Local News

Commission wants feedback on making Raleigh more bike friendly

Posted February 7

— Members of Raleigh's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission are seeking the public's input on how to use a $1.1 million federal grant meant to help the city become more bike friendly. 

As Raleigh continues to grow and more businesses move downtown, walking and biking are becoming popular ways for Triangle residents to get to work.

The city has 24 miles of bike lanes and shared marking lanes already, and the grant, which was awarded by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, will allow crews to more than double that number by 2015, officials said. 

Jennifer Baldwin, the commission's coordinator, said the city has been working on a comprehensive bike plan for more than five years. 

"This project is going to have a great connectivity to our existing lanes to really start to create a network. Lots of people choose to bike, and a lot of people are forced to bike, so we need to make sure there are safe options," she said. 

One option the committee is considering is a road "diet" on part of Hillsborough Street between Morgan and Salisbury streets. Two traffic lanes would be converted to bike lanes and on-street parking, Baldwin said. A similar change was made on Hillsborough Street between Oberlin Road and Morgan. 

Another possibility is a bicycle track on Gorman Street between Western Boulevard and Hillsborough Street. Crews would create a two-way bike lane on the side of the road. In some cities, bicycle tracks are separated by barriers. 

"It's a two-way bike facility. It's still in the road, so it's not a greenway, but it's moving them to one side and there's some sort of protection," Baldwin said. 

There are 22 possible locations for improvements, but the committee is focusing on downtown and near the North Carolina State University campus. A full list of the possible locations is available online.

Baldwin said that's a result of the continued migration of people and businesses toward downtown. 

"As more companies are coming into downtown, like Red Hat and Citrix, they're bringing younger employees who want to live downtown and don't want to own a car," she said.

The committee, which was created to help Raleigh's City Council develop and prioritize streetscape projects in ways that best serve Raleigh's cyclists and pedestrians, will talk about its options during a meeting Friday afternoon. Committee members are accepting public comment until Feb. 14.

Another round of public hearings will take place in April, and construction could begin in the fall.

89 Comments

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  • Trekker Feb 7, 4:41 p.m.

    “Bicycles do not belong on any road where the speed limit is above 25.”

    WRONG! You might want to consult NC law.

    “These roads are designed for high speed traffic, which bicycles are not.”

    WRONG! These roads are primarily designed for the conveyance of “legal” modes of transportation, which bikes are.


    "Sad that more people didn't have parents as wise as mine."

    Considering your lack of prowess when it comes to traffic laws I'd have to say that's quite debatable.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 7, 4:35 p.m.

    @mynameismud, so you want to ticket any vehicle that impedes your flow?...including the examples that I provided: school buses, trash trucks, mail/UPS/FedEx vans, etc.?

    Are you really so averse to waiting for other people in any way, shape or form?

    Can you really not see that all of these things actually benefit you and your family?

    Or, are you just trolling and posting what you don't really believe? I mean, no one is THAT selfish, right?

  • Red Sox Nation Feb 7, 4:06 p.m.

    Lets take a look at how many bike vs car accidents there are, compared with car vs car accidents. Fairly evident that the problem is with the automobiles and not the cyclists. Just because you're to lazy to get exercise doesn't mean you should penalize the rest for being active.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Feb 7, 3:56 p.m.

    What if I told you that you could avoid gov't bureaucracy and pay less taxes*? Conservative dream, right? Why are conservatives (with a few exceptions) so against cycling? Is it because you don't want the air to be too clean? You don't want people to be too healthy? Don't want to make more efficient use of the roadways?

    How many minutes have you lost this week being stuck behind cyclists? For me that's 0. I spent about 2 minutes behind a moped. Even those on the big cycling routes where the packs are (I think they should break into smaller groups as well) are probably only losing 5 minutes a week if you're really objective about it. Realizing, even while behind them that you are still moving. My 2 minutes behind a moped probably only cost me a minute.

    *You'd have to sell your car to achieve the most savings, but you would still save on gas tax, although that would be off set some by the need for additional calories and resulting sales tax.

  • winemaker81 Feb 7, 3:51 p.m.

    Bicycles do not belong on any road where the speed limit is above 25. These roads are designed for high speed traffic, which bicycles are not.

    This is not "bike hating", this is rational logic. When an auto/bicycle accident occurs, no one wins, but the cyclist loses more. It does not matter whose fault the accident was, at least not to a maimed or dead cyclist. The laws of physics rule over the laws of NC.

    As a child I was taught to not play in traffic -- it is deadly dangerous. Sad that more people didn't have parents as wise as mine.

  • MyNameIsMud Feb 7, 3:51 p.m.

    Here's my feedback - keep bikes off the roads. Unless the riders can do the speed limit and... View More

    — Posted by BubbaDukeforPresident

    So, anyone not driving the speed limit should be banned? What about school buses, trash trucks,... View More

    — Posted by JustOneGodLessThanU

    Yes you can and should be ticketed for impeding traffic flow.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 7, 3:48 p.m.

    Bikes are entitled to the entire lane and don't have to move over?

    If you are peddling at 15 mph... View More

    — Posted by MyNameIsMud

    So, you were not aware that bikes are entitled to the full lane. Thank you for proving my point that people need to be educated about the laws they agree to follow when they get their license and every time they renew.

    Of course, feel free to ignore this law like you surely do with speed limits, turn signaling, tail gating...and loads of other dangerous and rude behaviors that everyone of us sees (or does) every day.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 7, 3:32 p.m.

    @MARMALADE77 said, “I agree that if cyclists would like to use the roadways that our tax money provides, they should be taxed in some way!”

    I ride bicycles on the public roads. I’ve commuted by bike for several years. I own multiple houses and multiple automobiles. Everyone that I ride recreationally with, and 99.9% of everyone who I’ve *ever* ridden with, owns at least one car. In fact, most of us are well-educated professionals (doctors, scientists, attorneys, etc.).

    So, what’s your point?

  • Trekker Feb 7, 3:16 p.m.

    “Where's your data to support that in the US bike lanes decrease pollution?”

    People commuting on bikes, less cars…. Less pollution. Simple.

    “I'm also curious where you get your data that what Raleigh is doing has a significant impact on obesity rates?”

    While I never claimed that “Raleigh” has done a study it would stand to reason that those burning calories on a bike might be prone to weight loss. I think there’s a warning label on bikes to that effect.

    “This ain't Europe”

    Reading some of these comments I would have to say you got that right.

  • westernwake1 Feb 7, 3:16 p.m.

    Worst.idea.ever.

    — Posted by Shadow666

    Hmmm… Let me see… property values go up, it encourages companies to locate to the area,... View More

    — Posted by Trekker

    Where's your data to support that in the US bike lanes decrease pollution? I'm also curious... View More

    — Posted by immaannoid

    I wish it was Europe. When I worked in Europe I was able to bicycle the 8 miles to work in Stuttgart on bike trails without ever having to interact with automobiles. About a 1/3 of the work force came to work on bicycles on days when the weather was moderate.

    Maybe the RTP area should look into a similar transportation infrastructure utilizing the bike trails that many European cities have.

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