This is the Transportation section of the Carrboro Energy Descent Action Plan.

The PresentEdit

Carrboro has bike paths and an excellent free bus system. Bike path map at

The VisionEdit

Over the years since 2005, as the town became more self-reliant, the need for private car ownership steadily reduced. Carrboro residents gradually came to see that while it is important for everyone to have access to a means of travel and that goods needed to be moved from one place to another, this no longer necessitated every family owning their own car. Transport in Carrboro now consists of a wide mixture of choices, from easy safe ways to get around by bicycle, car sharing clubs and lift sharing bulletin boards, improved public transport and more efficient short distance vehicles. Plans for a light railway between Durham and Carrboro are well underway. The benefits are clear for all, and people still occasionally look back with horror on those summer days 16 years ago when the streets were clogged with fume pumping cars and coaches.

Local resourcesEdit

Practical Steps:Edit

Boulder, CO had set a hierarchy of Pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and then car. Spending should then proceed in that order - maximizing what they can do for Pedestrian needs first. Setting these kind of priorities could be a good first step.

NOTE: Will Toor and Spencer Havlick's book,Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities (2004) has some well-research ideas in this area.

Currently In PlaceEdit

Carrboro is a progressive town and has already implemented many steps toward sustainabale transportation such as:

  • Chapel Hill transit bus routes are provided to the public free of charge.


  • Support pedestrian friendly environment with something like the Walkable Hillsborough initiative
  • Local schools conduct a traffic survey, to identify traffic patterns and the percentage of local/medium/long distance journeys.
  • Begin, in collaboration with The ReCYCLEry, Bike In Carrboro campaign for making Carrboro bicycle friendly. Primary objectives should be to;

-- Continue planning and implementing bike paths – especially in the busiest areas of town

-- Produce maps of all cycling routes in the area

-- Provide lockers, racks and secure parking for bikes

-- Provide maintenance service and safety education

-- Promote, educate and raise awareness of the benefits of cycling

-- Ensure cyclists will be able to take their bikes on public transport for free

--Expand Chapel Hill's Walk to School program to include Carrboro

The campaign should look to using the more flexible county transportation funds for bike facilities and programmes.


  • Begin a programme to encourage children to walk to school. This would alleviate traffic congestion within the town and cut down car emissions. Other towns and villages across Europe have very successfully established ‘walking buses’ where a member of staff or a volunteer parent will collect and mind children on the walk to school.
  • Continue building cycle paths around the town and to surrounding villages.
  • Establish a centre for recycling and reprocessing vegetable and mineral oils for and from vehicles. This centre should now begin to investigate into possibilities of having a bio-diesel filling station in Carrboro, and start promoting the idea to Carrboro residents. Collaborate with Piedmont Biofuels.
  • Promote horse and cart taxis, in Carrboro. There could be pick-up and drop-off points at all the car parks around the town. These taxis could eventuually turn into ‘Sustainable Tours’, taking people to see all the

different sustainable features of Carrboro, including a visit to the horse stables for a demonstration of sustainable blacksmithing.


  • Trialling to begin of high-profile vehicles that are run on bio-diesel, such as school buses, waste collection, Police patrols and Post vans. Subsidised engine conversions should be offered to the public.
  • Conduct a survey of Kinsale residents to see who they work for and how far they have to travel. Identify the largest and work with them to identify options for homeworking or for liftsharing.


  • A Bio-fuel filling station to be set up in the town as part of one of the existing petrol stations in town. As oil supplies become scarcer the government will welcome fuel alternatives such as bio-diesel and bio-fuel. Could become a central focus for sustainable transport and information.



  • All service stations to have solar panelled roofs so that customers can bring in their solar car batteries for charging.


  • By 2021, Carrboro should be totally weaned off petroleum transport, and be self-sufficient in its bio-fuel production, using land around the town to grow the required materials for the making and processing.

The original information that was included in this section was directly duplicated from the Transportation section of the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan which was created by Becci Neal and Bridget Hannan. The Kinsale information is included as a guideline/inspiration to be supplemented or replaced by initiatives which originate from within Carrboro or that are specific to Carrboro. Information that is italicised is information that has been duplicated from the Kinsale plan and has not been considered for applicability to Carrboro.

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