A resident of the Brushy Mountain community asked the Wilkes County commissioners to have Brushy Mountain Road and certain adjoining secondary roads removed from the state’s list of designated bicycle routes due to problems with cyclists.
Scott Faw said he hoped this would reduce the number of cyclists from outside of Wilkes riding on Brushy Mountain, Lithia Springs, Vannoy Ridge and Ball’s Mill roads.
Faw said the people causing the problems are from the Mooresville and Charlotte areas and not from Wilkes County.
Faw said cyclists recently urinated and defecated on the grounds of Bethany Baptist Church and the nearby Brushy Mountain Fire Department along Brushy Mountain Road.
He cited an instance when firefighters were delayed by about five minutes in responding to an emergency call due to bicycles parked in front of the fire station.
Faw said passing motorists have seen cyclists changing their clothes outside of their motor vehicles along the side of Brushy Mountain Road near the base of the south side of the Brushies in Alexander County.
“If they see you coming (on Brushy Mountain Road), they’ll get on the yellow lines instead of the white lines” so they can’t be passed while they’re cycling, he said.
When orchardists are spraying their trees, the spray sometimes drifts over people riding bikes and the cyclists complain, he added.
“We’re not saying you can stop them” from riding bikes on public roads in the community. Faw said he believed removing the bicycle route designation and accompanying information online would result in fewer cyclists coming from outside Wilkes.
Faw spoke during the “public concerns” portion of the meeting and sought a response when he finished. Commission Chairman Eddie Settle told Faw that the commissioners have a policy of not responding during the public concerns period.
Later in the meeting, commissioners said they had no authority to have the N.C. Department of Transportation remove a bicycle route designation.
They said Wilkes Sheriff Chris Shew has already increased the presence of deputies in the community to help address the problems.