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The Daily Tar Heel
Town Talk

Carrboro scraps contradictory bicycle laws

Carrboro has the most bicyclists on the road in the state, but contradictory town laws might leave these riders vulnerable.

Carrboro’s bicycle laws were up for discussion Tuesday at the Board of Alderman meeting.

Charlie Hileman, a member of the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, made a presentation that highlighted some inconsistencies between the town’s and the state’s laws.

The town’s laws dictated that bicyclists must stay to the right of a traffic lane, while state law says all road users should stay to the right of a traffic lane.

The Board unanimously voted to scrap this contradictory law.

Hileman and other members of the coalition said they feel targeting only bicyclists on the road in the town ordinance discriminated against cyclists.

Hileman said in North Carolina, cyclists have the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle. She said this made the Carrboro bicycle laws contradictory because they state that bicyclists should keep as far to the right as possible and ride in a single file line.

“It’s not good to be in the far right because that’s the blind spot,” said Alderman Sammy Slade.

State laws entitle bicyclists to use the full lane and Hileman said the coalition was worried inconsistencies in state and local laws would leave cyclists vulnerable in case of accident.

Neither Chapel Hill nor Orange County restricts bicyclers like Carrboro does, and this can create confusion among law enforcement, Hileman said.


Students from Phillips Middle School gave a presentation about their club, the Trash Terminators 2.0, and their initiative to incorporate compost bins into every school cafeteria in the county.

The students said their efforts at Phillips Middle School have already saved the county significant amounts of money by reducing trash hauled to the landfill.


Slade said he wanted to partner with the Trash Terminators and follow their lead in reducing Carrboro’s carbon footprint.

“Your work has gone above and beyond — you guys have really trashed us,” Slade said.

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