We (Chapel Hill on Bikes) are working on mapping the low stress bike routes around town and we need your help.

What is a low-stress bike route?

These are the bike routes you would bike with a child, maybe with some help using sidewalks or social trails. There are a lot of them, and some are something of folklore! (e.g. “Cut behind the tennis court, and between the fence that is pushed over.”)

That sounds amazing! How can I help?Our first goal is to safelyg get kids biking and walking to school, so we first want to highlight low stress routes to local schools. That’s where you come in.

A step-by-step guide on how to help:


  1. First, visit the CHCCS Map and identify the school zone you know well.
  2. Click layers -> Select the Elementary, Middle or High School District and find your zone.
  3. Take a screenshot and use your favorite program to overlay lines. Some easy ways to do this include:
    1. Powerpoint
    2. Canva,
    3. Photoshop
    4. Ride with GPS
    5. Microsoft Paint
    6. (You can even print it out and use a highlighter and take a picture!)
  4. Make notes about the route, whatever you would tell your neighbor when describing it. Annotations and notes would be helpful. Low-stress if you use the sidewalk or look for the cut through at the end of Alton Road to Michaux.
  5. Send it over to us [email protected]



Extra Credit:Photos of any hidden neighborhood easements are helpful so we can find them when mapping with a GPS.

Is there a desire path (meaning, a path that people have walked or biked on which has created a path?)

Is there a route that is almost perfect except for a few small things that the town could tackle? Example: There’s no curb cut to access a sidewalk easily, the crosswalk signal doesn’t give enough time to cross, etc.


Arleigh Greenwald is better known as Bike Shop Girl on the internet. (She also runs Chapel Hill on Bikes.) She is a new resident to Chapel Hill, NC where she moved after owning an electric and cargo bike...