Given that development plans have slowed, one of the more immediate remaining questions about Carolina North is how people will get there. The Town of Chapel Hill has been studying the issue of how to best move pedestrians and bicycles, especially. They held several public meetings, and this week they released a recommendation. I'm very happy to see the town staff favored Route A, which uses Cameron Avenue, the Libba Cotton bike path, and the right of way around the rail line as it goes north from Carrboro to the Horace Williams tract. (See map below.)
The other two alternatives involve going through the middle of Northside and then down the steep banks of Bolin Creek to Umstead Park (B), or going down Hillsborough Street and through the Mount Bolus neighborhood (C). At one point there was also an incredibly circuitous route being discussed that went through Battle Park, but I'm glad to see that has fallen off the table.
I am very excited about route A as it will also help to connect my own neighborhood to Carolina North, downtown Carrboro, and UNC. (I've written about our lack of connectivity before.) What do you think of this path? Check out the Town's Campus-to-Campus Connector page to learn more.
(Unfortunately, the Town's web site doesn't have many maps you can view on the site, but they do let you download PDFs of the recommendation and reviews of each route. Baby steps.)
Afternote: Back in the late 90s when UNC worked with the Town of Chapel Hill to develop the JJR Report (a broad brush stroke version of the future satellite campus) there was a clear commitment from UNC leaders to not build beyond the capacity of our existing roads, which were already crowded. This meant that whatever got built on the Horace Williams tract would be relying on transit and other other forms of access if it were to succeed in any way. I haven't heard anyone from UNC mention this in over 10 years, but I hope that the principle will stick.