Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bicycling On The Blue Ridge Parkway

In 2001 The Blue Ridge Parkway started the multi-year process of developing a General Management Plan for the park. A major component of this process was public comment. When asked what issues or concerns the public had about the park there was one subject that buried any other topic, bicycle use. What made this result interesting was that comments were split 50/50 between those that were pro cycling and those that were anti cycling. Public suggestions ranged from building a bike lane the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway to completely banning bicycles from the park. National Park Service planners and managers were amazed at the emotional dichotomy on this topic.

In 2005 a contactor was given the job of examining the bicycle use on The Blue Ridge Parkway and the feasibility of building a bike trail along 469 mile length of the park. Although cycling is commonly found anywhere on the Parkway the study conducted by David Evans and Associates found that most of the day use was concentrated in four areas.

Waynesboro Mile Post 0 – 14

Roanoke Mile Post 105 – 121

Boone/Blowing Rock Mile Post 270 – 305

Asheville Mile Post 375 – 398

The Study’s look at the possibility of constructing a multi-use or bicycle trail along the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway found that only in 20% of the park would it be physically practicable for such construction. The majority of this would be in the Roanoke area. Such construction would take millions of dollars and at present there are no plans to even plan such a major project.

For more information on planning a bicycling trip check out the link below:

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