Carrboro has volunteered to host the North Carolina Bicycle Summit — but first it has to get parking for the influx of cyclists.
The summit — an event that includes policymakers, business owners and activists — aims to promote bicycling across the state. The town planned to rent bike racks for the event, but city planners have adopted a new strategy to get enough racks for the summit’s 250 participants.
N.C. bicycle summit
The town of Carrboro will host the 2013 North Carolina Bicycle Summit Oct. 18 through 20:
- Summit workshops will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites at 300 E. Main St. in Carrboro
- Registration is open through Oct. 16 and costs $100 per attendee
- A pre-summit workshop will be held Oct. 17
Carrboro will now borrow bike racks from the city of Durham and local businesses for the event, said the town’s transportation planner, Jeffrey Brubaker.
Durham will loan the town eight bike racks and an REI sports equipment store will loan another four. The 12 racks will be enough to park about 120 bikes, according to an email from Brubaker to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.
Last year marked the first time a bike summit was held in North Carolina, and this year Carrboro is looking to show how it has excelled at creating a bike-friendly community.
“We are the only silver-level bicycle community by the League of American Bicyclists in North Carolina,” said Heidi Perry, treasurer of the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition. Silver is the second-highest bicycle-friendliness rating given to communities by the league.
The goal of the summit is to discuss various proposals on creating a more efficient bike community.
After attendees make presentations on their proposals for bike-related initiatives, city planners will discuss other viable options for improving the town’s bikeability.
For attendees who are less interested in the policy aspects of the summit, there are planned activities to demonstrate the biking amenities Carrboro has to offer.
“We are having a cruiser ride, movie night and mountain bike rides around Carrboro,” Perry said.
Moving forward, Carrboro planners said they are taking steps to improve bicycle parking options around town.
“There is an interactive bike parking map that shows location of bike racks around town,” Brubaker said.
And Carrboro Aldermen have been proactive in ensuring more parking for bikes.
“The Board of Aldermen allocated $5,000 of the budget to install more bike parking in Carrboro,” Brubaker said. “The town recently installed a bike corral on East Weaver Street, which stands in place of traditional parking spaces.”
UNC junior Ella Koeze said she was intrigued about the upcoming summit but had concerns about parking.
“Usually I park my bike at Weaver (Street Market), but it is crammed and is sometimes a challenge,” she said.
Koeze said if Carrboro was to add more bike racks, it might encourage more bicycling around town.
For residents and visitors in Carrboro during the summit, Perry had a suggestion:
“Look out for bikes that weekend because there will be a lot of them.”
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