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High Point plans to make downtown more pedestrian friendly

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Joseph Carver has lived in High Point for the past decade. He walks to work everyday, walks to the library and walks to visit his mom in her downtown apartment.

"I just like to walk," Carver said. "I've always been an active person."

Carver wishes more people would do the same by getting around on foot instead of driving.

"People around here are crazy when it comes to driving so you have to be really careful," he said.

The city is trying to encourage more people to walk around and a federally funded transportation plan shows how it can be done.

"Not everyone has a car and you need access to the train depot, the transit facility, so providing safer more accessible sidewalks, bicycle lanes, it just improves the transportation network as a whole," High Point Transportation Planning Administrator Greg Venable said.

One of the top suggestions looks at Main Street around the train depot. The recommendation is to carve out bike lanes, diagonal parking, increase sidewalk width and possible create a median with the space. That section has five lanes at times for a relatively small amount of traffic.

For Carver, he thinks less traffic means more safety and hopes these changes will encourage more retail and shops to come to the area around downtown.