Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning Updates in the Isothermal Region

Currently, Isothermal RPO is participating in several bicycle and/or pedestrian planning efforts in McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford Counties!

Isothermal Bike Steering Committee meeting

Isothermal Bicycle Plan had a steering committee meeting in October and currently, the Steering Committee is reviewing a draft of the Plan! In the New Year, there will be public involvement events in each of the four counties involved in this effort: Cleveland, McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford. Be on the look-out for those flyers soon!

Spindale Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan had a steering committee meeting in October as well. On November 18th, there was a Community Walkabout and Bike Ride. Finally, on November 28th, there was a Community Workshop with ROC at Barley’s. Next, the consultant will be drafting the Plan!

Be on the look-out for updates on these efforts and a few more coming in the New Year, such as:

  • Columbus-Tryon Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan (Polk)
  • Thermal Belt Rail Trail update (Rutherford)
  • Charlotte Road/Main Street Charrette (Rutherford)


Shared by IRPO–New Drone Laws Take Effect Dec. 1

RALEIGH – As drones, also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), become more common, North Carolina’s laws are changing to stay up-to-date with this fast-growing industry.  Two laws that were passed in July will take effect on Friday, Dec. 1.

House Bill 128 prohibits drone use near prisons, jails and any other correction or containment facility. Near is defined as a horizontal distance of 500 feet or a vertical distance of 250 feet. Signs will be placed around facilities to remind drone users of the boundaries.

House Bill 337 revises existing state drone laws. The language of the law has been changed to clarify that UAS laws will now apply to model aircraft as well. Model aircraft users are still exempt from the state’s permitting requirements.

The revisions also loosen restrictions on the use of UAS in emergency management. The law permits emergency management agencies to use drones for all activities related to emergency management and removes the restriction on the use of special imaging technology. The use of technologies such as thermal and infrared was previously only permitted for scientific purposes. The removal of the restriction allows private and commercial operators to assist law enforcement with emergency management efforts such as search and rescue operations.

The UAS Knowledge Test Study Guide has been updated to reflect these changes and is available on the N.C. Division of Aviation website, along with information on how to ensure you are compliant with current regulations.