Advocacy for safer and better bicycling facilities in the Cape Fear Region is a major goal of for the Terry Benjey Bicycling Foundation. Since its inception the Foundation has fulfilled this goal at every opportunity. The following are a few examples:
Active Participation the WMPO Bike / Ped Advisory Committee Meetings:
Several TBBF Board members serve on the Bike/Ped Advisory Committee of the WMPO. TBBF's representatives provide constructive input to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan which is prepared every five years. They also ensured the Committee's support for the North Carolina Complete Streets Policy.
Interface with NCDOT's Division 3:
This Division of NCDOT is responsible for the planning, construction and maintenance of highways and roads in five Southeastern NC counties that include the Cape Fear Region. TBBF representatives have established a cooperative relationship with the Division 3 Engineers and are called upon by the Division 3 team for advice on options for bicycle facilities on new construction and existing roads and bridges. Recently they have provided input on the following major projects:
Surf City High Rise Bridge (Completed in 2018)
Heide Trask Bridge renovation across the Intracoastal Waterway at Wrightsville Beach, NC (Completed in 2019)
Gordon Road Expansion Project, 2022/23 - The project will create a 5-lane roadway with an accompanying MUP. TBBF board members worked with NCDOT and New Hanover County Parks and Recreation to ensure sufficient crosswalks and a sidewalk on the opposite roadside. Working together, the new roadway will meet the NC Complete Streets guidelines.
FUNDING & RESEARCH
The Funding & Research Committee identifies grants that are available to municipalities in our region. This committee also assists in identifying potential recipients of funds from the TBBF. The Foundation has funded the following projects:
Bike Rack at River Road Park:
The Foundation purchased a 20 bicycle parking rack and arranged its installation at River Road Park with the New Hanover County Parks and Gardens Department. The rack was installed on an asphalt pad and enclosed by fencing to protect the bicycles which were constructed by the New Hanover County Parks & Recreation Division. It was dedicated on March 26, 2016 in conjunction with the Cape Fear Cyclists quarterly Adopt-a-Highway clean-up River Road. A sign indicating the TBBF donation is displayed prominently on one end of the rack.
Bicycle Corral at Greenfield Lake Park
Greenfield Lake Park requested a bicycle corral that would fit in with park aesthetics. This corral was placed in the primary parking area so cyclists can enjoy tennis, boating, playgrounds or running in the park, while have a safe place to lock the bicycle while visiting.
The TBBF awarded a grant in the amount of $2,000 to Switchin' Gears to purchase equipment for the Work a Bike Off Program, where individuals can earn a bicycle. Specifically, bike repair stands, a mobile bike rack and bike maintenance tools were purchased. Switchin’ Gears is a non-profit organization that promotes bicycling in Wilmington as a feasible means of transportation and a means that addresses wealth and health disparities that inevitably exist in our community. They seek to empower individuals in our community to take control of their transportation, health and sense of community.
A $5.000 grant was awarded to Special Pedals to assist in the completion of a bicycle repair storefront on North 4th Street. Special Pedals teaches bicycle repair skills to individuals with developmental disabilities, and then sells refurbished to people in need. The storefront will allow this non-profit organization to have a provide bicycle repair to the residents of the northside of Wilmington. No other bicycle repair shops are in this area.
Gullah Geechee Greenway - Blueway Cultural Heritage Trail
A $2,000 grant was awarded to the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Trail toward the creation of an organization website. The website will serve as home base for the development of the master plan, demonstration project, and future greenway and blueway projects. All public participation efforts will directed to the website.
The Safety and Education committee is lead by two League Certified Instructors and volunteers from the TBBF Board and members of Cape Fear Cyclists. The Committee works with municipalities, school and organizations to provide safe cycling courses and road demonstrations. Having received free children's bicycle helmets from NCDOT, the committee provides bicycle helmets to children who cannot afford or do not have a properly fitting helmet.
Bicycle Safety 101
Bicycle Safety 101 is a 4-hour classroom and road-based workshop that provides detailed information for cyclists about the basics of safe bicycle maintenance, rules of the road, hand signals and riding with motorists. Following classroom instruction, participants ride together to practice the skills covered in class.
Traffic Gardens and Bicycle Rodeos
The Safety & Education committee works with towns and organizations to provide on-road safety instruction and demonstrations. Helmet checks and bicycle A,B,C check are also provided. Participants ride a path that includes stop signs, crosswalks, road hazards and more. Hand signals are taught, as well as safe braking, and how to safely avoid barking or charging dogs.
The Partnerships Committee works with groups throughout the region to identify potential projects for TBBF to support that group. TBBF is an active partner with the following organizations:
East Coast Greenway Alliance
ECGA has a North Carolina Coordinator with whom TBBF board members works closely. The East Coast Greenway has both primary and complementary routes through southeastern NC, so assisting ECGA in understanding the work that is needed on this greenway is vital to our success.
TBBF and Bike/Walk NC work together to strengthen our message to NCDOT and state legislators. Bike/Walk NC works with TBBF members on their safe driving course, which teaches motorists how to drive most safely when bicyclists are using the road. TBBF board members attend the annual Bike Summit to learn about current initiatives across the state.
Kure Beach Bike/Ped Committee
TBBF and Kure Beach Bike/Ped Committee have worked together to identify a needed crosswalk on Ft. Fisher Blvd and to host a community Traffic Garden.