Back in October, for the web, we published a story by INDY contributor Cy Neff with a report-out from Carrboro’s town council meeting in which town officials voted to approve a creekside greenway alignment for Bolin Forest following more than a decade of inaction. Reader TONI HARTLEY had some thoughts about the story and even more about the town’s decision.

In response to the recent report about the creekside paved path along Bolin Creek: The process has been a shit show, with the town’s most recent survey being the biggest slap in the face. The Carrboro Town Council released a biased survey that did not include the option to oppose paving the woods altogether. I have begged them to do another survey with this option. It is not a stretch to think there would be more residents who oppose paving the greenway. There was simply no option on the survey to voice this opinion, no way for our voices to be heard and so I know many folks did not even bother responding. The town had already decided.

There are many other ways to make Carrboro more accessible than paving and lighting the creek path, which would be a TERRIBLE idea. Leaves and needles will rot on the path, making it slippery. Money and manpower will be needed to keep it up and it will add to city noise pollution. The proposed path is also in a VERY active flood plain. This path will be broken and in need of repair pretty often—pointless and costly. Lighting will add to light pollution, which we know negatively effects all animals, including us. There is also a HUGE elevation difference between the creek (very low) and downtown (very high). Folks who think they will be biking with their young kids to and from school along the creek are kidding themselves. This would be a really treacherous bike ride. It is already a heart-pumping hike to get down there and back, which is part of why it is so pretty and beloved. Folks who want the path have not thought through the negative health effects, financial burden and wastefulness of paving the woods.

As it is now, we have Sewell School Road and Estes Drive, which, if lit and widened, would be a wonderful way to connect north and south Carrboro for pedestrians, folks with disabilities, and bikers that does not pave the woods. I am all for getting people out of cars and onto bikes, but paving the forest seems antithetical to everything Carrboro stands for. I am not sold that a paved path down by the creek will be as user-friendly, robust and frequented as folks think.

I know the Indy (and the DTH) post pictures of the woods that make it look like it is ugly and in need of repair. The truth is that it is gorgeous and if Carrboro wants to help maintain the hiking paths, great! Otherwise, we like it the way that it is. Wild, wooded and quiet during the day, and dark at night. I’ll attach some pics that show how perfect it is. I wish folks would let this go and keep the Carrboro woods wild! Please help us get the unbiased survey we need! 

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