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New bike routes in Stokes

Winston-Salem Journal

I’m sure a lot of the locals don’t much like outsiders bicycling through the county, but just consider how much nicer it is to have flocks of bicycists rather than flocks of bulldozers. The two modes of economic development are mutually exclusive.

4 bike routes get N.C. recognition
Stokes County hopes to have state signs up along roads by late spring, manager says
By Lisa Boone-Wood
Winston-Salem Journal
Friday, January 18, 2008

Drivers in Stokes County will soon be reminded to share the road with bicyclists on some of the twisting curves of narrow two-lane highways throughout the county.

County officials have completed work with the N.C. Department of Transportation for officially designated bicycle routes in Stokes, hoping to increase safety for bicyclists and drivers.

It’s difficult to think about cycling on a dreary winter day such as yesterday, but better weather will be here soon enough. County Manager Bryan Steen said he hopes that share-the-road bicycle route signs provided by the DOT will be posted before the end of this fiscal year in late spring.

Bike routes in the county have already been informally established, Steen said. The formal routes will help the county’s economic development by drawing visitors to the area and will also improve safety for bicyclists, he said.

“We have a lot of bicyclists that are interested in the county,” Steen said. “We have a beautiful area here. We have a great interest in all parts of economic development and view this as another element as an economic development strategy.”

The Web site of the DOT’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation lists about 30 cities and counties across the state as having designated bicycle routes.

The routes are developed with the help of city or county officials and experienced cyclists, said Tom Norman, the director of the division. The division tries to make sure that residents and visitors can safely walk and bicycle in the state.

Marc Allred, a rural planner for the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments who reviewed and sent the bicycle-route plans for Stokes to be approved by the DOT, said that bike plans are becoming more common in rural counties in North Carolina.

“A lot of bikers like to ride out in the rural areas because it’s more scenic, so the counties have gotten together to show bikers which way to go,” Allred said.

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