If you were anywhere near downtown Chapel Hill or Carrboro on Friday evening, you may have seen a long string of bikes passing through. NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro and the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill hosted the second annual ‘“Bike Around Chapel Hill”. The primary intent of the ride each year is to demonstrate to students ways they can leave campus by bike and reach destinations like downtown Carrboro and other stops along the way.For first year students, this is especially helpful. The second goal was simply to have fun riding bikes in a community of cyclists. I believe the ride was successful on both accounts! 50 cyclists rode with us!

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We are asking the Chapel Hill Town Council to approve a pilot project to install protected bike lanes on Cameron Avenue as soon as possible. This pilot project will make Cameron Avenue safer for bike riders, mobility scooter users, and walkers, and help inform the development of permanent protected bike lanes.

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Organized by UNC grad student, René Iwo and marshaled by riders with Bike Carrboro, NEXT, Back Alley Bikes and the RecycleRy, the ride started at the Pit in UNC. Here is a map of the route we followed.


We were also joined by Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils who helped provide some context around the challenges of getting bicycle facilities along the way.

Bike riders receive direction from organizer René in the UNC pit

A few pictures from the event. Here, you can see us assembled in the Pit, where riders received final route instructions from René and other speakers before heading out.

At the western end of the ride, in Carrboro, riders hear from Mayor Damin Seils about the bike lane and street improvements coming to Carrboro soon.

At the western end of the ride, in Carrboro, riders heard from Mayor Damon Seils about bike lane and street improvements coming to Carrboro soon.

Post bike ride pizza in the Pit!

Riders received free pizza, courtesy of NEXT, at the finish! Thanks to NEXT for the Pizza and to Lee Tobin of BACH for providing fruit and drinks!

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.

John Rees lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. He was, until very recently, a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and former chair. He serves on...