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Old 02-19-2013, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 868,887 times
Reputation: 217

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"Walkability" is part of the discussion in Boone...

Walk Boone - Council Reviews "Walkability" Plan

The Boone Town Council is taking steps to make Boone a walking-friendly community.

The council heard from Jennifer Greene, chairwoman of the town’s alternate transportation subcommittee, on Walk Boone, a town-based initiative to boost Boone’s “walkability.”

The program, she explained, is designed to promote pedestrian safety and activity. Benefits of walking are obvious, Greene said, mentioning health, transportation, environmental friendliness, economy and a better quality of life as examples.
. . .
Greene told how a walkability audit was conducted in April 2007, when about 30 volunteers split into six groups and walked throughout town, basing travel routes on sidewalk facilities and common destinations. “We knew some of our areas of town we’d like to walk, but didn’t have the infrastructure to do so,” she said.
===
/more: Boone NC Community News

55 Current Walkability projects in Boone:
http://www.hcpress.com/news/town-of-...-projects.html
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Boone, NC
1,047 posts, read 1,967,227 times
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Extremely possible. Given the abysmal parking and traffic situation in town, it may even be recommended. With on-campus parking extremely limited at App State, thousands of college students actually do it most or all of the time.

The AppalCart bus system is FREE. You can look up the routes at http://appalcart.com/in_town_routes.html and see they'll pretty much take you to and from wherever you want to go around town. This makes living without a car very, very easy if you can accept that some of the routes aren't really good at keeping on schedule.

The Greenway Trail (which the town is considering expanding) connects major points in town as well. The Greenway also provides an easy way to cross under US 321, which is a 5 lane road that is unfortunately somewhat crosswalk-deficient.

Boone isn't a very large town, size-wise, to begin with at only 6 miles square. As for neighborhoods, Boone is a college town so the primary form of residence is apartments, though there are some single family neighborhoods, they are rare and clearly defined on this map: http://www.townofboone.net/departmen...borhoods_1.pdf. Going off the map, the best neighborhoods would be Grand Boulevard or Blanwood Drive.

That said, if you are fine with living in an apartment or near students, and want everything important to be within walking distance, here's your basic parameters: 421 (King Street) west of the intersection with Jefferson Road all the way to the intersection with Water Street or US 321 (Blowing Rock Road) down to the intersection with Deerfield Road.

If where you live has easy access to those stretches of road (which gives you a LOT of options) than you'll have pretty good walkability.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:43 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 868,887 times
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Wonderful post - very informative.
Thank you kindly.
Any more "secrets" to share... anyone?



I am wondering how many of the students stick around Boone, after they graduate.
Any jobs there? Good reasons to stay?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:34 AM
 
910 posts, read 1,164,284 times
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Appalcart's pretty good, but if you need to leave the area, and you will, your options are fairly limited. The intercity buses generally only run once a day. Also service is limited on weekends and evenings when school's not in session, and no buses run on Sunday. And certain routes, especially Red, are notoriously late.

Getting by without a car's doable, but you'll be limited to things in town. When I lived there I usually drove once or twice a week, but it was nice having the option. The times when I had to go out of town not having a car would've meant getting a hotel room. I'd recommend having a cheap beater with the bare minimum collision on it because you will eventually need a car, and it's definitely nowhere near as expensive as you think. Students can get by because most of what they need is right by campus, but the vast majority of them still bring cars after their first year.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Boone, NC
1,047 posts, read 1,967,227 times
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Quote:
I am wondering how many of the students stick around Boone, after they graduate.
Any jobs there? Good reasons to stay?
There's a lot of reasons to love Boone, but the job market isn't really one of them. I've known graduates to stay around the area, but not en-masse. You'll find a lot of them teaching at the local schools. People stay because they fall in love with living in the mountains, which is pretty easy to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Pederman View Post
The intercity buses generally only run once a day.
The buses make two trips a day (appalcart) and will take you to the closest Amtrak station and the two closest international airports.

Quote:
Also service is limited on weekends and evenings when school's not in session, and no buses run on Sunday.
State Farm, Gold, and Red run on Sunday, which is admittedly limiting. Hours are often cut when school isn't in session, but none of the most important routes stop and of course there's are a lot less riders.

Gold and Blue are campus shuttles, Express, Silver, and Pink are only to relieve overcrowding on other routes (Red, Pop 105, and Purple). All of these aren't unnecessary when the town is 17,000 people smaller.

Quote:
And certain routes, especially Red, are notoriously late.
Can't argue that, though I don't blame the drivers, there's a lot of traffic to get through. The Express Route, as I've mentioned, goes to a lot of the same destinations. There's also the extremely undervalued usage of two feet.

Quote:
but the vast majority of them still bring cars after their first year.
And it creates a lot of traffic and what essentially amounts to a parking racket. I'm probably going to continue using mine as little as possible. It might be nice to have a car as a "just in case" thing anywhere. If you keep it parked most of the time and don't have anything on your record that raises your insurance, you can easily do it for much less than $8,000 a year, but I'll submit that it's not very necessary to do so.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:55 AM
 
Location: NC High Country
3,857 posts, read 6,628,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
I am wondering how many of the students stick around Boone, after they graduate.
Any jobs there? Good reasons to stay?
I don't have stats, but a lot of ASU grads try to stay in the area. Besides the local school system (teaching jobs are always in high demand) and health care (to a smaller extent), jobs are mostly limited to retail, restaurants and the hospitality industry. A lot of people (grads and others) subsist on multiple full-time but seasonal jobs (e.g. ski industry in winter, golf course or other "summer" job in the summer) that offer little if any benefits. Reasons for staying? Quality of life. Love of the outdoors. Love of mountains, etc.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 868,887 times
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Thanks for that, JP.

Do you know any non-students who live carfree in Boone?
Do you think they are "bored and lonely"?
How viable is it to travel around mostly by bicycle, supplemented by buses?
Or have I got that backwards, would it be better to travel mostly by walking and buses,
supplemented by a bicycle?

Thanks for the constructive remarks.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 868,887 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadpony View Post
I don't have stats, but a lot of ASU grads try to stay in the area. Besides the local school system (teaching jobs are always in high demand) and health care (to a smaller extent), jobs are mostly limited to retail, restaurants and the hospitality industry. A lot of people (grads and others) subsist on multiple full-time but seasonal jobs (e.g. ski industry in winter, golf course or other "summer" job in the summer) that offer little if any benefits. Reasons for staying? Quality of life. Love of the outdoors. Love of mountains, etc.
Thanks, RP.
Are there any entrepreneurial, or internet type opportunities in Boone.
I have access to capital (not truly huge amounts, but useful amounts.)
Do you think I can make money by investing: property development, restaurants, start-ups...
That sort of thing?

Would I be welcome in that capacity?
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:11 PM
 
385 posts, read 937,643 times
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I've been to Boone a couple of times. I scouted it out when I was thinking of applying to graduate school there.

The university is pretty nice. It would help in the quality of life factor. Boone is a pretty small town (but not exactly tiny, either), but the downtown is pretty condensed, and easy to walk. There are nice restaurants there... a lot of hiking nearby, but that might require a car or at least a bike.

Boone has a relatively cold climate, being high in elevation. It is almost more comparable to areas a bit further north, like New York state. A lot of snow, if you like that it would be great.

I also suggested you look at Boone because you asked about the area around Western Carolina University. Boone is much more walkable than Sylva/Culhowee and is a bigger town.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:54 PM
 
385 posts, read 937,643 times
Reputation: 248
One thing to keep in mind is Boone's climate. It is the highest elevated city of its size along the east coast, being 3,333 feet above sea level. For this reason the climate can be very different than even Asheville's. It is relatively cold, almost like New England. The summers are mild and cool, but winters can be very snowy, which you may enjoy.

In terms of entrepreneurial prospects, I would think they'd be as good as anywhere. App state is a fairly large university, and that is going to create a bit of an economy, if not a slightly seasonal one. Also the area is becoming popular as a haven for retirees. Perhaps others can chime in that would know more about this than I do.

Of course there is always the possibility of working at the university in some capacity.
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