Do you walk, bike, run and wheel around Chapel Hill? The Town of Chapel Hill is busy with projects to improve your travel safety and convenience – including sidewalks, streets, trails and greenways, traffic calming and more. The Town of Chapel Hill's focus on “complete streets” includes traffic slowing measures, public transit, and safe walkways and bike lanes.
Chapel Hill voters authorized $16.2 million in bonds funds in 2015 to repair, connect and construct sidewalks and bike lanes to improve connectivity and safety, and $5 million for construction of new trails and greenways.
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Events of Interest
- Do you walk, bike or drive on NC 54?
Take the Survey for NCDOT Multimodal Safety Study - NC54BikePed.com
- Cycle de Mayo!
- Roundabout at Mt Carmel Church Road and Bennett Road
Installing a roundabout (NCDOT project) at Mt Carmel Church Road and Bennett Road. Construction is underway and schedule to be completed in calendar year 2019, weather permitting. Bennett Road is closed from Mt. Carmel Church Road to U.S. Highway 15-501 through the completion of the project.
- Colorful Crosswalks
Installed colorful crosswalks at locations around town, including:
- Rosemary at Henderson Street
- Rosemary Street near the Shortbread Lofts
- Cameron Avenue at Wilson Street near the entrance to Granville Towers
Additional artist-designed crosswalks will be installed at Cameron Avenue & Raleigh Street & Rosemary and Church streets in the future.
A committee solicited design ideas from area artists for the new crosswalks. A basic test project was installed in March 2016 on Willow Drive off Estes Drive (near University Place) to monitor the durability of the paint through traffic, weather and regular maintenance. Learn more: townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/9618/.
- Bolin Creek Trail Completion
A gap in the trail remains just east of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Construction has been authorized for the trail under Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that connects the Bolin Creek Greenway. Construction is scheduled to resume the second week of April. For more information, please visit townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/12274/22.
Projects Coming Up
I-40 Widening & NC 86 Interchange
NCDOT will widen I-40 from the I-85 split to the Durham County line (just west of the US 15-501 interchange) beginning in 2020. They will also construct a loop for exiting westbound traffic to access NC 86 south. The existing off-ramp will be for traffic wishing to go north on NC 86. Additionally, they will construct a ‘slip’ lane from the eastbound off-ramp onto Eubanks Road.
The rest of the changes to the I-40/NC 86 interchange have been delayed until 2025. This includes removing left turns off of Eubanks Road onto northbound NC 86, requiring vehicles to turn right and then make a U-turn at Perkins. The Perkins Dr. intersection will be upgraded to accommodate this movement. There will be bicycle and pedestrian facilities added to NC 86 as part of this project as well.
Design Map - I-40 at NC 86
- Franklin Street at Merritt Mill Road
Adding new sidewalk and curb ramps to the areas in front of the car wash, the garage, and also to the SE quadrant of the intersection. Converting the back-to-back left turn lane between Merritt Mill Road and Graham Street into a median, doing stamped crosswalks, and a signal upgrade. Adding additional high visibility crosswalk to the west leg of the Franklin Street / Graham Street intersection. No improvement to capacity are expected but these improvements should provide safer, more defined, and more efficient bike/ped accommodations. NCDOT Contractor will be doing the project.
- Downtown Alleyways
The Post Office and Varsity Theater alleyways on East Franklin Street will be renovated beginning May 2019. Visit townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/town-manager/downtown-2020-strategy/alleyway-improvement-project for more information on these exciting improvements.
- Seawell School Road Sidewalk
Constructing Homestead Road to connect to existing sidewalk. Construction is tentatively scheduled for spring 2019.
- Homestead Road Sidewalk
Filling in missing sidewalk segments, helping to get people safely up to the railroad tracks. It will connect an existing sidewalk west of Seymour Center past Weaver Dairy to the railroad tracks. The second part of the project will build new sidewalks from Seawell School to Seymour Center. (Project is a partnership with Orange County, UNC, and NCDOT) Construction is tentatively scheduled for spring 2019.
- Estes Drive (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Caswell)
Constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities along Estes Drive from Marin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Caswell Road. Includes bike lanes and sidewalks on the north and south sides of Estes Drive and an off-road multi-use trail on the north side. Flags outlining easements on private property are placed along the project. Construction in summer 2019. Learn more at townofchapelhill.org/residents/transportation/estes-drive-sidepath-project.
- Morgan Creek Trail (3 segments)
Currently design work is underway for the following three segments. Construction could begin by late 2019 if design and permitting can be completed.
- Morgan Creek Trail (East Extension) – Extending trail eastward across Merritt’s Pasture to Fordham Boulevard. The trail is being designed as a side path along Fordham Boulevard to Oteys Road.
- Morgan Creek Trail (West Extension) – Extending trail westward to Carrboro. Exploring options for crossing Morgan Creek west of the existing trail.
- Morgan Creek Bridge
We are currently running hydrology models to determine how large a bridge is needed to safely span the creek without creating a flood risk. It is essential that any new bridge design include a “no rise” certification.
- Old Durham Chapel Hill Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Project
Installing five-foot sidewalks and five-foot bike lanes (NCDOT project) in the Chapel Hill section. The NCDOT has initiated acquisition of right of way for the Chapel Hill section, US 15-501 to Pope Road. The Durham portion of the project, Pope Road to Garrett Road, is underway.
Clearing for utility installation is complete Old Durham Chapel Hill Road within Chapel Hill Town Limits. Construction is scheduled for spring 2019.
- US 15-501 Sidepath, Cleland Road to Willow Drive
Renovating the existing path and extending the path an additional 2,000 feet to Willow Drive. For more information, visit townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/parks-and-recreation/planning-and-development/fordham-boulevard-sidepath-project
- Town of Chapel Hill Spring 2019 Street Resurfacing
- Clayton Road from Caswell Road to the cul-de-sac
- Gardner Circle from Weyer Drive to Highgrove Drive
- Rosemary Street/Church Street in front of the AC Hotel
- Weaver Dairy Road Extension from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Homestead Road, including installation of buffered bike lanes consistent with the Town's efforts to improve travel safety. Final street markings, including a buffered bike lane, were installed.
- Weyer Drive
This work began the week of March 25. For more information, visit townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/14357/22.
- Friday Center Drive
- Reconstructing the Town-maintained portion of Friday Center Drive from Highway 54 to the median. This includes ADA improvements and re-striping for a five-to-six-foot bike lane. Construction began mid-August.
- Perry Creek Drive to Reopen to Passenger Vehicles Only
Perry Creek Drive between Pebble Springs Road and 201 Perry Creek Dr. is open only to passenger vehicles. Based on findings, Town staff and engineers have determined the roadway over a large drainage culvert can safely sustain a weight limit of 10-tons per vehicle.
Construction to repair the culvert is tentatively scheduled for late August and could last up to a month.
For more information, visit townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/12541/22.
- N.C. DOT Resurfacing
- South Columbia Street (N.C. Highway 86) from Manning Drive to Franklin street
- Pittsboro Street from Manning Drive to Cameron Avenue
- Cameron Avenue from Pittsboro Street to South Columbia Street
- East Franklin Street from South Columbia Street to Pickard Lane
For more information, visit, townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/12602/22.
- Tanyard Branch Trail (Phase 3)
This project upgraded the existing natural surface trail to concrete. It allows a multiple use bicycle/pedestrian transportation extension of the Bolin Creek Trail into the Northside neighborhood and Jay Street. The trail was celebrated at a grand opening celebration on June 2, 2018, for National Trails Day. townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/parks-recreation/facilities-greenways-parks/greenways/bolin-creek-trail
- Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Longview Drive Signal
Installed a traffic signal with a push-button-activated pedestrian signal along with crosswalk markings, lighting and ADA accommodations. The Chapel Hill Transit bus stop located on the southbound side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard has been relocated just south of Longview Street to put it closer to the crosswalk.
- Ephesus-Fordham Area Projects
- Frontage Road Connection (Super Street U-Turn)
Improving roadway to allow motorists to cross Fordham Boulevard and access Ram’s Plaza from the north. Motorists previously were limited to U-turn travel only. Construction in progress for frontage road connection improvements at the Super Street U-Turn.
- Intersection Improvements (Ephesus Church-Fordham)
Improving traffic flow by aligning Ephesus Church Road with the entrance to Eastgate Shopping Center. Improving safety and connectivity for people who walk and people who bike, including new bike lanes, bike detection loops, sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Legion Road Improvements
Completing the roadway improvements along the DHIC/Greenfields Place frontage as well as extending sidewalk in front of the adjacent 1717 Legion Road parcel to provide enhanced pedestrian connectivity along the corridor.
- Southern Village Traffic Calming
Implementation began July 2017 and was completed in September 2017.
- Willow Drive Sidewalk
Constructed new sidewalk from Bank of America to Conner Drive.
- Audible Pedestrian Signals
Audible pedestrian signals on Rosemary Street at Henderson Street and Rosemary Street at Hillsborough Street.
- South Road Closure
Contractors for UNC-Chapel Hill closed South Road to through traffic for utility repairs between Raleigh Street and Stadium Drive. For additional detour and project information, visit move.unc.edu/news/2017/05/05/south-road-closure.
- 2017 Street Resurfacing
The Town of Chapel Hill’s annual resurfacing program is complete. The purpose of this project was to preserve and enhance the physical and operating conditions of the Town’s roadway system. For a list of streets being resurfaced this summer, visit townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/public-works/streets-and-construction/resurfacing-projects-2017.
- Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard Crosswalks
Construction of two crosswalks and pedestrian refuge islands on Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard at Airport Drive and near Bolinwood Drive. The project was completed in July 2017. For more information, visit townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/11065/22
Rosemary and North Roberson streets Rosemary and Henderson streets Rosemary at Henderson streets
A newly painted (4/27/2017) signal box at Rosemary and Roberson streets exudes the vibrancy of color and life on the equator; bright colors and optimism abound. Artist Daniel LeClaire painted another signal box at Rosemary and Henderson streets.
He was commissioned to paint the signal boxes through the Creative Projects Program sponsored by the Town of Chapel Hill’s Parks and Recreation Department in collaboration with Traffic Engineering and Public Works. It is part of the overall effort to enliven the Rosemary Streetscape.
- 2016 Annual Traffic Calming Recommendations
Completed June 2017.
- Bolin Creek Trail, Phase 3
This trail section, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Umstead Park, is complete. A Grand Opening ceremony was held June 3, 2017.
- Frontage Road Improvements (Ram's Plaza)
Assisting traffic with new ways to enter and exit the plaza. Private development projects will fund a future off-road bicycle and pedestrian path. Motorists today can only travel along a service road nearest Ram’s Plaza. Construction is complete except for some pavement striping and is open to traffic.
- Rosemary Street (Henderson Street to S. Merritt Mill Road)
Widened sidewalks; improved sidewalk ramps to meet ADA standards; installed new pedestrian level light fixtures with LED lights; replaced curb and gutter sections and driveway ramps; installed water and electrical hubs; and repaved the street.
- Sage Road
Installed bike lanes on both sides of the roadway on Sage Road in October 2016 as part of a roadway resurfacing and restriping project. Sage Road between Erwin Road and Highway 15-501 – about a half mile stretch – changed to a three-lane road with one vehicular travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane, and buffered bike lanes.
Currently in design stages, another planned public infrastructure project will extend bike lanes on both sides of the roadway along Old Durham Road from Highway 15-501 to Durham.
- South Columbia Street Pavement Marking Plan
Completed in 2016. NCDOT also completed resurfacing and installation of bike facilities.
- Market Street Raised Crosswalks (2) and ADA Curb Ramp Improvements
Construction was coordinated with Market Street Resurfacing in October 2016.
- Ridge Road Reconstruction
Reconstructed Ridge Road from Manning Drive to Stadium Drive in August 2016. Included milling and resurfacing of the portion of Ridge Road from Stadium Drive to Country Club Road.
- For more Town projects, visit the Capital Program Report.
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Get anywhere you need to go in Chapel Hill by biking, walking, taking Chapel Hill Transit or driving. The many ways to get around Chapel Hill include a fare-free transit system, bikeways and greenways.
E-Z Rider service is available for people who have mobility limitations and are unable to use regular bus service. E-Z Rider vans are equipped with wheelchair lifts. To schedule a pickup, call 919-969-5544.
Park and Ride
Park and take a Chapel Hill Transit bus. Permits are available by the day, month or year. UNC permits can be used in Town park and ride lots. For more information, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/prlots.
UNC Park and Ride Lots
Park and Ride lots owned by UNC require a permit, which may be obtained by students or employees of UNC from UNC Transportation and Parking.
More information: move.unc.edu/pr
GoTriangle provides regional public transportation service in the Triangle with connections to Chapel Hill Transit and other city transit systems, including GoDurham, GoRaleigh, and GoCary. Information: 919-485-RIDE (7433) or gotriangle.org
Download the new Chapel Hill Bicycle and Greenways map. [pdf]
Before you get on your bike, know about bicycle safety.
Read the latest Go Chapel Hill newsletter.
Bike and Ride
Some Chapel Hill Transit buses are equipped with bike racks on the front. View a video showing how to use the bike racks.
Chapel Hill Greenways
Chapel Hill's extensive system of greenways that connects neighborhoods, commercial areas, parks, schools and other destinations. This network of open spaces provides important travel corridors for wildlife, areas suitable for the preservation of trees and plants, buffers between urban development, and in many cases, corridors suitable for recreational trail development.
The Chapel Hill Greenways Commission is working to complete more than 28 miles of trails that will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to quickly and safely access almost every part of our town.
Get more information about Chapel Hill greenways at www.townofchapelhill.org/greenways.
Downtown Walking Map
A Chapel Hill Downtown Walking Map (pdf) has been created by Go! Chapel Hill Active Living by Design.
The Town of Chapel Hill provides more than 850 parking spots in downtown Chapel Hill. View a map of parking locations.
Zipcars are available at locations on the UNC campus. To join or find available cars, visit www.zipcar.com/unc.
Free valet parking is provided from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday for patrons of participating downtown businesses. Others can use the valet service for a $5 fee. Drop off your car at the West End Valet Stand on the north side of the 400 block of West Franklin Street near the West End Wine Bar. For a list of participating businesses, visit www.parkonthehill.com/valet.
The East End Valet Stand is open from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The West End Valet Stand is open from 5 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Safe Routes to School
Go! Chapel Hill works to make it easier and safer for children to walk or bike to school. This is good for the environment and for the physical health of our children. There are six Active Schools in the Go! Chapel Hill program including Estes Hills Elementary, Rashkis Elementary, Ephesus Road Elementary, Mary Scroggs Elementary, Phillips Middle and Culbreth Middle.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is located about 30 minutes east of Chapel Hill off Interstate 40. Information: 919-840-2123
Go Triangle Route 100 connects the Go Triangle Regional Transit Center (RTC) with RDU Airport Monday through Saturday (no Sunday service).
NCByTrain.org, new from the N.C. Department of Transportation, makes it easier than ever to experience North Carolina by rail. The website offers a one-stop shop for buying train tickets, checking the status of a train, or locating a station.
Amtrak: The Carolinian travels daily between Charlotte and New York City, with stops in Durham, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia. The Piedmont makes daily trips between Raleigh and Charlotte. Information: 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or www.amtrak.com
Stations are located in Durham, Raleigh and Greensboro. For more information, visit www.greyhound.com.
Rickshaw (pedicab) rides are available in downtown Chapel Hill. For more information, visit greenwayrides.com. Greenway Rides also provides earth-friendly vehicles powered by biodiesel.