All posts by John Rees

President of the Bicycle Alliance Chapel Hill. Former president of the Carolina Tarwheels Bicycle Club. Life long cyclist.

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

Link to event on the CHALT web site:

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.