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DOT Committed to Making Bike Lanes A Reality in RTP

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CARY — Biking to work may sound like a good idea for some people, but how many of us would really do it? TheNorth Carolina Department of Transportationis betting that more of us would if there were safe bike lanes to travel along.

One ambitious bicyclist does it every day -- bikes to work rain or shine -- with a child in tow.

Laura McMillan and her two-year-old daughter Genevieve leave their Cary home at 6:20 each morning to get to Research Triangle Park.

The first leg of the trip is a bike ride, then they board a bus.

"It just makes sense to me to avoid automobile travel when possible," says McMillan.

After getting off the bus in RTP, they are off again by bicycle, headed for day care. Two hours after their journey begins, McMillan reaches her office.

"It's a no-brainer," she says of her daily 12-mile round trip commute. "You get more fitness. You don't get stuck in traffic. It costs less. You're not contributing to environmental problems. The list goes on and on. It's an easy decision for people who like to bicycle."

Currently, there are no bike lanes on major roads in RTP, but the DOT is making plans to change that. The addition of bike lanes would make it safer, and may mean more people would bike to work.

The DOT has committed to making bike lanes a reality in RTP.

Nine citizens groups are working with the DOT and the town of Cary to create a nine-mile bike lane on Davis Drive within the next year. Bike lanes are also planned for Alexander and Cornwallis Roads.

"If it was a possibility and you could say I can get my exercise and get to work in the same amount of time that it takes me in an automobile sitting in traffic, a lot of people would definitely consider it, and a lot more people would actually do it," says Sig Hutchinson of the Triangle Greenways Council.

Bicyclists say the lanes will make all the difference. McMillan would bet her wheels on it.