bolin creek greenway

Some fairly significant updates to Carrboro’s Bolin Creek Greenway project this week.

Here’s a recap.

After hundreds of staff hours and months of promotion, the Town of Carrboro’s public engagement process for Phases 3 & 4 have been completed and the results are unambiguous: respondents overwhelmingly prefer the “creekside” alignment.

The survey is included in the agenda materials for tonight’s Carrboro Town Council meeting. The agenda materials also include a resolution that staff is recommending the council adopt. It’s worth reading carefully!


In addition to conducting community engagement, staff were also asked to determine any regulatory barriers that might exist and prevent adoption of the creekside alignment. Confirming what advocates have been saying for years, staff found no new regulatory barriers.


Further, the proposed resolution, which will likely be voted on at Tuesday’s meeting, finally answers the 14 year debate on this project: 
  • People in Carrboro want greenways and the town council is committed to building them.
  • The “preferred” alignment from the 2009 conceptual master plan is formally adopted as the official final alignment for Phases 3 & 4 of the Bolin Creek Greenway.
  • Recent public engagement has CONFIRMED what was found in the original 2009 effort, which is that the creekside alignment is what most people want and it gets the most done in terms of serving the most people and making the most connections.
  • The “alternative” routes do not offer practical alternatives to the preferred Creekside alignment. This is a very important part of the proposed resolution, and here’s why…

This provision speaks to the Jordan Lake rules, which only allows trails near tributaries if practical alternatives are unavailable. State officials will need to agree, but this is the current opinion of our town staff, which reaffirms the findings from town staff back in 2009.

The council is on very sure footing after such positive results from the survey, but the project also received a significant endorsement this week from the local chapter of the Sierra Club. You can read about their letter here.

Tonight’s Carrboro Town Council meeting is shaping up to be a historic one for greenways. I hope we can identify some funding to bring project design documents for approval next. Finally, town staff have been working SO hard on this and I just want to thank them!

Ryan Byars writes about transportation infrastructure, greenways, and how to get around with your kids safely on a bike. He lives in Carrboro with his wife and three young children.