On Sept. 27, the Chapel Hill Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board considered a petition for an extension to the Libba Cotten Bikeway that was proposed by NEXT, a Chapel Hill- and Carrboro-based community organization dedicated to improving affordable housing and equitable transportation infrastructure.
The bikeway is a protected, two-way trail linking downtown Carrboro to West Cameron Avenue via South Merritt Mill Road, on the border of Carrboro and Chapel Hill.
If NEXT’s project is implemented, the bikeway would stretch from its current western end at Roberson Street to South Columbia Street. If the project is adopted, the construction could be complete by summer 2023, according to NEXT’s website.
NEXT board member John Rees said he thinks current bike lanes along West Cameron Avenue and other Chapel Hill-Carrboro roadways do not adequately protect cyclists from the encroachment of motorists into their space.
“You’re not really gonna find yourself protected by a piece of paint,” Rees said.
The Town plans to move forward with re-striping bike lanes over summer 2023.
Recently, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has been undertaking road resurfacing projects to create curb-adjacent bike lanes along West Franklin Street.
Existing pavement markings were reorganized to be more cyclist-friendly, Amy Ryan, a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council, said.
She added that such projects are part of a larger blueprint for sustainable transport options along Cameron Avenue, Franklin Street and Rosemary Street.