Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Sharrow Here, A Sharrow There!

My hometown of Waynesville, NC continues on the move toward increased bicycle friendliness as the first Sharrow was placed along Commerce Street today in the Frog Level section of town. (Yes, I said Frog Level!)

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(The first Sharrow in Waynesville!)

Commerce Street and Richland Streets are the first to get the lane markings…

as the Town of Waynesville implements aspects of the Comprehensive Haywood County Bicycle Plan adopted in November of 2011. Fred Baker, Public Works Director and a long time cyclist himself, recently returned from a QBP sponsored trip to Minneapolis where he and other group members had the opportunity to observe and experience that League of American Bicyclists honored city’s cycling infrastructure. Following his trip, Baker expressed to the monthly meeting of BicycleHaywoodNC his intent to mark the segment of the Haywood Hub from Commerce Street through Brown Street this fall and over the winter.

Bike Route ahead!

(Marking located at intersection of Commerce and Depot Streets)

The Haywood Hub or east/west route of the local bike plan runs from Jackson County to the west to Buncombe County in the east and is expected to be a key segment of the Blue Ridge Bike Plan and ultimately the State of North Carolina Bike Plan. The streets currently being marked are wholly contained within the town of Waynesville and are maintained by the town. BicycleHaywoodNC, a chapter of Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, committed to Baker to provide public education assisting residents in understanding what the symbols mean.

This particular segment represents about as flat a route as one can find in the mountains and runs approximately 6 miles along the Richland Creek basin allowing Waynesville citizens and visitors the opportunity to exercise, recreate, and commute to the downtown areas and shopping centers of Waynesville. It is within 2 city blocks of the county Courthouse and runs alongside coffee houses, services to the homeless, a local Veterans’ gathering place, and many businesses. Additionally, it runs beside Waynesville Middle School and is nearby to Central Elementary creating great opportunities for Bike Trains and cycling by students to school.

Yes, You Are Welcome Here!

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(Does it get anymore welcoming than this?)

Visiting cyclists on Tuesday received a greeting from this young man, who took a moment out of his “bar hunting” in the parking lot at Bicycle Friendly Outpost Bethel Grocery Store. The young man had gleefully been spotting bears here there and everywhere including one who had the apparent ability to fly. Bethel Grocery Store at the intersection of US 276 and Lake Logan Road in Haywood County is the first officially recognized outpost in Haywood County serving cyclists needs. The bicycle outpost concept includes small, typically Mom ‘n Pop businesses on the outskirts of less rural areas. These businesses welcome cyclists and stock cycling related supplies that the travelling cyclist might need along the way. They also provide literature about rides in the local area. A second bicycle friendly outpost in Haywood County is on the cusp of becoming a reality. The second outpost is located in northern Haywood County in the Jonathan Creek community. Blue Ridge Bicycle Club has committed to providing bike racks at these two Bicycle Friendly Outposts. In fact, the racks for Bethel Grocery had just been delivered hours before my own arrival this date.

Lots of good cycling news happening in my home community today. I’m looking forward to seeing more of it come to fruition.

Until later,

- Zeke

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