Local News

Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way to biker friendly roads

Posted April 13, 2008
Updated April 30, 2008

— With gas prices inching higher and higher, more Raleigh cyclists are hitting the pavement. The city's roads, however, are not that cyclist friendly.

“It's my transportation way of life,” cyclist Daniel Osborne said. “I ride three or four times a day. I'll ride downtown to catch the bus to go to Wake Tech to go to school."

Osborne is among cyclists WRAL spoke with Sunday about Raleigh's outdated bike plan.

“They definitely need a bike plan. I don't really know if they had one before,” Osborne said.

Raleigh's bike plan was established in 1991.

“Since that time, the city has grown quite significantly,” said Eric Lamb, with Raleigh's Public Works Department.

City officials have partnered with the state Department of Transportation to study biking. Their goal is to come up with a newer plan for cycling on city streets.

There are only two roads in Raleigh with bike lanes, officials said.

“Most cyclists want to ride more than 10 miles, and two roads, that's not gonna be enough,” cyclist Daniel Page said.

“People have to change their attitudes towards bikes too,” Osborne added.

“I think we can figure out how to all be on the road together if there's more education (for) drivers that don't cycle,” cyclist Erin Drake said.

“Our goal is to figure out how to make it less scary,” Lamb said.

The bicycle study is costing the DOT and Raleigh about $180,000. A public workshop on the bike plan was held recently, and more are planned for the summer.

Officials said they hope to have the study complete and suggestions in place by next year.


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  • Rolling Along Apr 14, 2008

    nofear...remember that sentiment when gas hits $5 or more. At least some of use are doing something about it...by not using it.

    vbuchanan1969...filtering isn't illegal in all places, and I am not sure if it is even covered in the NC laws. If you have a dedicated bike lane you will be rolling past the stopped traffic.

  • vbuchanan1969 Apr 14, 2008

    Wow... Some of the opinions aired on here today by my fellow cyclists have made me ashamed to ride my bike... Filterring through traffic is acceptable to avoid breathing exhaust fumes??? Why not just stay far enough back that you don't breathe the fumes? Filterring is never acceptable! If you are in that big of a hurry, you should have driven a car! I think maybe the police should start paying a little closer attention to some of the cyclists out there. Afterall, if you are entitled to use the roads, you are obligated to follow the rules as would any other vehicle!!!

  • nofear Apr 14, 2008

    bikes should not be able to be on the roads unless they can keep up with traffic. Bikes serve there purpose at parks, schools campus, and maybe downtown areas. Get off the road bikes, you slow cars down.

  • Johnny Da Lounge Apr 14, 2008

    If there are going to be bikes on the roads, and have follow road rules, they should have to be equipped with lights, horns, and all safety requirements of any road vehicle.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Apr 14, 2008

    Just so others know, bikes filtering forward leads to huge debates among cyclists as well. I've never done it, but that's not to say I would never come across a situation I felt it make sense. (1/4" of snow turned to ice with gridlock all over comes to mind) :) If cars are gaining on me pulling up to a red light, I like to let a couple pass me while we are both going slow, then I can draft them accelerating and move right when they begin pulling away.

  • paradox2920 Apr 14, 2008

    And ps, I don't have a real problem with cyclists in general. If our state government could make the roads more bicycle friendly I'm all for it, don't even mind paying the taxes. That is of course, if they hire someone that will pave the rest of the roads at the same time and not have them crack in under 2 years. Ha. I do, however have a problem with some bikers saying they don't get respected by drivers when they don't follow traffic rules. Of course you're going to get less consideration...you're a smaller target, just like I get less on my motorcycle. Heck I get less consideration in my coupe than most..especially the super friendly suburbans doing 90 to get around me at the durham freeway/i40 merge coming home from the beltline.

  • paradox2920 Apr 14, 2008

    Norsk no..I don't..too much broken glass and car bits in those shoulders. I just wait until the people in front go, then I turn. Although I can't say I run into this much..most places I turn have dedicated lanes or not enough room on the shoulder to even attempt.

  • norskagent Apr 14, 2008

    There is no need to cycle on many busy urban roads such as Wade Ave. - alternate routes are easily available (Grant Ave. / art museum greenway). The problem roads are the ones that have no easy alternates, like atlantic ave.

  • paradox2920 Apr 14, 2008

    Actually Tech, feel free to use your entire lane I actually have no problem whatsoever with that. My anger is that now 20 cars have to slow, dodge or maneuver around a cyclist instead of only 5 that he should legally be ahead of. And while I wouldn't actually open my passenger door, I'm pretty sure in North Carolina unless you could prove I did it intentionally that you would win nothing. Ups and downs of a being 100% negligence state. Since you would be in the wrong for passing, you'd get a nice lawyer bill but probably not much else.

  • john60 Apr 14, 2008

    A lot of the roads in Raleigh that have been widened recently have 14' outside lanes for dual vehicle/bicycle use. Not many dedicated bike lanes in Raleigh though. On already narrow roads such as Wake Forest Rd and Six Forks, there's nothing that can be done without a LOT of work to add bike lanes or wider outside lanes. The minimum dedicated bike lane width is 4', btw, not 3', so you can see how hard it would be to provide them on a road like Wake Forest or Wade Avenue.

    Bikes on sidewalks? Bad idea; cyclists on a sidewalk are to pedestrians what cars are to cyclists on the road.