Community Achievements

Chapel Hill receives Bicycle Friendly Community national designation

Chapel Hill is already known as a bike-friendly town. Now, the League of American Bicyclists has designated the town as a bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community.”

The Bicycle Friendly Community program helps communities across the country learn how to become bicycle friendly and offers examples from communities large and small across the country who have successfully built bicycling into their city plans.

“We are very proud to be part of this prestigious program,” said Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. “Chapel Hill will continue its efforts to become more accommodating to cyclists, whether they are recreational bicycle riders or serious bicycle commuters. We want to encourage cycling as a reliable mode of every day transportation.”

The award is presented only to communities with remarkable commitments to bicycling. The decision involved careful review of an application and consultation with local cyclists. There are four levels of the award – platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. Chapel Hill’s designation of bronze is valid for four years and will then need to be renewed. Other Bicycle Friendly Communities in North Carolina are Carrboro, Durham, Cary, Charlotte, Davidson and Greensboro.

Applicants complete a detailed online form with questions in five key areas: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation/planning. Bergen Watterson, a UNC-Chapel Hill student interning with the Town of Chapel Hill Planning Department, completed the application for Chapel Hill to the national designation program.

For more information about the Town’s efforts to increase bicycling in the community, visit http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=127 or http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=130 or http://gochapelhill.org. For more information about the Bicycle Friendly Community Program, visit www.bicyclefriendlyamerica.org.

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*Silver Award from Creativity International Awards for the Town of Chapel Hill website (May 2010)

*Excellence in Communications Awards from NC City & County Communicators, First Place, Best Use of Promotional Item; First Place, Citizen Participation, Council Agenda Improvement Project (April 2010)

*Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Officers Association (13 years awarded) (April 2010)

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Chapel Hill Employee Rides Away with State Title!

Bergen Watterson is the 2010 NC road race champion. 

The women were racing four laps for a total of 53 miles. From the beginning it was apparent that no one was going to break away, so the attacks were minimal and non-committal. By the third lap the ladies peloton were able to organize a smooth paceline, however it fell apart in the last lap because no one wanted to pull through. A few miles from the finish Chris Tommerdahl of the Performance Bicycle Racing team got to the front and drilled it until the sprint. Sitting third her teammate Bergen Watterson, waited for someone to start the sprint, and launched taking the win.

“I always like to have someone to chase in the sprint,” said the new 2010 North Carolina state road race champion.

Unfortunately the women’s filed was sparsely attended even though it was a state championship event. According to Watterson there were a few women that had maybe never raced before and another few that were new to the sport.

Watterson said this was a great teaching opportunity for their Performance team.

“One of Performance Bicycle Racing’s goals is to be mentors and encourage/teach women to race their bikes, and this weekend was a wonderful example. I came from racing in Northern California where women’s fields would routinely sell out–I really hope to see more women racing in North Carolina next year.”

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National Award Honors Chapel Hill as the Most Livable City

On June 15th, the Town of Chapel Hill was awarded first place for the City Livability Award during the 2009 Mayors’ City Livability Awards Program. Mayor Kevin C. Foy was in attendance and accepted the award on the town’s behalf.

Chapel Hill was one of over 200 cities from around the country considered for the award, which is based on three criteria: mayoral leadership, creativity and innovation, and broad impact on the quality of life for residents. The Town won top honors for cities with populations under 100,000 for creating the fare-free transit program. Since its inception in 2002, the fare-free Chapel Hill Transit has increased its ridership from 3 million riders to over 7 million riders annually! The increased ridership has led Chapel Hill Transit to become the second largest transit system in North Carolina!  The award recognizes the great effort the community has made to encourage the use of public transportation and reduce the dependency on automobiles.

The Town is planning a special community event to celebrate this distinguished award and recognize the contribution of our fare-free system for the community. Event details are being arranged and will be released soon. Congratulations Chapel Hill for this terrific award!

Check out footage from the U.S. Conference of Mayors Awards Ceremony, featuring a video about the success of Chapel Hill Transit: The 77th Annual Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors in Providence