Raleigh Greenway Plan Update

The City of Raleigh is conducting an update of the Capital Area Greenway Master Plan. This plan seems to get touched very rarely (the last time it was officially updated was 1989!!!) and they have a public input survey up for it right now.

Website for more info:
https://raleighnc.gov/greenways2020

Direct survey link:

This is a great opportunity for all of you to go in there and request prioritization for some of the things we talk about on here:
(1) Improvements to greenways in or near downtown, eg Rocky Branch
(2) New trails leading to downtown, eg Pigeon House Branch
(3) Greenway connection through downtown (West Street Cycle Track)
(4) Greenway connection between downtown and Dix
(5) (My personal mission): Rail trails through rail consolidation north and south of downtown
(6) Treating greenways as transportation not just recreation, by doing things like: allowing use after dark, adding lights, making them more direct, improving road crossings, not closing them for years at a time due to collapsing bridges and sewer construction projects…

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I didn’t see a final “Save” button. I hope my responses will be recorded. Thanks for mentioning this.

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Yeah, I completed the survey, but there’s no “save” or “submit” button so hope my responses are submitted.

Surveys rarely seem to offer sufficient context to tell a story, rather they seem constructed to provide a very narrow path to a predescribed outcome…? I did the survey best I could but there was lots I couldn’t

If you close the tab and then reopen the site and your responses are still recorded, then your answers are saved.

Being a map freak, I just went to town on that part. Set me loose with a crayon and a map and I’ll scribble it up with so much crazy stuff that doesn’t make sense that you won’t even recognize the original map underneath it anymore.

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That was fun, thanks for the link! I hope this eventually translates into some meaningful changes and improvements.

Raleigh needs to issue a massive Greenway expansion bond after this mess is over. The amount of people on the greenways now is ridiculous.

Seriously, the enthusiasm for what the Greenways offer the City’s residents will never be move evident and have the volume of users as it does right now.

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I generally agree. This year is going to be tough for bonds because so many people are laid off, businesses are closed, people are fearful for their economic situation, etc., but hopefully next year things will be better economically but memories of this will still be fresh and maybe people would be more likely to support that kind of bond.

I think our Greenway system here in the Triangle is probably one of the top five amenities in the area.

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We also need to seize the opportunity for “bicycles”. I’m not a cyclist per se…definitely not one of those “uber enthusiastic” cycle people.

BUT…anyone tried to get their bike worked on in the last couple weeks? Or been on a greenway? Ridden through 5 Points?

My son had a bike for 2 years and rode it twice. In the last two weeks, he’s found a new pastime (besides the f’ing Xbox!). I had to bring my bike out of the cobwebs…and wait 10 days to get it fixed.

Similar to the Greenway expansion, anything “bicycle” should be seriously considered by the Council & County leadership as well!!

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I definitely hope that people continue to use and value the greenways and don’t just revert back to business as usual after this is over. As someone who used them almost daily before this happened (for exercise, leisure, and bicycle commuting), it’s obvious that there are lots of greenway newbies out (and even newbie pedestrians who don’t seem to know how to walk as a form of transportation, ha).

And a resounding Yes! to prioritizing bicycle facilities! Although I regularly commute on greenways with some limited road riding, I’m largely not comfortable riding on local roads under normal conditions.

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Ha, same situation here! I’ve been a bicycle commuter on the greenways for almost six years now. Even in my part of town–and not a lot of folks make the trek to this part of the Walnut Creek trail–it’s a lot busier than usual, and sadly a lot of cyclists I’ve never met on the trail before who don’t know how to be courteous to non-cyclists. Like, can the city require some sort of noise-making device, a bell or a horn or just, you know, you could verbally announce your presence, that’d be nice. I don’t understand why people don’t.
But I am in complete agreement that I hope when this is over the increased greenway usage continues, even if it inconveniences me at times (and I’m sure it will), more people making more use of the greenways is a net gain for the city. And hopefully the city will consider substantially expanding and redefining the greenway network, as well. But as Deb said, most local roads just aren’t safe for riding, whether it’s a lack of safe shoulders or just the total incapacity of drivers in the area to think/look/see beyond their own A-pillars. I hope more people will take to cycling as recreation, so more people with think about cyclists when they’re behind the wheel.

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As much as I would like to see the city do more for bicycle infrastructure and do it more quickly it’s going to be very tough in the short term. City council has called a special meeting tomorrow at 1pm. Among other COVID-19 relief efforts, they will discuss the FY 21 budget and projected need to cut it by $20-36 Million.

We don’t know what the next crisis is going to be (my guess is climate related) but cities built for bikes are almost certain to be better able to withstand whatever the next crisis is. Building for bikes = building for resiliency.

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I think this is going to be the best bet to garner broad support for reviving/passing a bond, especially if it’s not feasible to fund it anytime soon: come up with a broad list of policies to make Raleigh more resilient to disease and natural crises -probably including greenway expansions?- and trying to get that through as soon as possible while the importance is still on everyone’s minds.

If you’re only looking at this as a bicycle problem, then yeah, I agree with you about how we’ll probably have to wait until the time is right. But if you look at the broader demand of how Raleigh needs to be more sustainable + socially and economically active right out of the gate, I think this is a perfect time to figure out how greenways could fit as a piece in this bigger puzzle.

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Right now the city has trouble maintaining the current greenway system. How long has the Crabtree greenway been out near Capital? Seems like forever. I’m all for more interconnected greenways, but let’s make sure we can fix the issues with the current ones.

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A big part of keeping up with maintenance is changing how we think about greenways and their usage. Instead of just linear parks they’re now used as transportation and commuting routes. I don’t think this usage was envisioned when the last master plan was done 31 years ago.

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I drove over to Lassiter Mill where the greenway “should” have gone - and the sewer project looks intriguing - with the utility crossings it could it be that when done the greenway might actually stay along the creek - using bridges where the pipes are?

Thoughts?

I tend to agreed. If a road bridge goes out you expect it to be addressed immediately, and for it to be fixed as quickly as possible. It should be the same for the greenways if we want people to consider using them for anything more than just leisure strolls. Most people probably won’t consider taking utilitarian / non-“leisure” trips on the greenways (nevermind commuting) if they can’t depend on them.

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I do agree with your assessment, but greenways need repairs and repaving and/or upgrades at times. They will be closed down completely sometimes for months. It is what it is…

There is a planned project that was a line item in the 2014 Parks bond that will address the crappy trail connection at Lassiter Mill Road. Before COVID-19, the project was supposed to kick off this summer, but who knows what the pandemic has done to the schedule.

https://raleighnc.gov/parks/content/ParksRec/Articles/Projects/CrabtreeCreekTrailImprovementsAtLassiterMillRoadPlanning.html

Anderson Rd and Raleigh Blvd are two other places where crossing under the roadway bridge seems like it should be possible. No obnoxious detour like at Lassiter Mill, but there is no traffic signal at Oxford/Claremont/Anderson, and Raleigh Blvd is a fairly busy road, so I’d really like them to eventually look at these, too.

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I’m wondering if it’s because of the different funding buckets. For example, maybe transportation funds can’t be used toward greenway repairs because greenways are considered parks. So when a road gets flooded it out, transportation funds can be moved around to fix things in an emergency, but parks funds may not be as flexible and are certainly less abundant.

I don’t know if this is definitely how things work, but it wouldn’t be surprising.

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