Biking

An image of bikers along the Dixie Pass Trail
Ed Billings / Bike Loud Troop 845

The members of Carrboro’s Boy Scout Troop 845 dipped their rear wheels in the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and repeated their chosen mantra: bike loud. With the wind at their backs and passion in their pedals, they began riding east with everything they had.

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks. Two projects — one based in Chile, another in Seattle — are promising to provide peace of mind without the fuss of carrying a separate lock.

Two local residents, Ivin Scurlock, 41,  and Alexandra Simou, 40, lost their lives in a hit-and-run incident near Southern Village last month.  North Carolina has one of the worst rates for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the country.  

State officials are asking for public input as they prepare a statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan.

Jeff Tiberii: There are more than 3-thousand miles of existing bike routes in North Carolina. Officials at the Department of Transportation want to add better signage, as well as a useful website with maps of the trails. Julia Casadonte says the state last updated the plan 15 years ago. She notes the state's population has grown significantly during that time.

Police at UNC-Chapel Hill are now using a GPS to track stolen bicycles on campus. Under the strategy implemented this week, officers plant a tracking device on a so-called "bait bike," and then follow the signal if it leaves a certain boundary. Police at N-C State started using the device last November. Deputy chief Jon Barnwell says his department started seeing immediate results.

An artist rendering of the ATT bridge over I-40.
City of Durham

Efforts to extend a popular bike and pedestrian trail in Durham have hit a snag. City officials want to extend the American Tobacco Trail about 4 miles to the Chatham County line. That includes building a bridge across I-40. Bids for the project came in higher than expected. Ed Venable is a manager of engineering and stormwater for the City of Durham.

The state Department of Transportation has released a survey that identifies a need for improving bicycle and pedestrian safety. Nearly three quarters of respondents said they don't feel safe biking through their communities on a daily basis. That number was about 50 percent for pedestrians. The survey identified a lack of bicycle lanes and sidewalks as the top safety issue. But DOT spokeswoman Julia Merchant says there also needs to be a mutual respect among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.