Bolin Creek Greenway
The Town of Carrboro invites participation in an engagement process for the Bolin Creek Greenway to receive input on alignment alternatives for segments of the greenway identified as Phases 3 and 4.
Learn more about this here on our project webpage, take a survey, view the greenway map, take a virtual tour and drop a pin on a Wikimapping system where public input is collected on a map.
Town staff will be available at some of our town’s favorite community events that draw lots of people. We’ll be hosting tables with information, greenway maps and surveys at the Carrboro Farmers Market, Carrboro In Motion, July Fourth, Frederick Douglass Community Reading, the Latin American Festival, and the Carrboro Music Festival. Information will be multilingual and provided in various formats.
We also hope to connect with people in less formal settings and will be seeking out participation throughout town at drop-by or pop-up stops. You may find Town staff outside your favorite grocery store, laundromat or hair salon as they seek public input on this project.
Background -- The Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan, adopted by the Town of Carrboro in 2009, plans for improvements to the corridor along Bolin Creek and Jones Creek to allow for walking, wheeling and bicycling, including action steps, project prioritization and phasing, land acquisition strategies, and potential renovation recommendations. The corridor for these segments of the Bolin Creek Greenway extends about three miles.
The planning area (Bolin Creek Conceptual Master Plan) starts at Estes Drive Extension and encompasses the land around the creek through Carolina North Forest under Homestead Road. It continues to a point of connection with the existing Jones Creek Greenway in the future Twin Creeks Park that extends to Morris Grove Elementary School.
The Bolin Creek Greenway Master Plan includes five phases. To date, two have been completed.
- Already completed sections of trail - Phases 1a and 1b have been constructed and are in use. Phase 1a begins at Wilson Park and terminates just before the railroad across Estes Drive for a total of .4 miles. Phase 1b begins at Chapel Hill High School and crosses Bolin Creek and then continues under Homestead Road. Connections exist to the Claremont South and Claremont neighborhoods.
- Phase 2 is intended to tie into the trails at Lake Hogan Farms with connections made to the Jones Creek Greenway. Phase 2 is .61 miles in length. Update: This is included in long-range transportation plans. No funding identified.
- Phase 3 provides the majority of centralized east/west connections from the Bolin Creek Greenway corridor to nearby neighborhoods. Note: The Town is engaging the public for trail alignments for this segment of trail.
- Phase 4 continues from the railroad tracks through the PH Craig tract. Note: The Town is engaging the public for trail alignments for this segment of trail.
- What is the purpose of this engagement process?
The Town Council seeks feedback on alternative trail alignments for the Bolin Creek Greenway, which was adopted in 2009 pending a request for additional community engagement to consider alignments for two sections of trail.
Greenways Incorporated, which prepared the Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan in 2009, stated that the goal of the preparing different trail route alignments for Phases 3 and 4 was to provide options to the public that were distinctly different from one another so that user needs and preference, origins and designations could be determined. Please note that the plan has not been updated since 2009 and some of the maps show conditions and facilities which have since been constructed and may affect design considerations for the options shown.
Access the Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan to learn more -- at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12366/Bolin-Creek-Greenway-Conceptual-Master-Plan-
- What are the alignment options?
In adopting the plan in 2009, the then-Board of Aldermen decided that additional public input was needed before deciding on the alignment of Phases 3 and 4. Alternative alignments or options for different ways of traveling were added into the plan, as described by the plan/consultant based on the direction received from the Board. Greenways Incorporated, which prepared the Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Plan in 2009, stated that the goal of the different trail alignments was to provide options to the public that were different from one another so that user needs and preference, origins and destinations could be determined.
Please note that the plan has not been updated since 2009, and some of the maps do not show conditions and facilities which have since been constructed and may affect design considerations for the options shown.
The alignment options are as follows:
- Creekside Trail Alignment – The proposed design for the greenway, recommended in the Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan, is for approximately two miles of trail near Bolin Creek, which extends from Estes Drive to Homestead Road. This option was identified as the ‘preferred alignment’ in the final draft of the plan and described as the most successful in terms of serving the largest number of neighborhoods along the corridor, offering the most options for accessing the trail.
- Upland Forest Alignment – A greenway alternative outside the floodplain that would direct users to Seawell School Road. This route utilizes existing trail corridors that vary in width from 18 inches to 15 feet. Some of the constraints of this alignment include steep topography, increased engineering costs, and potential ADA accessibility constraints.
- Bolin Connector Alignment – This route would tie into existing and proposed bicycle facilities. Proposed to create a “Complete Streets” concept. Complete Streets accommodate all modes of transportation, allowing bicyclists, pedestrians, transit users, vehicles, as well as commercial and emergency vehicles to navigate Town streets safely. Challenges of this alignment include concerns that many parents expressed during 2009 engagement that they desired an off-road facility for their children to safely bicycle on. Additionally, making cost effective trail connections from Estes Drive to Homestead Road presented engineering constraints.
- How long are the greenway segments that are under consideration?
The study area (Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan) for the Bolin Creek Greenway extends approximately three miles. The planning area starts at Estes Drive Extension and follows the creek north through Carolina North Forest to Homestead Road. Access the plan at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12366/Bolin-Creek-Greenway-Conceptual-Master-Plan-
- How can I learn more and express my views?
Public information resources available about these alignments include paper brochures, webpages with a storymap and map plotting activities, and public input tables that will be set up at various community events and programs. Depending on your time and interest, you can do any of the following to learn more and express your views on this community project:
- Visit our project webpage. We have maps, photos and information to help guide you through the area.
- Take the survey!
- Experience a virtual tour of the greenway!
- Take a walk! You can access the greenway from Wilson Park, 101 Williams St. Town staff will place trail maps at trail entrances, or you can access an online map from a QR code to take a self-guided tour. Please note that a large tract of land south of UNC property is privately owned. Property boundaries for the tract, known as the PH Craig Property, begin just after the trail passes beneath the railroad trestle.
- Drop by our table at a community event or if you spot us outside your favorite grocery store, laundromat or hair salon. Town staff will be out with public information boards and surveys. View the schedule of current engagement opportunities on our webpage.
- Learn more about the engagement process through the Bolin Creek Greenway Engagement Framework at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/13140/Community-Engagement-Planning-for-Bolin-Creek-Greenway-051923
- Where can I find more information about environmental and biological features of the Bolin Creek Greenway, including how the trail construction may affect the environment?
People who are interested in learning more about the existing vegetation, wildlife, topography, significant natural features, and adjacent or intersecting streams are encouraged to read Chapter 2: Existing Conditions. This chapter provides detailed information about the field mapping conducted in January 2009.
Access the Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12366/Bolin-Creek-Greenway-Conceptual-Master-Plan-
- How much will this project cost the Town?
Until further technical studies are conducted, the project cost is unknown at this time.
- How will neighborhoods be affected by trail connectors?
Trail connections from some neighborhoods were requested during public workshops in 2009. At this time, details regarding the project's design, costs, cost-sharing and related issues remain to be determined and are unknown .
- How long will this community engagement process be underway? What are the next steps?
This engagement process will be underway through Oct. 3, 2023.
The Council has requested that public input be sought before it makes a decision about alignment of the trail. The Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan details a series of action steps following the adoption of the plan (Executive Summary – vi) including seeking funding sources, project design and coordination with stakeholders including neighboring jurisdictions and utilities.
Bolin Creek Greenway, Phases 3 and 4, are two of five greenway segments identified in the Town of Carrboro, NC Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan (CMP, 2009; Greenways. Federal Transportation funds to develop the plan were provided through the NCDOT transportation improvements and prioritization processes. The Town solicited qualifications from firms to complete the conceptual plan in 2008. The Greenways Commission assisted with the review and recommended contracting with a consulting firm, Greenways, Inc.
- The Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan - https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12366/Bolin-Creek-Greenway-Conceptual-Master-Plan-
- Current Town Projects Updates - https://carrboro.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html?appid=e7d72e31f43f427e95db86dc428904af
- Greenways in Carrboro - https://www.carrboronc.gov/739/Greenways
- Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan – https://www.carrboronc.gov/2389/16175/Carrboro-Connects-Comprehensive-Plan
- Recreation and Park Comprehensive Master Plan, 2006 - https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11221/APPROVEDMASTERPLAN?bidId=
- Biennial Community Survey - https://www.carrboronc.gov/1096/Citizen-Survey-Reports
- Inclusive Carrboro Communications & Community Engagement Plan - https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10525/Inclusive-Carrboro-Communications-and-Community-Engagemen?bidId=
- One Orange Racial Equity Framework - https://carrboro.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5398852&GUID=D3093EFE-6567-4F6F-BAD1-55CBAECF126B&Options=&Search=
- At a Business Meeting on March 28, 2023, Town Council directed staff to conduct public engagement on the alternative alignments in the 2009 report between then and October 17 and to bring a report to the Town Council no later than October 31.
- On February 14, 2023, the Town Council held a Work Session: Bolin Creek Greenway Phases 3 and 4 Public Engagement Options - https://bit.ly/3jMdoee
- On June 25, 2019, the Board of Aldermen (BOA) approved a motion to schedule a work session to discuss staff-developed options for a public input process on Bolin Creek Greenway Phases 3 and 4.
- On March 21, 2019, the Board of Aldermen held a retreat, the focus of which was how the Board of Aldermen work together and effectively engages and works with the community on controversial topics.
- On June 12, 2018, the BOA discussed how a public process will proceed for consideration of the Bolin Creek Greenway Phases 3 and 4. According to the meeting minutes , the BOA voted “to continue discussion and to explore best practices of resolving community conflict in an environmental context during the 2019 board retreat.” [Town of Carrboro - File #: 17-535 (legistar.com)
- On June 14, 2016, the Board of Aldermen discussed how to proceed with a public process for consideration of Phases 3 and 4. The Town Manager requested whether the Town Council wanted to continue to limit advisory board’s discussion of this topic and all agreed (see pages 9-10 of the minutes: Town of Carrboro - File #: 16-184 (legistar.com) ).
- From 2013-2016, various discussions, inquiries, and preparation of options for public engagement on Phases 3 and 4.
- On June 21, 2010, the Greenways Commission accepted comments from the public on the conceptual master plan (Carrboro Greenways Commission (townofcarrboro.org)).
- On June 15, 2010, the Board of Aldermen accepted a staff update on Bolin Creek Greenway Planning and requested that information be posted on the Town’s website on the proposed design and phases, including a short description, and specifying that no funding is currently available for Phases 3 and 4
- On April 19, 2010, the Greenways commission reviewed the conceptual master plan
- On March 15, 2010, the Greenways Commission reviewed the conceptual master plan (Carrboro Greenways Commission (townofcarrboro.org)
- On January 12, 2010, the Board of Aldermen referred the Conceptual Master Plan to the Greenways Commission.
- On December 8, 2009, the BOA adopted A Resolution Receiving an Update on the Town’s Greenway Planning Activities (Resolution No. 69/2009-10.) with the following provisions:
- Receive this update and support the continued pursuit of greenway development
- Adopt the recommendation for Phase 1A and 1B (1B would not extend any further south than Jolly Branch), and Phase 2.
- That all three options for Phases 3 and 4 be included in the concept plan.
- That staff be directed to establish a process for public input on Phases 3 and 4.
- Direct staff to pursue a municipal agreement with NCDOT to release an RFP and contract with (a) firm(s) to develop construction documents and initiate environmental permitting for Phases 1 and 2 of the greenway trail
- 12. Subsequent to the adoption of the resolution, MOTION WAS MADE BY JOAL HALL BROUN AND SECONDED BY RANDEE HAVEN-O’DONNELL TO ADOPT THE CONCEPT PLAN WITH THE SPECIFIED CHANGES. VOTE: AFFIRMATIVE SIX, ABSENT ONE (COLEMAN) http://www01.townofcarrboro.org/BoA/Minutes/2009/12_08_2009.pdf