News Releases

4/9/2015: National Bike to School Day 2015

National Bike to School Day 2015

Posted 4/9/2015 11:07:57 AM

RALEIGH-The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation is encouraging communities to join Bike to School Day on May 6. Bike to School Day is a national event that gives communities across the country the opportunity to join together in bicycling to school on the same day.  “Bike to School Day is a great way for friends and families to celebrate cycling” said NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Division Director Lauren Blackburn. “Parents and kids should use low-traffic routes, wear helmets and follow all traffic laws when cycling to school.” The national event is part of the movement for year-round safe routes to school and encourages bicycling to school as a healthy way for kids and families to make their school commute. Although Bike to School Day is a one day event, it is leading to long term change. Students, parents and teachers are using Bike to School day to inspire transformation in their communities.   Events can include walking, bicycling or both and can be held on the school campus, on a specific route or use the route from home to school (where safely possible).  While National Bike to School Day is May 6, 2015, if that date doesn’t work for your school calendar, it’s fine to celebrate on a different day in May. Schools, parents and community members can now register their event at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/. All registered events appear on the official Who's Biking map, making it easy to show potential or existing partners and media where events will take place.  Registering a Bike to School Day event provides organizers access to a variety of downloadable materials, including stickers, certificates, badges, classroom activities and a chance to win bikes, helmets, and other giveaways. **NCDOT**
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4/6/2015: NCDOT Awards 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grants

NCDOT Awards 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grants

Posted 4/6/2015 8:18:26 AM

RALEIGH- A group of 10 municipalities from across the state are slated to receive assistance with bicycle and pedestrian planning, thanks to grants awarded this month by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Now in its twelfth year, the grant program helps North Carolina cities and towns develop a comprehensive overall strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities within a given community.  The municipalities selected are scattered across various regions of the state.  Recipients were selected from a pool of 26 applications by an awards committee comprised of transportation planners from across the state, including representatives of regional planning organizations and councils of government, local governments and NCDOT staff from multiple units. Recipients this year include: • Canton (joint bicycle/pedestrian plan)• Fairmont (joint bicycle/pedestrian plan)• Franklin (joint bicycle/pedestrian plan)• Hendersonville (bicycle plan)• High Point (pedestrian plan)• Lenoir (bicycle plan)• Newport (bicycle/pedestrian plan)• Rutherfordton (bicycle/pedestrian plan)• Wendell (pedestrian plan)• Windsor (bicycle/pedestrian plan) The planning grant initiative is jointly sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation and NCDOT’s Transportation Planning Branch.  To date, approximately $4,332,000 has been awarded to 164 communities through the planning grant program.   Plans funded are not for one specific project, but represent a comprehensive strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities within a given municipality. These plans address facilities, programs, services and regulations that encourage safe walking and bicycling. For more information on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative; contact NCDOT’s Division of Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation or visit the Planning Grant Initiative website.  **NCDOT**
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2/9/2015: NCDOT Launches New Walk Bike NC Website Featuring Online Mapping Tool for State Bike Routes

NCDOT Launches New Walk Bike NC Website Featuring Online Mapping Tool for State Bike Routes

Posted 2/9/2015 2:04:37 PM

RALEIGH-The N.C. Department of Transportation has launched a new website for Walk Bike NC, a statewide plan for improving pedestrian and bicycle mobility. WalkBikeNC.com provides many features, including digital information from the plan and a new online mapping tool showcasing thousands of miles of signed bicycle routes in North Carolina. The website’s online map shows NCDOT-designated, on-road bicycle routes, first developed and signed in the 1970s and 1980s. In the past, route information had only been available via paper map order through the NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Division. WalkBikeNC.com allows cyclists to create turn-by-turn directions and check elevation profiles for the state’s bicycle routes. These online features will make bicycle tour planning easier for visitors and residents and compliment other online mapping services. NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director Lauren Blackburn explains, “Our state’s cycling and walking routes and greenways are an economic asset. These networks connect visitors and residents to job centers, schools, open space, historic sites, small towns and other important destinations.” Walk Bike NC was adopted by NCDOT in 2013 and is built around five key pillars: mobility, safety, economy, health and environment. The plan provides tools and recommendations for making bicycle and pedestrian networks more accessible and safer. **NCDOT**
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1/27/2015: NCDOT Seeks New Partners for 2015 Watch for Me NC Campaign

NCDOT Seeks New Partners for 2015 Watch for Me NC Campaign

Posted 1/27/2015 2:01:32 PM

RALEIGH-The N.C. Department of Transportation is now accepting applications from communitiesinterested in participating in the Watch for Me NC campaign. Watch for Me NC is a nationally-recognized bicycle and pedestrian safety, education, and enforcement program. The campaign follows a comprehensive and data-driven approach to increasing public awareness and expanding local law enforcement capacity to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. The campaign is led by local partners with technical support and safety materials provided by NCDOT and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. Watch for Me NC expanded into a statewide campaign in 2014 after a successful pilot program in the Triangle region in 2012-2013. The 2015 campaign is supported by the NCDOT Governor’s Highway Safety Program. The campaign, now in its fourth year, is seeking new partner communities in North Carolina as part of an effort to expand statewide. Communities interested in joining the campaign can learn more about the program or can download an application at www.watchformenc.org/about/participate. Applications will be due on March 27, 2015. Selected partners receive free law enforcement training and safety materials to support their local efforts. Safety materials include bicycle lights, reflective arm bands, bumper stickers and banners. The campaign also educates the public through paid advertising such as billboards and radio public service announcements. Applicants must demonstrate support from local law enforcement agencies such as local government and campus police and are encouraged to work with other partners in their region. NCDOT also is hosting two applicant webinars in February to better inform communities about the campaign and what it requires of partner communities. To register for a webinar (which both cover the same information), go to: ·         10 am, February 12: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2362626551695172865 ·         1 pm, February 24: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/747208675066347265 Prior Watch for Me NC partners are encouraged to continue involvement in 2015. Those partners will have to submit an abbreviated application showing their commitment to meeting the full intent of the program and letter(s) of support from respective law enforcement agencies. “Watch for Me NC is a unique resource for communities interested in making measurable improvements to pedestrian and bicycle safety. The combination of expanded law enforcement, strategic public education, and popular safety items all contribute to its success,” says Lauren Blackburn, Director of the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.
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1/20/2015: NCDOT Sponsored Study on American Tobacco Trail Concludes

NCDOT Sponsored Study on American Tobacco Trail Concludes

Posted 1/20/2015 2:01:49 PM

RALEIGH – A N.C. Department of Transportation sponsored study conducted by N.C. State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham has concluded. The study set out to determine changes in trail usage that indicate impacts to transportation, health, and economic behaviors from the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over I-40.    The bicycle and pedestrian bridge on the American Tobacco Trail crosses over I-40 and corresponding paved connections opened in February 2014 to complete the 22-mile trail from Durham to Apex.  The study involved collecting intercept surveys and counting people on the trail in 2013 and 2014 in before and after comparisons of ATT use.   Pre-study data from before the bridge’s opening indicate that the northern and southern trail segments functioned as two separate trails. In the months following the bridge opening, the usage on the trail increased by 133% to over 500,000 estimated annual trips.   Additional information yielded from the study found that an additional $3.7 million is spent on goods and services each year by people using the trail since the completion of the bridge for a total of $6.1 million spent by trail users annually.    Lauren Blackburn, director of NCDOT’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation noted, “Outcomes of this research are highly important to agencies looking to fill gaps in their biking and walking networks because it shows that benefits are widespread.”    The full research report and summary brochure can be downloaded from www.itre.ncsu.edu/Public/bikeped.html  **NCDOT**
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