Bryce Weblog

Proposed pedestrian transportation system appears promising for students and residents alike.

By Bryce Little

The streets of Elon are about to become more pedestrian friendly. By 2030 the town is expected to have a fully functional alternative transportation system.  On Sept. 2 the workings of a final plan for the development of sidewalks, bike paths, streetlights and many other improvements were brought in front of the Elon Town Council. The completed project would create seven and a half miles of proposed sidewalk and twelve miles of bike path. Jesse Day, the projects regional planner, explains that this will be an easy way for the people of Elon to travel without having to step inside their cars. Day says that this proposed plan will reduce traffic by replacing it with an environmentally friendly substitute that is accessible to all of Elon’s residents.

The plans vision statement explains, “Elon will maintain a quality of life that is green, safe and healthy, accommodating the needs of students and residents,” according to Day is the ultimate goal for this project.

The planed bike paths and pedestrian walkways would play a vital role in connecting the town of Elon to many of the surrounding areas such as Burlington and Gibsonville. The plan would add sidewalks and bike lanes to many of the busiest streets in Elon; the plan would create paths along Haggard Avenue, Trollinger Avenue and University Drive.

The projected plan, while focusing on the main roads, also consists of an intricate infrastructure of greenways and off-road accommodations. Along with transportation routes the plan includes an “efficient and innovative” lighting system that insures well-lit pathways that would allow the residence of Elon an added element of safety.

Safety, according to day, is an important aspect of this project. Creating these paths would allow hundreds of students who live around the school of Elon to get safely from campus to off campus housing without walking in the road or riding their bikes along crowded sidewalks. The project would also help ease dependency on the already limited parking around Elon.

This new project does not come without its costs. The first two years alone are expected to cost the town of Elon upwards of $400,000. Each foot of sidewalk is estimated between $50-$75.  The 20-year plan is expected to cost 2.3 million dollars.

Day seemed positive that the town of Elon could fund such a large project.“There are limited resources to compete for, but there are definitely enough resources out there, it is just a matter of priority.”


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