First established as the NC Bicycle Program in 1974 with just one staff member and no dedicated budget, the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT) has grown to a staff of ten with a budget of $10 million annually.
In the early years, efforts were mainly focused on the development of safety education programs and the designation and mapping of cross-state bicycle routes. While these are still important aspects of our program, activities now encompass a much broader range of bicycle and pedestrian planning, engineering, programming and project administration. Consisting of planners, engineers and support staff, (DBPT) works closely with other units of NCDOT and other state government agencies as well as regional and municipal staffs throughout the state.
The (DBPT) plays a role in revising DOT policies, guidelines and manuals that impact bicycle and pedestrian accommodations; participates in resolving complex bicycle and pedestrian design issues on major highway projects; and provides training and technical support to other DOT planning and design units. As a result, the incorporation of bicycle and pedestrian elements into the design and construction of highway projects on a more routine basis has provided many miles of improved facilities and is a cost-effective way to increase transportation options.
We strive to make bicycling and walking in North Carolina better, safer and more enjoyable. Below is a brief description of each of our major areas of activity — engineering, safety education, mapping, technical assistance, and training. Other parts of this web site describe in detail the many programs, projects and efforts currently underway. Our long-range plan, Bicycling and Walking in North Carolina (November, 1996), details the growth of the Division and outlines our vision for the future.
- The Division’s Engineering Unit is made up of a supervisor and two design engineers. The unit prepares plans for bicycle and pedestrian construction projects scheduled in the Transportation Improvement Program. In addition, the engineering unit oversees implementation of (TIP) projects from the initial feasibility study through each phase of preconstruction. Using the latest in design technology and equipment, the engineering unit prepares plans, profiles, cross-sections, specifications and estimates for complex on-road and off-road bicycle facility projects. The unit also reviews and approves greenway and pedestrian design plans prepared by localities.
- The Division's Planning Unit consists of a program manager, planner II, and planner I. The Planning Unit focuses on a variety of initiatives to enhance bicycling and walking as viable transportation options. Activities include administering the development of local comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plans selecting and scheduling new bicycle and pedestrian projects for the Transportation Improvement Program; providing technical assistance to localities; researching and analyzing data; and coordinating with the Division of Highways to identify bicycle and pedestrian accommodations that may be needed as incidental elements of planned roadway improvement projects throughout the state.
- Safety Education
- Long known as a national leader in bicycle safety education, the Division now fosters a broad range of both bicycle and pedestrian safety initiatives. Through the NC State Institute for Transportation Research and Education and UNC Highway Safety Research Center, (DBPT) develops and implements new safety programs; creates and distributes materials; provides support to community initiatives; trains teachers; conducts media awareness campaigns; and promotes safe bicycling and walking.
- The Division published its first bicycle map in 1976, showing the 700-mile Mountains to Sea route from Murphy to Manteo. Since that time, the system of mapped and signed cross-state, urban, local and regional bike routes has grown to cover more than 5,000 miles and is the largest mapped and signed bike route system in the USA.
- Technical Assistance
- The staff of the (DBPT) provides technical assistance to localities, other NCDOT staff, and other planning, engineering, and transportation professionals on a regular basis. Through contracts with the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NC State University, the (DBPT) extends the level of technical assistance it can provide on timely bicycle and pedestrian issues.
- Workshops, seminars, and conferences are critical to ensure professional development within the bicycle and pedestrian transportation arena. The (DBPT) helps transportation professionals in North Carolina stay up on the latest design considerations, best practices, relevant research, and planning considerations related to bicycle and pedestrian issues by offering trainings to meet the demands identified. These trainings ensure that NCDOT staff, regional and local transportation agencies, law enforcement, private consultants, planners, public health professionals and other practitioners can expand and sustain their knowledge base for integrating non-motorized travel considerations into their everyday work in order to make it a safe transportation choice.