Inconsistency #9: Why a multiuse path?

Why does the Council favor a multi-use path?

The Flat Rock village council FAQ sheet on the N. Highland Lake Road project says:

  • This goes back to the CLUP [Comprehensive Land Use Plan] mentioned in the introduction. One of the goals in the CLUP is to increase sidewalks, paths, and greenways throughout the Village.

As we have already shown, the CLUP is not based on accurate data, from faulty population projections to lack of community-wide support. The year 2004 was the last time a village-wide survey was taken that addressed some of these issues, and in that survey respondents were split 50/50 on more sidewalks, trails, and pathways, and were opposed to bike lanes by 52%.

  • A 10-foot-wide path would allow for bicyclists and pedestrians to share the path safely.

Many serious bikers do not enjoy sharing paths with walkers. And walkers don’t necessarily enjoy bikers speeding past them. Because the park is now self-contained, most of the bikers using it are children and families out for a recreational ride, not serious bikers. By opening up the park and making it part of a county-wide path system, this will change.

  • The path would allow more people to access the park on foot.

The Park at Flat Rock is a dawn to dusk park. A multiuse path that crosses King Creek and enters at the western-most part of the park provides easy park access anytime day or night. NCDOT’s plan calls for increasing the size of the pull-off on the north side of the road by the dam, thus encouraging people to park there to get into the park at all hours. The village does not have a police force to monitor any nighttime activity in the park, and by creating a 24-hour access point, there will be problems.

  • The path could eventually connect to paths that would link to Carl Sandburg, the Village Center, and potentially to Jackson Park and Blue Ridge Community College.

Once again, there is no mandate from the community for this. In fact, the village recently received a grant from NCDOT to conduct a feasibility study on connecting the park to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. That study has not yet started.

It seems as though the tail is wagging the dog when the study as to whether that connection makes sense and is what the community wants (and will actually use) is pre-empted by the push to build a significant portion of that connection now.


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