Asheville on Bikes,
We need you to act quickly and let your state representatives know that you do not approve of HB44. Please share your disapproval of Section 7 of HB44.
Section 7 of HB44 would greatly restrict the expansion of bike lanes in North Carolina as it would require a majority vote of the NC Board of Transportation before local governments could convert travel lanes of state-owned streets or highways to bike lanes.
Streets that would be affected in the Asheville area include Merrimon Ave, Biltmore Avenue, Patton Avenue, and Haywood Road. The proposed bill would effectively stop future bike safety projects along these and other streets.
Asheville on Bikes has a prepared letter that you’re welcome to use and share with others. Now is the time to respond and keep active transportation options rolling forward.
AoB Letter to NC Senators & House Representatives:
Please oppose section 7 of HB44 because it will restrict the advancement of bicycle infrastructure in North Carolina. If enacted, the provision would have a negative impact on public health and safety, and the state’s economy.
Recently, the North Carolina Department of Transportation launched the “Watch for Me NC Campaign” to address issues of bicycle and pedestrian safety. According to NCDOT:
Each year 960 bicyclists are hit by vehicles in North Carolina, making North Carolina one of the least safe states in the US for bicycling. On average, about 160 pedestrians and 20 bicyclists are killed each year in the State, representing about 12% of all traffic fatalities that occur on North Carolina roads.
Section 7 of HB44 is counterproductive to NCDOT’s measures to improve public safety on our roads and NCDOT’s Complete Street Policy.
Furthermore, the implementation of bicycle infrastructure contributes greatly to the local and state economies. Please consider:
- The Virginia Creeper Trail generates $1.59 million in annual spending, supporting 27 new full-time jobs. United States Department of Agriculture, 2004 – in Trails and Economic Development, 2007, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
- The benefits of investments in cycle networks are estimated to be at least 4-5 times the costs, making such investments more beneficial to society than other transport alternatives. Saelensminde, K., 2004 – Cost-benefit analyses of walking and cycling track networks taking into account insecurity, health effects, and external costs of motorized traffic, Transportation Research Part A, 38, 593-606
- Shifting travel from driving to biking can reduce external costs (costs paid by society) by 25 cents per mile in average conditions and 50 cents per mile in heavy urban traffic. Litman, T., 2009 – Economic Value of Walkability
North Carolina needs legislation that protects public health and safety, and that works to bolster the North Carolina economy. Section 7 of HB44 does neither. It works against the people’s interest and the economic vitality of the state. Please oppose HB44.
Asheville on Bikes Member