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The City of New Bern is considering changes to its biking and pedestrian plan

The current plan was last changed in 2009, and city officials say is outdated when considering the changes the city has seen since then.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:43 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - After over ten years without any changes to its biking and pedestrian plan, officials with the City of New Bern say it’s beyond time for an upgrade.

City council met for the first time Tuesday night to discuss significant changes to the plan that was last changed in 2009. Since then, officials say, the city has gone through some major changes and technology has advanced significantly, so their plan should reflect that.

“We’ll be looking at new destinations to connect to,” said New Bern Director of Development Services Jeff Ruggeri. “That really connects destinations where people live and where people work to parks and recreational type facilities and identify that as kind of the spine network.”

It’s a plan cyclists in the area are pleased the city is considering making changes to. The discussions also include how to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.

“Within 100 yards of where we’re standing right now, I had a car break my hip in three places,” said Bill Sadler, a cyclist of nearly 20 years. “So yeah, safety is very important from the perspective of the driver of a car plus the operator of the bicycle.”

Sadler wants to see more signage for cyclists throughout the city and more bike lanes.

They’re ideas the city is considering, but the plan is in its very early stage. The New Bern Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has pledged $50,000 to research a plan, which they hope to be finalized by March of 2022. Once the plans are finalized, the city will be responsible for matching 20% of the funds for projects, per their agreement with the NBAMPO.

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