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Will there ever be a sidewalk down Wrightsville Avenue from College Road to the beach?

Shelby Sebens

There's no sidewalk on this stretch of Wrightsville Avenue east of College Road. Staff photo by Si Cantwell.

Q. Will there ever be a sidewalk down Wrightsville Avenue that goes from College Rd. to the beach? Riding a bicycle to the beach from the Winter Park area is so dangerous!

A. The installation of sidewalks along Wrightsville Avenue from South College Road to the Heide Trask drawbridge is recommended for the city. It was laid out in 2009 to be completed in five to 10 years. The recommendation is in the Walk Wilmington: A comprehensive pedestrian plan, the  Wrightsville Avenue 2030 and Wrightsville Sound Small Area plan.

But there is no money for it, said Mike Kozlosky, executive director of the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization. The funding, which could come from multiple sources  from the city or state, is not available to date.

It’s unknown now when the sidewalks would be built.

Kozlosky also pointed out it is illegal to ride bicycles on the sidewalk.

He suggested cyclists take the signed River to Sea route, which links downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach and can be accessed in Winter Park. The route travels from Winter Park to Wrightsville Beach utilizing Park Avenue, Greenville Avenue, Oleander Drive, Wrightsville Avenue, Pelican Drive and Salisbury Street. Here is a link to the River to Sea webpage.

But Kozlosky acknowledged the River to Sea route still requires cyclists to cross multiple lanes of the busy and dangerous College Road.

“We are certainly trying to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the city of Wilmington,” he said, adding there are multitude of complications including difficulty getting funding for projects.


Why are there virtually no sidewalks in Wilmington or New Hanover County?

Whatever happened to the proposed sidewalk along Greenville Loop Road?

User-contributed question by:
Jeanne Hussey

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6 Responses to “ Will there ever be a sidewalk down Wrightsville Avenue from College Road to the beach?”

  1. On April 21, 2012 at 12:46 am Gil wrote:

    So how would a baseball stadium expected to cost $40 million dollars outweigh the value of a simple sidewalk, or even COMPLETING the City Trail which has yet to cross the city?

  2. On April 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm Roscoe wrote:

    Interesting comment about being illegal to ride bikes on the sidewalk. When I spoke to someone with the City (don’t remember who) I was told it was only illegal within the downtown business area. In fact, was told the sidewalk in front of Landfall (Eastwood Rd.) is part of the cross-city trail. So, why the two different answers?

  3. On April 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm Stanley Outlaw wrote:

    Funding? Come on, we have money for a convention center that sits empty most of the time, we have money for a ball stadium when the people that say it will draw for miles around never even went to watch a single A team play at Myrtle Beach, what about the speed bumps on dead end roads, I can keep going on with what Saffo has brought us, so tell me again why they can’t find the money for sidewalks.

  4. On April 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm nathan wrote:

    In response to the baseball stadium.

    As someone who has traveled to minor league stadiums all over the country, every city that has a newer stadium in a downtown area is thriving! Not only will the stadium bring in revenue, but the surrounding businesses will benefit as well.

    I too would love more sidewalks and bikepaths in Wilmington, but they are only going to cost money to build and maintain, while a stadium/ convention center will MAKE money over the long run

  5. On May 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm Steve wrote:

    Wrightsville Avenue is the most convenient road to the beach for students. Even if there is an alternate route, new students come every year and probably don’t know the other way. Even if they did, most would likely choose the more direct path. Not only is it dangerous for bikers, but also for drivers trying to avoid them!

  6. On May 7, 2012 at 8:13 am Jaimie McGirt wrote:

    Maybe there should be a local gas/car purchase tax??? That would generate plenty of money, very quickly. And I agree about the baseball stadium. We have one, though it may not be large and luxourious, we have have one. We don’t have adequate bike paths or sidewalks. And I know that many of the people go in the stadium when they are given free passes from their youth baseball coach or their elementary school. That is the only time I ever went to a Shark’s game.

    And as for the thought that the stadium will make money, it will also have extensive maintenance and will require constant inputs to keep that green grass maintained. Bike paths will have costs to maintain, but if more and more people begin to ride their bikes, not even to commute but recreationally — say, on their way to the park–instead of driving, then think about the decrease in road deterioration from vehicle’s constant traffic, intersection maintenance, ect.

    Oil is a finite resource and gas prices are going to soar in the long run. Most of oil comes from the countries of current/previous conflict and is contributing to the large gap between rich industry owners and low income citizens in countries like Saudi Arabia. If we say decrease foreign reliance, drill in the reserves near or in U.S. territory, we risk destroying the ecosystems that benefit us inherently as well as how they benefit people in the more broad, world ecological system. We also risk running out faster, all for the purpose of getting us around town, when there are alternatives to local transport.

    Why not develop the infrastructure when there is already a demand by people who want to ride their town/city AND/OR reduce their gas burden TODAY?

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