Editorial: Bike Lane Enforcement Will Be Reactive

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 23 September 2015 04:00

Managing Editor

During the Carolina Beach Town Council workshop on Tuesday September 22nd, Mayor Dan Wilcox said the 10-foot wide new asphalt multi-use path that runs along the south side of Cape Fear Blvd is on a gradual down slope and wondered how the Town will address skateboards, people riding bikes at a fast pace and even golf carts that will certainly end up on the path.
Town Manager Michael Cramer said the Town would have to address enforcement and could use existing ordinances including one that would prohibit riding a skateboard on the path.
Councilman Gary Doetsch said he had been asked by residents if the Town could somehow paint lines to indicate where driveways are located because of concern for people using the path and potential conflict between pedestrians or people riding a bike on the path while a vehicle is backing out.
All of these concerns are very real. Only problem, they're late.
No offense to Wilcox or Doetsch for bring up these issues, but Town staff and planners should have come up with a better plan. Better than basically saying we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
And you know, without a doubt, that golf carts will use the path and not the road. Now that the road is much more narrow than it was prior to the project on Cape Fear Blvd and addition of the path, people will drive their carts on the path rather than compete with motor vehicles on the road. The path looks great if you don't mind it cutting through other people's front yards and driveways.
So now the Town will have to either burden the police department to put an officer out there full time, or, just let it be a free for all and tell residents how great it is. Maybe put up some bright government-style metal reflective signs every 20 feet saying, "No skateboards. No golf carts. No scooters. Bikes slow to 5mph. And absolutely no vehicles blocking the path, not even for family reunions or birthday parties!" You get the picture.


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