The Greensboro Metropolitan Area Bicycle, Pedestrian & Greenways Plan (a.k.a. BiPed) is a broad attempt to consolidate Greensboro Park and Rec’s Trails and Greenways Master Plan with a bike and pedestrian transportation plan covering the Greensboro metro area. Tonight’s public input session at Lawndale Baptist Church was the final meeting of this planning phase. I attended to learn more.
The Greensboro Metropolitan Planning Organization and Greensboro Parks and Rec have retained Toole Design Group and Greenways Inc. to assist in the planning process. Both are environmental design firms; Toole brings particular expertise in designing multi-modal transportation systems. Chuck Flink of Greenways Inc. facilitated the session; several staff members from both firms were on hand to gather input from what turned out to be a larger than expected group — I would estimate 60 people, many of whom I recognized as cyclists.
Four maps — one for trails, another for bike racks and facilities, another for pedestrian routes, and one more for bike routes — lay on tables around the room. We were invited to add notes, highlight streets, trails or other points of interest, and talk with the reps from each organizing group.
Within 45 minutes, each map was covered with marks. Attenders were given a recap of the suggestions. Some of the more interesting ones were proposals for two paddling trails, and repeated suggestions to link city campuses (UNCG, Bennett, NC A&T) with bike and ped-friendly trails.
Flink indicated that follow up meetings will happen late winter or early spring. At that point, the public will be presented with recommendations and a timeline for implementation.
Along with the increased interest in cycling and formation of a new local advocacy group, this is a reason for optimism (though guarded) about the future of cycling in a city that seems to have been veering away from any notion that cycling is a valid means of transportation.