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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro Deemed Friendly for Cyclists

Representatives of the League of American Bicyclists, a lobbying group of more than 30,000 bicyclists nationwide, said Carrboro received the honor because of the town's continued efforts to promote bicycling as a viable form of transportation, exercise and fun.

"Our purpose is to increase awareness and acceptance of bicycling," said Anthony Yoder, program manager at the League of American Bicyclists.

"The program serves as an avenue to recognize communities that do good work and to encourage communities to improve."

Carrboro Board of Alderman member Jacquelyn Gist said she thinks the distinction is well-deserved.

"I think that we make a conscious effort to be bike-friendly," Gist said. "We work really hard at having bike paths. We don't have nearly as many as we want yet, but we surely have them."

According to the league's Web site, for a town to be named a bicycle-friendly community, it must have streets that are safe for bicycles, a government staff member who is responsible for bicycle coordination and a citizens advisory committee.

Alderman Joal Broun said she feels that Carrboro has made a lot of effort to promote bicycles.

"We have bike lanes. We have bike trails all over Carrboro, and we just emphasize biking and walking," Broun said. "We emphasize the construction of bike lanes on our connector roads and on our streets."

Alderman Diana McDuffee said Carrboro has implemented regulations to ensure the inclusion of bike lanes for certain streets.

"We require bike lanes on new streets that are built in Carrboro," McDuffee said.

Gist said the town provides places to park bikes and trails for bicyclists, such as the ones that run near Bolin Creek.

Broun said the Performance Bicycle Shop, located on East Main Street in Carrboro, also promotes bicycling in the community.

"I think it also helps because a lot of people frequent that shop," Broun said. "People gather there to do Saturday and Sunday rides."

Some aldermen say receiving the bicycle-friendly community distinction parallels Carrboro's plans for the future, specifically Vision 2020.

"It really goes hand in hand with the Vision 2020 because the Vision 2020 emphasizes conductivity," Broun said.

Vision 2020 is a comprehensive plan for growth in Carrboro during the next 20 years, including plans for increased pedestrian awareness and alternative modes of transportation.

McDuffee said, "I think that we're very interested in being a pedestrian-friendly community."

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