This is the Transportation section of the Chapel Hill Energy Descent Action Plan.
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 Chapel Hill or that are specific to Chapel Hill. Information that is italicised is information that has been duplicated from the Kinsale plan and has not been considered for applicability to Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill has bike paths and an excellent free bus system. Bike path map at [www.townofchapelhill.org]
Over the years since 2005, as the town became more self-reliant, the need for private car ownership steadily reduced. Kinsale 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 Kinsale 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 Cork and Kinsale 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.
Currently In PlaceEdit
Chapel Hill 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.
- Buses have bike racks
- A guide to commuting options in the Triangle
- Carpooling matching service.
- Greenway Pedicabs is a pedicab company serving the Chapel Hill and Carrrboro area.
- Blue Urban Bikes Program Chapel Hill and Carrboro's Community Bicycle Loan Program
- 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 Chapel Hill campaign for making Chapel Hill 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
The campaign should look to using the more flexible county transportation funds for bike facilities and programmes.
Blue Bike Loan ProgramEdit
The initial fleet will be of 30, 5 speed bicycles for community usage. Bikes will be equipped with lights, racks, and a helmet will be required (either provided by the program or the rider). Bikes will be lent for 24 hour periods. The program will start in the fall. Initially, there will be three hub location: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and UNC campus. The skylight Exchange is the first business and represents Chapel Hill. Ideas for the Carrboro and UNC locations exist but there are no committed sites yet. In order for a business to support a HUB, that businesses’ employees will be responsible for attending a short bike safety seminar. The purpose of this seminar is to give each employee a learn-ed eye in the safety of lending that bike out again or calling the bike in for repair.
How it works
Bicycles will be available to card bearing members of the program. Membership has a 1 NCPlenty annual fee. (Single NC Plenty’s will be available for membership at The ReCYCLEry for 10 dollars). Membership proceeds will be used to supplement maintenance of the fleet. A member may access a bike in the fleet by going to a participating Hub and exchanging their card for a key. That member then has a 24 hour use of the bike. Anytime within that 24 hours, when the rider is done with the loan, the bike should be returned to the same HUB and the key exchanged for the membership card. At this time the bike will be inspected to insure that it is safe for the next loan.
- 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 Chapel Hill, and start promoting the idea to Kinsale residents. Collaborate with Piedmont Biofuels.
- Promote horse and cart taxis, in Chapel Hill. 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 Chapel Hill, 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, Kinsale 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.