HUNTERSVILLE – Town leaders are considering an improved greenway system that is safer, more convenient and connects to surrounding areas and destinations.

Members from the Greenway, Trails and Bikeway Commission are in the process of updating the town’s Greenway and Bikeway Master Plan by focusing on what the parks and recreation department needs and residents want.

Pam Hester, chairwoman of the commission, discussed statistics July 21 at the town commission meeting from an online survey completed by residents. According to a survey, 90 percent of bikers want multi-use paths separated from bike lanes on roads and residents would use trails more if they had easier access from neighborhoods.

The commission is looking to create a connected system of safe and scenic greenways, bikeways and trails that offer numerous recreation and transportation opportunities, provide environmental safety and improve the quality of life.

The revised greenway will also be pedestrian-friendly, incorporate easier access points and interconnect neighborhoods, schools and shopping centers.

Mecklenburg County funds many Huntersville greenways that connect to its system, but if Huntersville wants to see more or enhanced greenways, then the town may need to budget for them.  

“As we move forward with greenways, the Huntersville taxpayer is responsible for them and that could require an increase in taxes down the road,” Kidwell said.

Based on Treon and Hester’s presentation, the cost of the greenway is $1 million per mile to develop and will cost $15,000 per year to maintain.

“For Huntersville, upon completion of the 68 miles of greenway, that will be a little over $1 million per year,” Kidwell said.