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Cyclists want lane in Hillsborough Street project

Posted November 3, 2009

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— A group of bicyclists pedaled to City Hall on Tuesday to complain to Raleigh officials about the lack of bike lanes in the $9 million makeover of Hillsborough Street.

Cyclists want Hillsborough Street bike lane Cyclists want Hillsborough Street bike lane

The city broke ground in June on a project that will install roundabouts on Hillsborough Street between Oberlin Road and Gardner Street.

Voters approved the roundabouts four years ago as part of a $60 million bond referendum for road improvements. The City Council has debated the details of the project ever since.

The cyclists said one detail is still missing: a designated bike lane. The group said a simple painted line on the pavement could work, but critics of the plan said any changes to the design of the street could be costly since construction has already started.

"If people are going to be biking more and we want a more densely populated city, less emissions, less cars on the road and for traffic to slow down on Hillsborough Street, then bikes seem like an easy way to do that," Victor Lytvinenko said.

The traffic circles are seen as a way to make Hillsborough Street more pedestrian-friendly and to revitalize the area for businesses. The project will also include planting trees to create a canopy along the street.

The City Council plans to study the request.

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  • k9s Nov 5, 2009

    I would like to see a go kart lane.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Nov 4, 2009

    dcatz, how much time do you have to spend looking for a parking place downtown? Now imagine if more people got off their bikes and back into cars. Chill out about the few extra seconds.

    And more cycling lowers demand and therefore the price of gas. You can see the negative in everything if you want to, though.

  • dcatz Nov 4, 2009

    You're right, I don't like slowing down. Because time is money. Every minute my engine is running outside of its power band is additional wasted fuel which costs me money. Going slow is just as bad for fuel economy as going too fast. In addition, as a contractor, every minute spent not at a client's site is money not earned.

    To the person who said that the cyclists will want on I440 next, I say let them. After enough of them become hood ornaments, they'll get the message that bicycles have no business on an interstate.

  • sggoodri Nov 4, 2009

    "this project was in the planning stages for many months, if not years. There was ample opportunity for public comment. Why are the cyclists just now commenting."

    I see this sort of late commentary all the time on engineering projects, where some members of the public don't know the plan until it appears on the ground.

    The last set of plans I saw showed a marginally wide lane that would allow cars to pass cyclists staying out of the door zone, but not enough room for buses to pass cyclists. Assuming that's still the plan, the best solution would be to educate bus drivers to not attempt to pass cyclists on the two-lane section along the NCSU property. Shared lane markings, aka "sharrows" might be a good addition if placed outside the door zone. But given the amount of space, there is no room to install a bike lane outside the door zone, and placing one inside the door zone would be professional negligence.

  • patsfan0104 Nov 4, 2009

    I hope they repave the rest of hillsborough st. The pot holes are not safe because people love to swerve in and out of lanes to avoid them.

  • sggoodri Nov 4, 2009

    I've done everything the law requires of me to ride my biked on roadways, and then some. Besides outfitting my bikes with good front and rear lights and riding lawfully, I've taken bicycle driving courses (and even got certified to teach them), registered all five of my bikes with local law enforcement, and purchased a Share the Road plate with its extra annual fee. I get my bikes inspected annually by mechanics, and inspect them myself before every ride. I pay hefty meals and sales taxes on the calories I burn for fuel, similar what I pay in taxes per mile of motoring. I also pay hefty property taxes that fund local streets.

    The demands to increase regulatory burdens on cyclists are just an fruitless attempt to discourage cycling from a few motorists who don't like slowing down now and then. Cyclists aren't going away; cycling is actually increasing. If motorists want increased convenience, they should ask for better roads with better facilities for passing.

  • raleighwakenative Nov 4, 2009

    this project was in the planning stages for many months, if not years. There was ample opportunity for public comment. Why are the cyclists just now commenting. This is not a yea or nay to bike lane, just raising the question.

  • sggoodri Nov 4, 2009

    As a bike commuter I disagree with adding bike lanes to downtown streets. Given the nature of the traffic (slow, with lots of intersection movements) and proximity to opening doors of parked cars it's usually safer to just ride in the middle of the right hand lane.

    When I ride on Hillsborough Street I really don't inconvenience anyone because I travel close to the speed of other traffic and elsewhere drivers just change lanes to pass. With the reduction to two lanes the speed differential will be low, and it will be quite safe to claim the lane. Away from on-street parking or intersections there should be enough room to move right to help drivers pass when passing would be safe.

    When I attended State, I biked everywhere because parking was scarce or expensive and I ultimately had to give up my car in order to afford tuition, books, etc. Lots of students bike because it is a practical match for their trip distances and economics. It's also very safe.

  • LocalYokel Nov 4, 2009

    finish the road and just ban cars from using it - bikes only.

  • LocalYokel Nov 4, 2009

    its a major oversight by the city to not include a designated bike lane on this road. Cyclists need a bike lane. I am unhappy with the original planning attempt but glad that they can fix this before its done.

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