Brevard, North Carolina: A walking path for everyone

Introduction

Brevard Elementary School students and recreational walkers in the 7,000-person community in Brevard, NC, will benefit from the Gallimore Road multi-use path to be constructed with a $250,000 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure grant awarded in 2008 to the city from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).

Activities

The 10-foot wide asphalt Gallimore Road path will be just more than one mile in length. Brevard Elementary and Brevard High School sit at either end of the path.The 10-foot wide asphalt Gallimore Road path will be just more than one mile in length, said Planning Director Josh Freeman. Brevard Elementary sits at one end of the path, and Brevard High School is at the other end.  Along the way, the path passes the Transylvania County Boys and Girls Club, several residential communities and a medical facility.

It also will connect to a bicycle network, and to the north about 100 yards away is Pisgah National Forest, said Planner Jacob Wiggins. Officials said they hope to receive funding from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to link the bicycle path to a campground in the park.

Although the SRTS funding primarily will be used to construct the path, Wiggins said it also will be used to improve sidewalks along US 276 and to implement educational programs, such as a Walking School Bus, a bike rodeo with the police department and also a pedestrian map detailing the safest routes to school.

City officials are committed to making Brevard a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly place, Freeman said, and they recognize not only the health and environmental benefits, but also the economic benefits of such a community focus.

The city adopted a comprehensive pedestrian plan one year ago and has been implementing it aggressively. Before the pedestrian plan, however, the city followed both its land use and strategic growth plans, which call for improving bicycle and pedestrian routes. Brevard has received funding from the NCDOT in the past, as well as from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and Steelcase Foundation. To complement the SRTS grant, the city is offering citizens the chance to purchase engraved bricks for $100 to support the construction of the Gallimore Road path. The bricks will be placed along the path to recognize supporters of the effort.

Milestones

Approximately 20 percent of the students at Brevard Elementary walk or bicycle to school now, Wiggins said, and he hopes the asphalt path will increase those totals. Brevard staff attended a SRTS workshop hosted by Brevard Elementary before they began applying for grants, and they developed an action plan, Freeman said. Gallimore Road was the most important priority they identified, and it will link many key components in the community. City staff worked with leaders throughout the community, such as law enforcement officers, board of health members, neighbors, parents and school board members. Freeman praised staff at the NCDOT, as well as at the SRTS office, for the assistance Brevard received during this process.

“All the different groups came together as part of this planning process,” Freeman said. “We really enjoyed the process of working with the school system in coming up with this plan; we’re hoping to take this process to other schools.”

Contact

Josh Freeman
Brevard Planning Director
Phone: (828) 883-8580
Email: planningdir@citcom.net


Jacob Wiggins
Brevard Planner
(828) 883-8580
Email: brevplan2@citcom.net