Raleigh Pedestrians: Please Step Forward

The City of Raleigh is creating its Pedestrian Plan. So whether you use the sidewalks and crosswalks (or lack thereof) to stroll to your fave ice cream or cupcake shop, power walk with your baby stroller, or rush to beat the flashing hand and impending green light so you can arrive at work in one piece – they want your feedback!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 8th, the City is holding an Open House tomorrow night at the Sertoma Center from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Staff will be on hand at this event to afford residents the opportunity to give feedback, provide information, and get answers to their questions about pedestrian problems, facilities and future planning. Presentations will be held at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Your 2¢
If you can’t make it out tomorrow night, don’t worry! You can still participate in developing the Pedestrian Plan in two other ways:

  • Use this interactive mapping tool, CommunityWalk, zoom into your neighborhood and provide information about streets and routes you use, if they are pedestrian-friendly (or unfriendly), and identify areas where improvements are needed.

More Info:
For more information visit the City of Raleigh’s Pedestrian Plan website.

If you are able to attend the, the public session will be held at the  Sertoma Art Center, located at 1400 W Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC. The meeting will be held in the Cardinal Room.
You can travel by bus from downtown Raleigh on the # 6 CAT Bus from Moore Square Transit Facility to Crabtree Valley Mall. Transfer to the #23C CAT Bus, alighting across the street from the Sertoma Art Center.

Got to Ride NC has 100 Riders on Hillsborough Street

We’ve ‘talked’ about all of the Bike to Work events throughout the month (with more yet to come), but this morning’s  Got to Ride NC event in Raleigh was a great success. With 100 riders rolling down Hillsborough Street at rush hour, from the State Fairgrounds to the State Capitol Lawn, this event was meant to improve safety and awareness between cyclists and motorists and encourage cycling as a transportation option in Raleigh – even if you do need to combine with bike on bus or use a Park and Ride.

Check out these photos of some of the riders, volunteers and sponsors that truly led this to be an awareness ride. Thanks to all!

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Check out more photos and info from the NC DOT.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Planning Committee Members from NC DOT, GoTriangle, and City of Raleigh.

NC State Fairground for parking and departure point.

REI for donations and free bike checks at State Fairgrounds and Capitol.

Triangle Bike Commuter Initiative for coffee and Cliff Bar donations.

East Coast Greenway Alliance for volunteers.

Inside Out Sports of Cary for bike rack donations.

Cycling Fun for All Ages: LEGOs and Legs Go

LEGO my Car?

The second annual BrickMagic LEGO Festival, being held at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown on this weekend, May 7-8. The Guest of Honor this year is professional LEGO builder Sean Kenney, who’s a big supporter and advocate for transportation alternatives—he doesn’t own a car, and he rides a bike to work every day in New York City.

As part of his goal of reducing traffic and making streets much safer and more enjoyable for everyone, at BrickMagic he’ll be letting fans of all ages use LEGO bricks to build the gnarliest, worst, clogged up traffic jam in the world, while he adds a FULL-SIZE BICYCLE towering over it, made entirely of LEGO bricks.

You can find out more about Sean and his bicycle build at:  http://www.brickmagic.org/view/info/honor/.

High School Cyclists Riding through History

A group of high school students will be commemorating the sesquecentennial of the Civil War by retracing where some of their ancestors were during the years of the Civil War and slavery. The trip combines history, healthy exercise, comraderie, and mental and physical conditioning.

The students call themselves SpokeNRevolutions, and they are a nonprofit group under the umbrella of the reCYCLEry NC. The students describe themselves as “thoughtful, smart high-school students who enjoy physical challenges, but don’t often find themselves on competitive teams, such as football, basketball and soccer”, have been training hard. Visit their website and you will be impressed.

Here is a recent article about the students that appeared in the Daily Tar Heel.

Family Friendly Fun in Chapel Hill

Gas prices are still more than $2.50 a gallon and the State Fair isn’t here yet, but the first signs of autumn are – even if that only means we’re finally out of the 90’s. The kids have been back in school for over a month now, fall festivals haven’t started, and they’re BORED. Looking for some fun, affordable places for a retreat for a few hours? Check out these family fun options in Chapel Hill. You can even trick the kids into learning while having fun. It’s a great parenting technique you can practice on your own. And if you’re like me and just think these places sound like a great way to kill some time – for some, no kid is required for entry, so enjoy! And don’t forget, Chapel Hill transit buses are free for everyone – so you can use your savings to buy an extra bag of candy for yourself or the trick-or-treaters.

Morehead Planetarium

With shows from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., plus a Science Stage and Exhibits, this place is out of this world (yes, I went there). Also, if haunted houses aren’t your thing, check out Scare-olina Skies. It’s a Triangle tradition with a Madness Mayhem and a family friendly option, too.

This is how you can get there by bus.

Kidzu Museum

Also located on Franklin Street, this museum focuses on inspiring children to learn and explore. With an original exhibit, The Power of Creativity, in place since 2006, they’re always growing, changing, and even getting ready to expand! With everything from bilingual story time to hands-on learning and art options, this is a great place to see your child’s eyes light up and their mind explore.

If you want to stroll down from the Planetarium that’s fine, but there is also the option to get there by bus.

Cely’s House Creative Workshops

If you’re looking for something to get you back in touch with the earth – and don’t mind an extra load of laundry – this may be the place for you. No matter your age or the occasion, you can create something of clay here. Whether using casts, hand forming or using a wheel, you can walk away with a keepsake of your fun filled day.

If you are up for a short stroll, you can get there by bus.

Walk (or bike or roller skate) to School Month Starts TODAY!

Students from Mary Scroggs Elementray use the cross walk to start their day.

Time to lace up – or velcro depending on age – for Triangle area students: today marks the beginning of International Walk to School Month. October is not just the time when the State Fair comes to town, it’s also a time for parents, educators, students, police and PTAs to partner up to encourage students to safely walk or bike to school.

Walking or biking to school isn’t something that just happens in most cases – it’s a combination of safety education and community partners. Luckily, there are resources to help debunk myths and provide the materials needed to support the programming as well as support from Triangle area schools.

You can find materials to review, pass along, or start an active commute with your school here:

–          Raleigh, Cary and Apex Walk to School month plans

–          Carrboro will be celebrating Walk/Bike to School Day on Wed. Oct. 6th.

–          Look for updated info from Durham and Chapel Hill coming soon

–         See all registered Walk to School events in North Carolina

Students at Ephesus Elementary in Chapel for International Walk to School Day.

Earlier this year, Durant Middle School students in Wake County faced an unfortunate tragedy. Their response and goal is to develop a long term Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program that incorporates the basic elements of SRTS. The key is improving the safety of students already walking to school. This will be supported by strategies and activities incorporating student leadership and creativity in the areas of – Awareness, Education and Data Collection.  Today, October 1, students will participate in a 2 hour WalkSmart BikeSmart Safety Fair that will be conducted in partnership with The City of Raleigh, Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh Police Department and SRTS Volunteers. The fair consists of 11 different stations that will teach students various bicycle and pedestrian skills.

Remember, our children are our future – and right now the trend that is predicted for this generation is obesity, type 2 diabetes and an early grave. Fortunately, they also look to parents, teachers and other community servants as role models, and they want to mimic what we do. So start forming healthy habits now. And if walking or biking to school just isn’t an option for your household, try changing other short trips – to the grocery store, library, community park or a friend’s house. In the long run, these little changes can make a difference in the quality of your child’s life.

Two recent studies have found that walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day. There are many potential benefits of physical activity for youth including:

Walking Wednesdays occur regularly in Chapel Hill.

  • Weight and blood pressure control
  • Bone, muscle, and joint health and maintenance
  • Reduction in the risk of diabetes
  • Improved psychological welfare
  • Better academic performance

So get up and get a move on! The weather has cooled down and it looks like the rain is giving us a break to get out doors and enjoy ourselves.

Live It Up this Saturday

So you’re not into motorcycles and don’t want to attend the Capital City Bike Fest happening in downtown Raleigh this weekend (or your going to that Friday and after the game) and the Wolfpack is playing Georgia Tech down in Atlanta. Looking for something fun to do and still catch the game? Come down to Hillsborough Street and check out the bands, game zone, BBQ, kids zone, rock climbing wall and everything else going on at the Live It Up celebration of Hillsborough Street’s new design and renaissance.

Sure – you could go to someone’s house and watch the game – but will they have a Beer Garden and a Pig -n-Pie tent waiting for you? How about 12 bands on 2 main stages and an international stage with belly dancers, fire hula hoops, bag pipes and more? And the game is still on – on the big screen with NCSU dancers and cheerleaders there to help you route for the ‘Pack!  Don’t forget the Snoopy’s Hotdog Eating Contest or the Wing Zone Wings Eating Contest all in the same tent.

Still not interested – you were looking for something a little more high brow? Then you should check out the various eco-venders that will be displaying goods, services and information, or stop by the organic farmer’s market or attend one of the mini-lectures on sustainability by Global Village. And how about the Whole Foods Market’s Iron Chef Competition and tasting tent?

So check out the full schedule of events, and figure out how to get there without your car or where to park if you’re carpooling down. Other than that – what more is there to say besides that I’ll be there promoting eco-friendly commutes, so stop by the GoTriangle tent and say hello. Come down. Stop by… and don’t forget the sunscreen. It’s going to be hot – but it’s going to be fun.