WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Riding bikes is a stress reliever for many people.
When you’re on busy roads worrying about getting hit by a car, it adds more stress than it takes away. Winston-Salem leaders are easing those concerns by bringing safer routes to the city. They’ve secured funds to extend Little Creek, Brushy Fork, Piedmont Regional and Salem Creek Greenways.
“For me personally that’s sort of an impediment to finding new routes or biking for longer distances is that we have sort of limited protected spaces,” said Emma Gillett, who lives in Winston-Salem.
Gillet would rather ride her bike to get around the city than hop in the car.
“Just doing everything I can to avoid buying gas,” she said.
The existing greenways leading to busy roads and dead ends will only take her so far.
“When you’re very aware of the car right beside you, you don’t have a greenway, it’s a little bit, makes you a little bit more hesitant I think to explore,” said Gillett.
She’ll soon have new routes to explore. Crews will start construction on Little Creek Greenway from its current dead-end to Somerset Drive by the end of 2022. They also plan to extend Brushy Fork Greenway from Lowery Street to Reynolds Park Road, as well as Piedmont Regional Greenway from Linville Road to Hastings Hill Road.
The news brought more customers to Mock Orange Bikes.
“Anytime any kind of city system can extend safer routes for cyclists, we see a big boom and interest in cycling,” said Charles Vonisenburg, owner of the bike shop.
Vonisenburg has seen too many accidents involving cyclists and cars that could’ve been avoided.
“A lot of drivers these days being distracted with all the technology that’s either in the car itself or in their hand in the car,” he said.
That’s why cities across the Piedmont Triad are making safer routes a priority. Greensboro leaders have already extended the greenway three miles. One more mile is expected to be added by mid-2024.
In High Point, crews are constructing a five-mile expansion of the greenway.
Winston-Salem was the latest to announce plans, all of which will make it easier to visit different parts of these cities on foot or by bike safely.
“If there’s a way to do that that’s a little bit safer and that folks feel a little bit more comfortable, I think it’s just a win for everyone,” said Gillett.
Crews will also start the extension of Salem Creek Greenway to Liberty Street this fall. They expect it will take at least one year to complete.