Raleigh is home to over 100 miles of greenway trails. As a bicycle commuter, I’m invested in growing our trail network. I want to ensure safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders, and all of the folks who choose alternative ways to get around. I attended the Oaks and Spokes Trail Oriented Design forum to learn about sustainable transportation options for Raleigh. A few takeaways:
People will bike and walk more if they feel safe. So few kids walk or bike to school anymore. In some cases the schools don’t even allow it! As safe trail networks and streets are developed, we are all more likely to ditch the car. Have you ever heard of a walking or biking school bus? This is where groups of students are accompanied by adults and they all walk or bicycle a pre-planned route to school. I’d love to see this in Raleigh!
Public and private partnerships are needed to fund trail networks. Why not require new developments to build/finish adjacent trails in Raleigh’s UDO? This is a simple change that could have a huge impact.
Community engagement is key to developing trail networks with everyone in mind. What do neighborhoods adjacent to a trail system need? They might want potholes fixed on the road before bike lanes. We have to stay in touch with each other in meaningful ways (beyond online surveys for example) as we make improvements to our city.