Help Needed for possible Merritt mill bike lanes

The Town of Chapel Hill and the Town of Carrboro are exploring adding bike lanes to a portion of Merritt Mill Road, and are looking for volunteer help to collect traffic counts.

The counts would be collected on Thursday, September 15th at eight intersections.

Volunteers and staff will count turning vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians during the morning (8-9 AM), noon (12-1 PM), and evening (4:30-5:30 PM) peak hours.

This data will be used to create a traffic model and determine the impact on local residents of removing the center turn lane.

If you’re interested in helping, please fill out this SignUpGenius

with your email and availability, and Town staff will be in touch with details closer to the date. Feel free to sign up for more than 1 shift if able. We appreciate your interest and help!

Letter to Mayor and Council to endorse allocating funds for bike and pedestrian projects

Dear Mayor and members of the Town Council:

Tonight, you have the opportunity for a one-time commitment of $250,000 from the FY 2021 Excess Fund Balance for improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians in our town. Certainly, there are many deserving places to direct these funds, however we advocate not only for the one-time use of excess funds for this purpose, but also an ongoing commitment from the Town to provide annual budget support (of $250,000 or greater) to begin making substantial progress in accomplishing the list of items long included in both the Town’s Bike Plan as well as lts Mobility and Connectivity plan.

The traditional practice of the town seems to be to do projects that are triggered by third-party development or when some unplanned funding becomes available. This has not achieved consistent or measurable progress in making the town noticeably safer for all.

When BACH, in collaboration with the town, developed the Bike Plan in 2013, we looked at the price tag for the plan. We were realistic in accepting that it was not going to be done overnight. However, here we are, nearly 10 years later and there is still so much left undone. A regular commitment to planning and budgeting is the only way to actually accomplish the goals the Town has established.

There are many greenway projects in those Plans that reasonably should have been completed by now. Yet none have even been started. This is not merely a recreational issue. In addition to providing recreation, the greenways offer connectivity. They provide, or should provide, extended non-car connectivity to parks and other destinations in a far safer and less stressful way than can any street-marked bike lane.

Further, on the matter of greenways: We have observed, using traffic counter data that BACH assists the town in collecting, that existing greenway use has ballooned. Further, the bike-to-pedestrian ratio on the Bolin Creek trails indicates its use as a bicycle commuting corridor now that the tunnel under MLK is completed.

The last Greenway completed was the Tanyard Branch Trail – now 5 years ago. The town should have a routine of always having a greenway under construction. Again, at the current rate, it will be decades before any significant change will be made to our existing – very incomplete – bike and pedestrian greenway network.

Finally, the Town has had a bicycle and pedestrian safety working group that has been meeting for many years. We know and respect the staff included in this group. We recognize the work they have done. However, much of what they propose still remains in a backlog, waiting for funds that never seem to be budgeted.

Without change, this may also become the case for the town’s Vision Zero task force, which is staffed by some energetic and professional experts in the field. Their work will be in vain if it simply ends up on a plan. This task force’s work must be funded with the expectation that continuous backing and attention will enhance their output.

If Chapel Hill is to become the town that its Plans indicate it wants to be, it must back up its wishes with action in concrete budgetary terms. BACH believes this is something the Town can achieve.

Thank you
Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill

Current and former board members
Paul Neebe
Dave Pcolar
Gregory Georges
William Tobin
Joanne Gardner
John Rees
Melissa McCullough
Patrick Mortell
James Heil
Sam Byassee

Former town council members and mayor
Ed Harrison
George Cianciolo
Lee Storrow
Penny Rich
Sally Greene
Mark Kleinschmidt

Urgent action required. NC House Bill 77

BACH members, and people who value public spending for bike and pedestrians projects. We need your HELP!

The North Carolina Legislature is working on House Bill 77 which changes how the Department of Transportation operates and guts funding for non car projects.

While the bill does include some important transparency and accountability reforms it is also full of problems.

The bill would see across the board cuts to DOT programs, but some of the hardest cuts would come to the integrated mobility division which oversees bike, pedestrian and transit projects. The division would be left with just $17 million. There are also cuts to transit programs and Powell Bill funds.

The bill also amounts to a power grab of the Board of Transportation by the General Assembly. The bill would give 6 out of 20 seats on the Board to the NCGA, and require that 3 of the Governor’s appointments are from the opposite party.

Most important, the bill would completely transform the Board from a board focused on policy to one focused on fiscal accountability. We would lose all the subject matter at large seats, including the environmental seat. The board members would be required to have backgrounds in finance to be on the Board.

Further, the Board would now have significantly more power – approving the DOT spend plan. The Board of Transportation used to have significant power in the past and it was broadly abused. That is why the power was removed and the more policy board was created.

This bill will pass the Senate today. We urge you to contact House members and ask them not to concur on the bill on next week. The bill should go to conference where it can be fixed.

Here are some House members to contact. Please spread the word:

Rep Martin: (919) 733-5773
Rep Beasley: (919) 733-5654
Rep Clark: (919) 733-5828
Rep Russell (919) 733-7727
Rep D. Jackson: (919) 733-5974
Rep Carney: (919) 733-5827
Rep Meyer: (919) 715-3019
Rep Raymond Smith: (919) 733-5863
Rep Willingham: (919) 715-3024
Rep. Frank Iler: (919) 301-1450
Rep. Michele D. Presnel: (919) 733-5732
Rep. Phil Shepard: (919) 715-9644
Rep. John A. Torbett: (919) 733-5868
Rep. Chuck McGrady: (919) 733-5956

West Franklin Street Lane re allocation

There is a great opportunity for us to have a true multi modal West Franklin street. Added benefits are a calmer street for crossing on foot. The town of Chapel Hill is proactively taking advantage of an opportunity that has arisen from the re paving of this street of Franklin st. Please look at these resources and offer your feedback by March 30th – That is this Monday. Use part of your weekend to take a look at these designs.

Town news page:

Proposed designs, vote for your favorite:

Making Chapel Hill a Sustainable Community: Improving Walking, Cycling and Transit

John Pucher, an expert on city cycling, will give a free lecture at the  Chapel Hill Library on Thurs., Feb. 19, at 3 p.m. The lecture will be “Making Chapel Hill a Sustainable Community: Improving Walking, Cycling and Transit.” Sponsored by Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, CHALT. Questio1503357_361694677347390_7633320251517194882_nns? Contact

Use Facebook? Here is a Facebook event page:

Report: Chapel Hill Holiday parade

BACH had a great turnout at the holiday parade. Plenty of bikes, and plenty of cargo! One bike actually carried a full size Christmas tree! We set up a bike to carry hot coffee for parade watchers , courtesy of Carrboro Coffe Co. Here is BACH member, John Rees, showing off the bike.

Chapel Hill Holiday Parade

Chapel Hill Holiday Parade
December 13: 9:00 AM

Join BACH, the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, The RecycleRy, Carolina Tarwheels and cyclists from near and far for the Chapel Hill / Carrboro holiday parade!
Decorate your bike, ride with us and share the love of bicycling.
We have a theme this year: Carrying items by bike. Packages , Christmas trees (yes, one year, someone toted a tree with their cargo bike!)
All are welcome,. The more bikes, the better. Join us on December 13th, around 9:-9:30 AM near the Morehead Planetarium on Franklin street.

Breaking Away cycling & movie event

Classic Movie Breaking Away will be on Wallace Deck Sept 12 at NO CHARGE. Fun begins at 7 pm and movie at sunset. Bike In and be part of drawings, giveaways and free bike lights too!

Valet Parking: Local bike advocacy groups BACH and CBC will conduct Bike Valet Parking at no charge, with even more opportunity for drawings!

Cruiser RIdes: BACH invites cyclist to meet at 6pm to participate in a slow relaxed cruiser that will bring awareness to the community regarding cycling in Chapel Hill and Carrboro:

Breaking Away

Route 2,785,620 – powered by


Feeder Rides: BACH is offerings feeder rides to the event & back after the movie for people to ride to the event in a group. The feeder rides meet at 5:15 at the Pool Parking lot in Southern Village and the Performance Bike shop in East Gate and leave precisely at 5:30pm to be at the Wallace Deck in time for the cruiser ride and require people to bring lights and possibly warmer clothes for the nightly ride back home.