Category Archives: Advocate

RDU Forest celebrates a step forward

This past weekend, RDU Forest advocates celebrated the RDU Airport Authority’s recent announcement to work with Wake County to expand Lake Crabtree County Park and to reconsider the future of the Odd Fellows tract, preserving its significant contribution to outdoor recreation and quality of life in our growing region. We reached out to RDU Forest for comment, and Rex Schaberg was kind enough to draft the following article.

The Odd Fellows tract (a roughly 105 acre tract designated as “Tract 1″ in the recent RDU Airport Authority RFP which solicited bids for non-aviation land-use) is in many ways a cornerstone for several important recreational and quality-of-life-initiatives here in the Triangle. The Airport has entertained an offer to lease the site for a new crushed aggregate quarry in the heart of Cary. It otherwise has no potential for commercial development (and will have even less if it is quarried into an enormous hole over the next 25 years), and it is unneeded for aviation. However, the land has considerable non-commercial value.

Resting on the shoulder of I-40, it offers a logical conduit to connect Triangle green-way and bike-commuter corridors. Without this parcel, such connectivity becomes problematic. It has long been a camping campus for area Boy Scouts, fostering values of self-reliance, community engagement and environmental stewardship. More recently, it has emerged as the most critical piece of property to address the need for a protected ride area for regional mountain bikers, as there are few approved ride sites within the Triangle, despite the explosive growth in popularity of the sport in recent years– the Odd Fellows tract offers some of the most advanced and sophisticated trail-terrain in the Triangle, and is therefore important and irreplaceable.

Additionally, the acceptance of a Conservation Fund offer to purchase this parcel (in order to subsequently donate it to Umstead State Park) from the Airport at a fair market value of $6.5 million would unlock an additional 150 acres of Umstead State Park, currently closed to mountain biking. These holdings, in combination with the existing Crabtree County Park, would constitute a unique urban recreational resource. The Airport Authority Board recently met and rejected both the aggregate quarry offer and the Conservation Fund purchase offer.

Either RFP offer could be reconsidered at any time at the sole discretion of the Airport Authority, subject to the approval of the Airport Board. Therefore the only real tangible effect of the rejection is to delay a decision about the fate of the Odd Fellows tract until a future date. It remains critically important that all the folks who want to see this tract protected for recreation communicate that need to their friends, local businesses, and the Airport Authority Board. The prudent course is for the Airport Authority to accept the Conservation Fund’s purchase offer, thus providing the Airport with immediate revenue, and ensuring the tract may ultimately be conveyed to Umstead State Park to provide decades of future recreational use.

In summation, the rejection of these offers By the RDU Board will allow us more time to find a win win solution, which will hopefully result in trail preservation. We need the community to be diligent in signing the petition and making their voices heard in opposing a future quarry. Business owners should consider offering their support as well. Please see www.rduforest.com for more details.

Tour de Cove

Bicycling communities are known for being as tight-knit as our Lycra. So when Lori Cove was severely injured by a hit-and-run driver last October while riding in Cary with several other experienced cyclists, it shook many of us to the core. The fact that this could happen to a 6-time Ironman finisher and accomplished cyclist was extremely shocking and upsetting.
At the time of the incident, Lori was the Director of the Town of Cary’s Transportation and Facilities department, working to ensure safe and efficient transportation for her community. Although I had never met Lori in person, I knew her name through work that my firm has done with the Town of Cary. She has a reputation as a gregarious person and intense competitor.
Lori’s recovery has been slow but steady, thanks to her fighting spirit and constant support from friends and family. These same caregivers are hosting the Tour de Cove in Lori’s honor on Saturday, October 7th in Cary. The all-day fundraiser will start with a 20- and 50-mile bike ride and 2.5-mile walk, followed by tricycle races, a bike toss, a corn hole tournament, live music, and silent auction. The proceeds will be used to help cover Lori’s medical expenses.
Registration is still open for this all-ages event. Please visit http://www.tourdecove.com/ to read Lori’s story and get details about the event. Whether you knew Lori or not, your participation will send a message of solidarity to our community: We are here, we support one another, and we will not stop pushing until cycling is safe for everyone.
Written by Meg Bryson, an Oaks and Spokes Advocacy & Marketing Committee Member and valued volunteer.

September is a busy month for biking!

The heat is finally beginning to break, and we’re happy to welcome September and the start of Fall! There are a ton of ways you can get out and take advantage of the beautiful weather this month!

Get started on Friday, September 15th with SparkCon in downtown Raleigh! Our friends from Raleigh Bike Polo will be giving demonstrations on Fayetteville Street just North of Hargett St from 11am to 2pm. Can’t make it on Friday? They’ll be at it again Saturday, September 16th, same polo time, same polo place.

We’ll be starting off the weekend with  the Southeast Raleigh Empowerment Fair on Saturday, September 16th from 10am to 2pm at John Chavis Memorial Park. This community event is sponsored by The Friends Committee to connect Raleigh citizens with the resources that can help to improve their quality of life. We’re looking for volunteers to help us with bike commuter and bike repair demos. Sign up here to help, and email molly@oaksandspokes.com if you have questions.

Cross is here! Come out and cheer on your friends or race for glory at the 2017 Berger Hardware Bikes Cross Central NC race series. This weekend’s races will be at Stony Creek Park in Goldsboro.

The third annual Radio Ride is just around the corner! Join us on Sunday, September 17th for a fun alley cat fundraiser for the NC State student-run radio station, WKNC 88.1. Registration will open at 12 pm at Trophy Maywood and the ride begins at 1 pm. Riders will receive a set of clues for various checkpoints and should expect to bike between 15 and 20 miles. Stick around after the competition to enjoy local music (Debonzo Brothers, propersleep, Blue Cactus and Stray Local) and a beer festival at Trophy to kick off Raleigh Beer Week! Pre-register and find more information on the WKNC website.

Bike events aren’t the only way you can be involved in Raleigh’s growing cycling community!

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) will meet next on Monday, September 18th at 6pm at the Raleigh Municipal Building in the City Council Chamber (222 W. Hargett Street). If you want to get in the know of all things bike related in Raleigh, join some of our advocacy committee members at the meeting!

Have you heard about the potential I-440 Bikeway? Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson was recently successful in adding this to a list of projects to be evaluated for funding. The Bikeway would enable bike and pedestrian connections from Cary, Raleigh, and Morrisville to RTP, as well as to many of the area’s major greenways. It would also serve as a vital connection to the RDU Forest trail system, RDU Airport, and Umstead State Park. You can help make this dream a reality by submitting your comments to Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) by September 20th.

Every year in NC there are many crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians resulting in injuries and fatalities. To encourage safe cycling and promote positive interactions between people on bikes and people in cars, various organizations have once again joined forces to host the Capital Area Ride for Safety (CARS) on Sunday, September 24th. The ride will start at Wakefield High School at 9am with a 14 mile one-way route to Halifax Mall or a 28-mile loop with assistance by RPD along the way, followed by refreshments and comments from local officials and safety experts in Halifax Mall. We hope to see you there!

Until next time, thank you for riding your bike!

 

 

2017 NC Bike Summit Scholarship Application

Interested in learning about how communities across North Carolina are working to create complete streets for all? Attend the North Carolina Bike Summit in Wilmington on November 3rd and 4th and let Oaks & Spokes help you with the registration fee!

Apply here by next Monday, August 28th to be considered for a scholarship which will cover the cost of registration to the Bike Summit! After their return, award winners will be asked to write a short essay describing their experience at the Bike Summit and how they intend to utilize the knowledge they gained.

This year’s summit is presented by BikeWalk NC in Partnership with AARP and Cape Fear Cyclists.  The partnership aligns perfectly with AARP’s Age Friendly Community Initiative and their transportation and walkability goals. By creating complete streets in as many areas as possible, there will be more individuals and families who will be able to walk, move, and travel in healthier and safer ways.

Keynote speakers Michael Olender, Coralette Hannon, and Mike Watson will focus on Complete Streets and Livability as we work together to “Complete our Streets…for All!”

 

The 2017 NC Bike/Walk Summit promises to be packed full of information useful to bicycle advocates, transportation planners, business owners, elected officials, tactical urbanists, public health practitioners, and livability and sustainability professionals. The mission of the summit is to:

  •  Foster collaboration
  • Educate and inform
  • Promote bicycling and walking as valid modes of transportation and as an economic driver

For more information on this year’s summit, including the presentation schedule, visit BikeWalkNC.