Local News

Raleigh on its way to being 'bike friendly'

Posted June 14, 2012
Updated June 15, 2012

More and more people in Raleigh are giving up their cars, at least a few days a week, to ride bikes to work, and the city has taken notice.

Raleigh leaders adopted a plan in 2009 to integrate bicycles into the city's transportation system, says Alan Wiggs, chairman of the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.

He says Raleigh is only a few years away from being "totally bike friendly."

Most recently, workers have installed new bike lanes on Hillsborough Street, east of Oberlin Road, and on Lassiter Mill Road.

Raleigh police are also getting trained on bicyclists' rights and traffic laws relating to them. Wake County physical education teachers will also teach children bike safety in schools.

Wiggs says that having more cyclists on the road will be good for safety.

"The more cyclists that are out there, the more people can be used to them," he said. "People will learn that they are a vehicle, not just somebody out lollygagging."

Wiggs says it is important for drivers and cyclists to remember that bikers are entitled to use the entire lane of a road when it's the safest choice. Another safe habit for drivers to pick up, he says, is looking over their shoulders when opening a car door to avoid clothes-lining an oncoming biker. Raleigh on its way to being 'bike friendly' Raleigh on its way to being 'bike friendly'

Cyclists, like David Zell, say they appreciate the city's efforts.

Zell is a co-founder of Oak City Cycling Project, a downtown shop specializing in fixing and selling used bikes.

"Everybody deserves to be able to afford a bike and ride one safely in downtown," he said.

He says the city is doing a lot to make safer rides a reality.

"The cycling community is definitely growing," he said. "It's really an exciting time to be a cyclist living and riding in downtown."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • bill0 Jun 15, 4:11 p.m.

    "I think the point is that as the driver of the car winemaker81 is more likely to need only a lawyer, whereas the bike rider is more likely to need a doctor, or undertaker"

    Yeah, and the same line of reasoning goes for people who are murdered, shot, stabbed or whatever. Nobody should be blaming the victim for the perpetrators illegal actions.

  • fishon Jun 15, 4:05 p.m.

    -Doesn't matter how good the lawyer is, the laws of physics have no loopholes to exploit.

    You are going to need a good lawyer if you cause an accident because you did not yield to the ‘right of way.’

    I think the point is that as the driver of the car winemaker81 is more likely to need only a lawyer, whereas the bike rider is more likely to need a doctor, or undertaker...

  • bouncingsoul242 Jun 15, 2:07 p.m.

    It's a start, city of Raleigh....but installing bike lanes on three streets out of thousands does not make you 'bike friendly.' What about those of us that do NOT live downtown? When are the bike lanes being installed on say... Strickland Road? If you want to become bicycle-friendly, study Portland, OR ... or if you are REALLY serious about being a bike-friendly U.S. city... better yet, study Amsterdam.

  • bill0 Jun 15, 1:18 p.m.

    "I try and give you all the room you need, but if Im behind you and youre riding two abreast one of you needs drop back and go single file until I can pass you safely. Appreciate it."

    Not to singly you out, but lots of these comments like this seem to be coming from people who are 100% ignorant of the law. Bicycles are entitled to the ENTIRE LANE by NC law. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to slow down and wait for a safe time to pass.

    Maybe we just need to add some of these questions to the DMV test. If you don't know what you should do when you encounter a bike, school bus, construction zone etc , then you shouldn't be driving a car.

  • ItsYourCountryFolks Jun 15, 11:48 a.m.

    As a father of (3), a widower and someone who cycles, it concerns me that some find humor in the deaths occurring. Bicycles (and other cars) are not obstacles. They are folks going in the same direction. Please, let's all show courtesy.

  • Desiderata Jun 15, 10:55 a.m.

    Just because the lawmakers think it is a good idea to make it a law that bikes and cars should "share the road" does NOT mean it IS a good idea. If you value your life , you will find a safe place to ride AWAY FROM MOTORVEHICLES! Otherwise you are to be considered potential organ donors, and we need more of them,.so have at it! Dealing with the PACKS OF bike riders who take up an entire lane ( sometimes both lanes to keep people from getting around them) has turned me against ALL bike riders. I do not wish harm to you , but if it is between you and bambi getting hit, or my welfare...you are history!

  • Steve Mchugelarge Jun 15, 10:05 a.m.

    Check out FARK.com when they have a cyclist thread. You folks are not well liked at all by lots and lots of people. You're right up there with Prius owners.
    I try and give you all the room you need, but if Im behind you and youre riding two abreast one of you needs drop back and go single file until I can pass you safely. Appreciate it.

  • shortcake53 Jun 15, 9:56 a.m.

    A lot of our city streets are too narrow to begin with, we sure dont need bikes on the sides of the lanes making them even narrower. Wake Forest Rd. lanes are awful, you can barely drive along side another vehicle without losing a side mirror.

  • scguy1010 Jun 15, 9:44 a.m.

    We all have the right to ride bicycles on the road and to take up the whole lane, but like everything everything else, there is a time and place.

    Even though is it completely legal I don't ride on main roads because we all know badly people drive, how some dont pay attention, and how some people just dont care about the law.

    Knowing all this and the fact that I have a responsibility to my Wife and Kids to get home safely would make the decision to ride just down right reckless.

  • geoherb1 Jun 15, 9:41 a.m.

    I bike to work one or two times a week. I get frustrated at my fellow cyclists who ignore the traffic laws--but I also get frustrated at automobile drivers who do the same things. Many of them seem to think that a stop sign is just a suggestion. Most don't come to a full stop and they don't always yield to me on my bike. I've also seen cars turn left on red. It may be legal in some states, but it's not legal here.

    This morning I walked to work instead of biking. A car stopped for me at the pedestrian crossing light but then blew through the red light after I had crossed. He couldn't wait 10 seconds for the light to turn green. Apparently if you don't get caught it's OK.