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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro sees bike boom over past 5 years

A bike boom has come to Carrboro — on any given day, one can find cyclists riding alongside cars, bikes strapped to the front of buses and bikes parked outside businesses.  

The amount of bicycling in Carrboro has increased from 2.9 percent to 5.2 percent — a 79 percent increase — in just the past five years.  

"I'd say there's long been a larger group of cyclists in the area than others because it's a more compact community," James Steed, mechanic at Back Alley Bikes, said of the cycling community. 

Steed said many people have commutes that are usually one or two miles, so biking to work or campus is feasible. 

"Taking a bike is not only the most economical way, but it offers benefits all around, freeing you up from dependency on public transit as well as health and well-being benefits," Steed said.  

According to Carrboro Board of Aldermen member Bethany Chaney, the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition has been extremely active in bringing awareness to biking in the community.  

"We have a very active bicycle coalition that has done fundraising to purchase and donate bike parking and increase visibility and safety on the road," Chaney said. 

She added that safety is the the most important aspect of increasing the amount of cycling.

Carrboro residents Derek Wilson and Macon Looper bike frequently. Looper, a senior at UNC, said she mainly bikes to and from class.  

"(Carrboro's) got a pretty decent infrastructure for biking," Wilson said. 

Wilson said the addition of more bike lanes over the past few years has made Carrboro a more bike-friendly area. Even though bike lanes haven't been installed on every road, Wilson said dirt paths around Carrboro are also fun to ride on.

Chaney said the Board of Aldermen prioritizes adding in bike lanes whenever they can to accommodate more bikers in the area. 

"We would love to paint strips from the southern part of town to the northern part, but it has to happen at the state level," Chaney said.


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