Cone said that during a 12 month period, more than 14,000 specific participants have been involved in the partnership. She said each partner has a person on staff to promote various efforts to reduce traffic and increase air quality through programs, special events and special campaigns.
Cycling, walking and using public transportation aren’t the only alternatives to driving — Cone also mentioned carpooling and skateboarding.
“In the last ten years, skateboarding has become more and more frequent — so far, we have not addressed it specifically,” she said. “I see it is regularly used by many citizens for getting out and about.”
Current major projects include the Watch for Me NC campaign, which encourages police officers to spread information about pedestrian and cyclist safety; the Lighten Up Chapel Hill campaign, which promotes proper lighting for cyclists riding at night; and the Go Chapel Hill Commute Club, whose members pledge to use alternative transportation several times during the year, Cone said.
Chapel Hill also received a designation as a bronze-level bicycle-friendly city, meaning it has demonstrated work toward the “five E’s:” engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation of alternative transportation.
Carrboro has been designated multiple times as a bicycle-friendly city and has made it to the silver level. UNC junior Meredith Allen said that while she enjoys biking in Chapel Hill, she’s noticed some safety issues and other concerns.
“I don’t think there are enough bike lanes — I had to bike here (on Columbia Street) today, and it’s crazy,” she said.
“There’s a lot of great paths off of (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) but a lot of them don’t serve much of a purpose — they don’t take you anywhere.”
Allen also said she’d like to see more bike racks and parking for bikes in Chapel Hill.
“A lot of the time, you have to walk to park your bike and then walk all the way back,” she said. “There’s still room to improve.”