I love living in Carrboro. 

It’s one of the most progressive communities in North Carolina, but small enough where you run into someone you know almost every time you leave your house. My friends and neighbors are creative, passionate, and truly caring people. I’m proud to live here.

I am also keenly aware of how Carrboro, like every place in America, must do its part to fight the climate crisis. This includes building out infrastructure to make it easier for people to replace some short car trips with safer and easier ways to bike and walk. It also includes ensuring that our creeks are healthy, and that we continue to protect our green spaces. I wanted to get involved in something focused on trying to build climate-resiliency at home.

These were the posters that someone tore down all along Greensboro Street earlier today. I picked them up and put them in my car. 

Earlier this year, I joined the NC Triangle DSA and started working with the Carrboro Linear Parks Project to campaign for the Bolin Creek Greenway in Carrboro, along the sewage easement. As someone who grew up with an extensive system of sewer-easement creekside greenways, I thought it was a no brainer! 

I joined up, eager to learn and do my part. I got to hear wonderful talks from experts in their field about the importance of these spaces, how they can be designed to restore the environment around the creek, which is not in good shape.

I postered, organized, and attended a town council meeting for the very first time! I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors and met so many of my neighbors who have been overwhelmingly supportive of this project. 

When I encountered someone who disagreed with having a greenway, I listened intently and shared primary source documents. It is important for Carrboro Town Council to weigh all of the facts, stakeholders, and expertise at their disposal because they represent everyone. My assumption is that Carrboro can have a healthy, vigorous debate about important, hard topics — and then the town council would move forward with a decision.

Someone tore down our greenway posters and littered them on the ground.

Today, I woke up after a night of rain to find nearly a dozen of our posters all along Greensboro Street had been intentionally torn down. Whoever tore them down left them on the ground, littering the streets. I spent my morning cleaning them up. 

The posters said “To build a greener Carrboro for us all” and I truly believe in that. The ADA-compliant path would allow a beloved space to be more accessible and would connect our communities between Chapel Hill and Carrboro, helping build out a vast greenway network. It would allow so many school children to bike and walk to school safely like I got to do growing up, and take thousands of car trips off the road. 

The posters that were torn down linked to our petition where we are asking anyone in Carrboro who shares our vision of a connected, climate-resilient future to sign. If that’s you, I hope you’ll add your name. And if you have the means to help us replace our destroyed posters, you can make a donation here. It’s clear from this litter incident that not everyone in Carrboro wants a greenway for all, but I’m still going to fight to give all in Carrboro a greenway.

Sign up for the Carrboro Linear Parks Project mailing list to get updates on building out Carrboro’s greenway network. Visit the Carrboro Linear Parks Project website for more information. There’s also a helpful FAQ with answers to many questions.

Update: We support the creekside alignment for the reasons detailed here.

In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.

Nick Lytle is an education researcher and data scientist living in Carrboro. He cares about trying to make his community a more accessible place for all.