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Spencer first to approve resolution of support for bike route plan

By Amanda Raymond

amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

The Spencer Board of Aldermen made Spencer the first municipality to adopt a resolution of support for the Central Park Region Bicycle Plan at its meeting on Tuesday.

The board added the item about the plan to the agenda during the meeting.

The Piedmont Triad Regional Council has developed a regional bike plan for the Central Park region of the state. Rowan County is included in the region, along with seven other counties, according to the Piedmont Triad Regional Council’s website.

The council is under contract to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Division of the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Town Manager Reid Walters said the county is deciding whether to adopt the plan and asked the municipalities to look at it first.

“They didn’t want to vote on something that a potential municipality would have a problem with,” he said.

The plan includes four different regional loop bicycle routes. Spencer is included in the Piedmont Heritage Route.

According to Mayor Jim Gobbel, the route starts in Spencer at the intersection of Rowan Avenue and 17th Street. It will go all the way down Rowan Avenue and through Spencer Woods. It will then go left on Jefferson Street and then travel to Salisbury Avenue. The route continues into Davidson County.

The North Carolina Transportation Museum and Wil-Cox Bridge are marked as sites on the map.

Walters said the map is still a template and will be finalized when all of the different entities have given their support.

Alderman Kevin Jones made a motion to adopt the resolution of support, and the motion passed unanimously.

Walters said he would pass the resolution on to the other municipalities and afterwards the county will make a decision on the plan. He said the decision would lead to more planning and maybe some signage for the area.

Gobbel said the route will be good for the town because it would bring in new people.

“It’ll bring people into Spencer, and anytime you bring new people into Spencer it gives them the opportunity to see your town and hopefully they come back,” he said.

In other board business:

  • Police Chief Michael James reported that crime was down in 2015, with serious offenses decreasing from 164 to 129. The number of total offenses also decreased.
  • Interim Fire Chief Jay Baker reported 65 calls in January and three new volunteers for the department.
  • Gobbel was approved as Spencer’s representative to the Wil-Cox Bridge Steering Committee.
  • The board’s planning retreat is scheduled for Feb. 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Spencer Fire Department. The public is invited to attend. A public comment session will be held at the beginning of Friday’s meeting.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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