Transportation in North Carolina: Case Studies and Commentary from NCAPA Contributors: Wilmington Achieves Bike-Ped Facility Improvements via Non-Traditional Partnerships
Other Affiliation: Project Coordinator, Transportation Division, City of Wilmington, NC
The City of Wilmington, located in New Hanover County, is defined by the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. This setting lends itself to recreational opportunities such as surfing, sailing, kayaking, and skateboarding. Until recently, however, bicycling safely around Wilmington proved to be quite a challenge. While Wilmington still has a long way to go, the City is taking a step in the right direction with two evolving bikeways: the River to the Sea Bikeway and the Cross-City Trail. This article focuses on the River to the Sea Bikeway (the Bikeway), an 11-mile on- and off-road bicycle route that runs from downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach. The Bikeway is comprised of multiple segments that fit together and adapt to the specific urban context – congested roadway, sidewalk, park-like setting – in which they are found. Successfully linking downtown Wilmington would have not been possible without community input and a unique partnership between transportation agencies, the public health community, and other private and non-profit organizations.