River to Sea prompts concerns about cyclists on bridge

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Members of the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee heard comments from walkers and joggers in town about safety concerns for cyclists crossing the Heide Trask Drawbridge.

Vice chairwoman Charlotte Murchison raised the issue during the Monday, May 6 meeting after hearing multiple comments from walkers and joggers during the 24th Annual River to Sea Bike Ride.

“Apparently there’s something on the new bridge construction, on the grid itself, that makes it unsafe or unpopular for bikes, so I’ve had comments from a few different walkers and joggers and baby stroller pushers of bikes biking down the sidewalks on the bridge,” Murchison said. “… I think in the bike community, word has gotten around pretty quickly. I think that’s why we’re having the increase of bicyclers on the sidewalks.”

She said several cyclists gathered on the far side of the Heide Trask Drawbridge for the River to Sea Bike Ride coming to Wrightsville Beach and walked across together.

Murchison suggested putting reminders on both sides of the bridge about the rules to encourage cyclists to walk their bikes across the bridge.

“It’s very unsteady to ride over,” said Katie Ryan, parks and recreation program supervisor.
“… Everybody should have been obeying the rules of the road.”

Early in the meeting, Eagle Scout Nick Randise presented the final plan for the Wrightsville Beach Park tennis court shelter.

“We are still trying to get donations from someone for the metal roof,” he said.

Plans are to have the shelter completed before school adjourns for summer. The design will incorporate a shingle roof if there are not enough donations to fund a metal roof.

Earlier in the day, the season opening of the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market was marred by inclement weather and the remainder of the market cancelled for the day.

“We had quite a thunderstorm scroll through here real quick,” Ryan said. “… We look forward to a better week next week.”

Five vendors lost their tents from the storm. Ryan and Angela Cannon, market manager, will be conducting site visits this week to new vendors Ogden Oysters and Sugar Island.

On Thursday, Ryan will present the committee’s Open Space Master Plan, approved in January, to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen. She delivered a draft of the plan to aldermen a month ago, so they could look over the lengthy document before the presentation.

The next meeting of the parks and recreation advisory committee will be held on Monday, June 3, at 4 p.m., in the Town Hall conference room.

email kelly@luminanews.com  

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