the "Ready Mixed" Concrete plant along the Libba Cotton Greenway.The conflict over pedestrian crossings may be moot if the spur were abandonned--except that, as any Rail-to-Trail person can tell you, the RRs often see themselves as being more about real estate than about transportation.  They think like Blagojevich--"I’ve got this thing, and it’s ****ing golden, and, I’m just not giving it up for ****ing nothing."On the other hand, having the spur in active use has kept it open as a possible passenger rail link out of CH/C, though sharing track or even corridor with freight precludes the use of lighter rail, and STAC favors the 54/15-501 corridor.

The rail line is indeed used by ReadyMix.  It is also occasionally used by Fitch Lumber Company to receive lumber shipments.

Coal is cheap and very plentiful, especially in some parts of the country where the people have almost no other local economy to rely on.  Getting rid of coal shouldn't be a large scale goal IMO but instead developing clean coal technology should be. Now if there were all manner of cheap, green energies to use instead then fine, ditch coal without bothering to spend the money to figure out how to make it clean.  But that state of affairs is a long ways down the road.

Several years ago the University committed to using clean coal. Last year (or possibly two years ago), they committed to using coal that does not come from mountaintop removal. They pay more for the coal they purchase in order to be as socially responsible as possible with an infrastructure that is close to 130 years old AND still keep costs down so as to ensure that tuition costs can stay affordable. Basic science makes it pretty clear than wind energy is not a viable alternative for the piedmont region of North Carolina. Solar energy is being used to heat the water at Morrison Residence Hall and will be used at Carmichael Auditorium once that renovation is complete. And methane is being captured from the landfill on Rogers Road for use at the Giles Horney complex on Estes (it offsets natural gas though, not coal).From the last Carolina North meeting I attended (which was at least a year ago), a commitment had been made to using as much renewable energy as is economically feasible. Since the university's funding comes from the taxpayers of North Carolina, I'm sure I am not the only one that expects efficient operations that balance out the 3 legs of sustainability--environment, economics, and social justice. Getting rid of the railroad tracks would not be a sustainable decision, IMHO.  

While great strides have been made with more energy-efficient lighting and reducing energy useage on campus, there remain great opportunities to "mine" energy-efficiency on campus. There are leaky buildings and wasted lighting all over campus. These are straight-forward, low-tech fixes that would reap great benefits. 

The university has invested $1-$2 million a year over the past several years toward energy efficiency projects. We're making huge strides forward. For example, we've retrofitted most of the old buildings with T-8 lighting. The goal is to have them all retrofitted by 2010. It's not cheap and often entails rewiring and asbestos mitigation. We have an excellent building controls staff and are making equally great strides forward in improving functional operations on our HVAC systems. But it's impossible to optimally manage more than 16 million square feet of buildings while also reviewing plans and designs for new construction under current staffing levels. Hopefully, the recession will slow down construction so that staff can devote more time to energy efficiency projects.

One example - there's a door going into the business school building that leaks like a sieve. The HVAC system may be tuned perfectly, but it's still heating and cooling the outdoors. There are many examples of this non-sexy type of stuff. Like i said, UNC deserves credit for the work they've done on energy conservation. I'm just pointing out the type of things that are generally overlooked and represent great opportunities that can be taken advantage of without a highly-trained technician.  

The maintenance staff relies on faculty, students and staff to report that kind of problem. When the reports can be tracked down, we investigate them and then determine if they can be fixed easily (maintenance) or require some kind of more detailed analysis (engineering). If you will tell me which building (McColl, Kenan Center or another one), I will arrange for the door to be checked.

Terri,This one example is at Kenan-Flagler - the double door opposite the ramp leading to the parking deck. From the deck - go toward the building, take steps on your left to double-door at top. 

The phrase 'clean coal" is oxymoron. Ask the folks in Eastern Tennessee who are beneath 5.3 million cubic yards of coal ash how clean their communities are now. Carbon Capture and Storage is a Myth

What does UNC do with all its left over coal ash? How about all the mercury they're belching into the air?

But there is coal that is cleaner than other coal. UNC uses the cleanest burning coal available and through cogeneration they capture more than 90% of the energy contained within what they burn, as opposed to Duke/Progress Energy who use about 60% of the energy in the much dirtier coal that they burn. So if you put a little bit of thought into this, you will see that UNC is doing the environment a favor by NOT using more of the dirtier stuff from Duke.I'm not arguing that they should stick with coal forever, but it really isn't the simplistic do/don't do scenario you have set up. If you don't believe in using coal, would you prefer nuclear? If you only want renewable energy, are you willing to sacrifice reliability? We're making great strides forward with renewables, and if anyone had listened to Jimmy Carter back in the 1970s, we might not be having this discussion at all. But we are where we are. 

Terri, you left off the most interesting part, if I recall correctly.  I believe that UNC disposes of the ash by taking it to the Orange Landfill where it is actually used - as cover material for the landfill.  That is, at the end of each day the landfill staff covers the new garbage with soil so that loose trash is not exposed overnight (this is required by law and helps control pests).  I think that the landfill uses (or at least used to use) UNC coal ash as part of the cover soil.

I know that some of the ash is used as fill for foundation work, but didn't know it was being used at the landfill. I'd like to see OWASA's sludge being used a landfill cover also.

I was mistaken earlier: Orange County never used UNC coal ash for daily cover.   Around 1993 UNC installed a “fluidized bed combustion system” that injects limestone into the combustion chamber to scavenge up sulfur oxides and reduce air pollution (this is the technology alluded to by James Coley below).  The landfill did use about 50,000 tons of coal ash to fill in a borrow-hole at the landfill.  The coal ash is so full of limestone dust that it sets up like concrete and can handle heavy equipment better than any conventional surface.  That filled-in hole is where the clean-wood mulching operation is now.   However, the limestone content raised the total weight and volume of ash considerably and became a good deal more expensive to landfill in Orange County.  Consequently, UNC found it cheaper to truck the ash to some place in eastern North Carolina where it is used as structural fill (as alluded to by Terri above).   Beginning about 1996, the landfill began using Posi-Shell for daily cover most of the time.  It is a proprietary spray-on mixture of cement kiln dust, polyesther fiber and water. When sprayed onto the garbage, it forms a thin crust that is inhospitable to birds, vermin, etc. saving a lot of space as it is about 1" thick whereas the conventional covering of dirt is 6"+ daily by law.  This is one of the ways that the landfill staff is squeezing some extra life out of the Eubanks Road landfill.

"Sustainable anything" is an oxymoron too.  I could write an encycolpedia on things that are oxymorons that many people think are great.  And another one on things that were once oxymorons that no longer are because people wanted them to become realities instead of oxymorons.  The point isn't clean coal per se though, rather the point is to be anti-dogma.   The new guy that came in today officially put an end to dogma and a beginning to pragmatism, which is a good thing since pragmatism works so much better than dogma.  It's a shame it took so long for a major politician to figure that out.   We have huge quantities of coal in this country and  tens of millions of people that rely on it for their electricity and millions more that rely on it for their livelihood and we also have human brainpower that can develop new technologies so it's not pragmatic to just say "coal bad."  It is dogma though.    Of course UNC can do whatever it wants locally, coal or no coal, but that won't really matter in the larger picture.  If  folks in this area want X than I guess that's what matters most to folks in this area.

That would be a pragmatic contribution. 

It's interesting that our new president is supporting the use of clean coal technology in order to balance out environmental protection and economic well being. Here's how clean coal works:'s definitely not a perfect solution, but pragmatism has taken the helm in the US so maybe we should all get ready to figure out how to support it without closing our minds to the need to support renewable energy options.

From the link: "Next, we'll learn about the most ambitious of all clean coal technologies and what needs to happen before clean coal can become commercially feasible." I just want a real-world example...  


I heard that UNC doesn't buy coal derived from "mountain-top removal". That doesn't qualify as "clean-coal" technology - it just exhibits low-bar common sense. What else supports the notion that UNC is leading the way in "clean-coal" technology?

Before I got my current position, I worked as a temp in the business office at the power plant and learned a lot about so-called "clean coal" technology. All it means in this particular case is that some of the nasty chemical pollutants, mainly sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides, are reduced in the smokestack output. Nothing whatsoever is done to limit the output of carbon dioxide. By the way, the manager of the plant does not believe that the greenhouse effect has anything to do with global warming, and he despises Al Gore.James Coley

It's not just that pollutants are reduced at the smokestack (i.e., scrubbed), but also that the coal that is purchased has fewer pollutants that need to be scrubbed. What does someone's political views on Al Gore have to do with this discussion? Really bad taste for you to write that IMHO.

Actually, the technique used at the CoGen plant is not "scrubbing." It has to do with mixing in limestone and the way the mixture is burned in the first place. It is true that the plant is somewhat selective in its coal purchases. My remark about the plant manager is relevant for the reasons indicated below by gercohen and Mark Marcoplos.James Coley

By the way, the manager of the plant does not believe that the greenhouse effect has anything to do with global warming, and he despises Al Gore.

We are certainly lucky that operators of coal plants do not belive in global warming. That mindset cetainly squares with despising Al Gore, but is completely irrelevant to anything.

Would you prefer a doctor who doesn't believe smoking is harmful? Of course, the consciousness of those who operate the plants is important.

I was being sarcastic

The engineers who are hired to manage the cogeneration facility are hired for their engineering expertise. Their job is to ensure that the facility runs smoothly and that the university has reliable power when it is needed. Whether those individuals believe in global warming is totally irrelevant to their ability to do that job.If James had claimed that the manager doesn't care about energy conservation, it would be relevant but believing in global warming is not the same thing as being committed to energy conservation. The current manager of the facility is committed to energy conservation with his heart and soul. He was always very helpful to me and to everyone else who works in energy management. His political beliefs are totally irrelevant to his ability to do his job and to do it exceptionally well.

It's always disconcerting when someone is not cognizant of reality.

And Al Gore has come to stand for global warming advocacy. Reality exists on many levels.

Where did you get that UNC is "leading the way in clean coal technology"? I said say that they are using what is called clean coal, which means significantly lower NOx and SOx emissions that regular coal. I also said that cogeneration means that UNC uses more of the energy contained within the coal so they can produce more energy for less coal. It's a gigantic leap to go from that to "leading the way in clean coal technology."  

If UNC was actually doing "clean coal" then they would automatically be leading the way. To be accurate, you should say they are doing "cleaner coal". It's like an alcoholic switching from moonshine to tequila.

I am not for hollow ''Pragmatism; 'supporting something that seems to be the only option politically feasable, yet falls short of a critical objective.  I am for a pragmatism that takes into account the critical objective.James Hansen of NASA writes

... The shocking conclusion, documented in a paper2 I have written with
several of the world's leading climate experts, is that the safe level
of atmospheric carbon dioxide is no more than 350 ppm (parts per
million), and it may be less. Carbon dioxide amount is already 385 ppm
and rising about 2 ppm per year. Shocking corollary: the oft-stated
goal to keep global warming less than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees
Fahrenheit) is a recipe for global disaster, not salvation......The steps needed to halt carbon dioxide growth follow from the size of
fossil carbon reservoirs. Coal towers over oil and gas. Phase out of
coal use except where the carbon is captured and stored below ground is
the primary requirement for solving global warming...A price on emissions that cause harm is essential. Yes, a carbon
tax. Carbon tax with 100 percent dividend is needed to wean us off
fossil fuel addiction. Tax and dividend allows the marketplace, not
politicians, to make investment decisions.
Carbon tax on coal, oil and gas is simple, applied at the first
point of sale or port of entry. The entire tax must be returned to the
public, an equal amount to each adult, a half-share for children. This
dividend can be deposited monthly in an individual's bank account.
Carbon tax with 100 percent dividend is non-regressive. On the
contrary, you can bet that low and middle income people will find ways
to limit their carbon tax and come out ahead. Profligate energy users
will have to pay for their excesses. 

UNC's Coal plant may be better than other plants but being 'better' is not enough when measured up against what is needed! 

I started a new thread for discussion of this topic. Its called Is UNC's coal power plant contributing to global warming?.

Hey Rickie! I'm sorry I hijacked your post dude. Forgive me. Come on folks lets move the discussion. :)

I don't have any examples of clean coal.  I don't know enough about the details of that issue to comment one way or the other.  My point was meant to be more general.  I'll expand on that in the separate thread that was created for clean coal talk.

I appreciate the need for connectivity and Rickie has done a great job highlighting the informal access paths that people create.  However, the odds of getting a pedestrian crossing over the railroad tracks at grade is probably close to zero, because it means additional liability is taken on by the Norfolk Southern railroad.NCDOT Rail Division has also made great progress in safety through what is known as the Sealed Corridor Initiative.  At-grade collisions have fallen nearly 60 percent since the early 1990s, and so have injuries and fatalities.NCDOT Rail Crossing Stats One of the core strategies of the Sealed Corridor Initiative could be summed up as "don't add new at-grade crossings to active railroads."   Between the liability issues for NS (the railroad in charge of this piece of track) and the policy direction of the state, I would assert that efforts to improve bike/ped connections in this area focus on strategies that do not rely on modifying the railroad corridor to be successful.  

The disparity is staggering.To motorized traffic: "We will aggressively pursue bridges and tunnels."To pedestrians: "You can't get there from here."

Can anyone shed some light on the current issues surrounding the railroad tracks?  Who currently owns them and what are the current restrictions in terms of new trails or roads being built over them? Rickie

Wow- I got lucky on that one.

The State University Railroad Company owns the railroad. About 80% of the capital stock of the Railroad is owned by Norfolk Southern, as the result of its predecessor (Richmond and Danville RR, I think) contributing 80% of the capital in 1882 to build the railroad. 10%  was originally owned by the North Carolina Railroad (I think the stock is currently held by the UNC Endowment Fund) and the remaining by the heirs of the private folks that bought some of the orignal capital stock. The railroad is operated as a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern. There are five directors, three appointed by NS, one by the North Carolina RR, one I think by the private stockholders.  Decisionmaking is all by NS, subject to federal regulations.

Thanks for the scoop on ownership and liability issues.  I wish I could let this sleeping dog lie, but its just very frustrating knowing that there seems to be such a low chance of having any formal connectivity between these neighborhoods.  I would venture that creating a Pleasant Street to Lloyd Street connection would reduce traffic pressure and bike/ped accidents at the N. Greensboro/ Weaver Street intersection by a LOT because much of the bike traffic would reroute to this new, easier route.  I understand the need for train safety, but what about bike/ped safety and traffic concerns in downtown Carrboro?  It seems like the only solution to those issues is to allow for bike/ped/car traffic to have more than one shared point of egress/ingress into and out of downtown! 

A better option would be to extend Lloyd St along the railroad track to intersect the end of Broad and follow on out along the RR track to run into Village Drive just the the point where it bends away from the train tracks.

This grants access to Downtown from the North directly into the heart of Carrboro and allows for an alternate egress axis from Downtown Carrboro.


Also, you don't actually have to cross the RR tracks. Norfolk Southern would probably not be willing to let go of so much of their right of way to create walking/bike path, let alone a street for vehicular traffic.

This is a very logical path. In fact, about a third of the property needed to connect Lloyd Street to Village Drive is already owned by the town and has a dirt road on it. Plus as you point out, there would be no RR crossing needed.



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