Change Local Bike Laws in Carrboro

An announcement from the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition:

Did you know that Carrboro's town code for bicyclists is actually stricter than North Carolina state law? There are several clauses in particular:

"Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway, sidewalk, or bikeway shall ride single file, when to do otherwise would obstruct traffic or create a hazard. In no case should there be more than two bicycles riding abreast."

"Shall not pass other vehicles on the right except to the limited extent that motor vehicles are authorized to pass on the right as set forth in G.S. 20-150.1."

"Except on a street or portion thereof designated with a shared lane marking, bicyclists using a roadway shall ride as far to the right as practicable."

These laws may seem harmless enough, but the town code has been cited by Carrboro police officers when stopping groups of cyclists who strongly believed they were riding completely within the law. Few cyclists know the exact borders of Carrboro, so we might in compliance in Chapel Hill or Orange County, but considered to be law breakers in Carrboro.

We would like this to change. The Carrboro Bicycle Coalition ( will ask the Carrboro Board of Aldermen to remove or change the parts of the town code in regards to bicyclists that are stricter than NC state laws.

Come out to Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, October 4th, 7:30pm, Carrboro Town Hall to show your support. We'll be making a citizen's request to the Board. It's up to the Aldermen after that point. The board will not change the town code immediately, but they pass it on to the town staff or the Transportation Advisory Board for consideration. (We have already spoken to a number of the board members and the police chief about this issue.)

Carrboro passed a strong comprehensive bike plan in 2009. The League of American Cyclists has designated Carrboro a "Silver Bicycle Friendly Community," the highest in the Southeast, tied only with Gainesville FL. The Carrboro Bicycle Coalition would like to work with the town government and the police to meet these high expectations.

Whether you come or not, we'll pass on the news to you as soon as possible. There will be more opportunities to show your support.

Thanks everybody!



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