All posts by Kristy Dactyl

Raleigh Makes Progress with New Bike Facilities

Around Thanksgiving of 2015, it seemed as if a tiny miracle had happened overnight.  To those that weren’t in the know, a series of bicycle lanes and green paint magically appeared in different areas and key corridors across Raleigh.  Of course it wasn’t magic and it wasn’t a miracle, as city staff and consultants had been working for months on using up some federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds that would expire and had chosen bicycle marking projects as their way of spending those funds.  Oaks and Spokes would like to thank the City and especially the directive of key staff for choosing to take on a daunting task with a tight timeline and heavy learning curve.  As for the green paint and buffered bike lanes, it wasn’t something residents would immediately be used to seeing.  That makes sense.  But for many of us who choose bicycling as a primary or close to primary mode of transportation, these projects were a demonstration of progress and commitment to bicycling as a legitimate mode of transportation.  THANK YOU.

We’d like to say a few things about the projects.  Some things we absolutely love and then give constructive feedback on areas where there could be improvement.  I think it’s important for everyone who has “feelings” about the facilities to let things simmer for a bit, try them out, and get used to the new paint.  Oaks and Spokes members and affiliates have had the opportunity to get comfortable with some of the new markings from the bicyclist perspective and pedal around a bit.  We’d also love to hear your comments so please submit them below!

Road Diet Projects, WIN!

Tarboro Road was converted from 4 lanes to 3 lanes with a center turn lane and bicycle lanes on both sides.  This is a really typical safety improvement.  North Carolinian’s (including Oaks and Spokes!) recently prevailed over the NC Legislature that tried to restrict this type of improvement in certain circumstances.  I personally ride this facility every single day and the difference between taking the full lane and having anxiety being in traffic and having my own space is striking – I’m much more at ease. The worst part of my commute to work has changed dramatically.  The walking environment on Tarboro Road to the DMV or to pick up some calories at the Cook Out is much improved, as well – with the added buffer and reduced speed.

Green Paint, WIN!

Salisbury Street, Wilmington Street, and Hillsborough Street now have green paint at intersections to increase visibility and indicate potential conflict areas between bicyclists and motor vehicles in areas where collisions would be most likely to occur between bicycle lane transitions.  We’d like to see the green paint applications move out of the Pilot Phase and see wider applications of this safety improvement throughout the city.  This also has us wondering, when will we see our first bicycle box?  And when will the  bicycle symbol get a pony tail?

The green paint is great! But so are ponytails on the bicycle symbol. (Photo Credit to Charlotte, NC - way to go!)
The green paint at key conflict points is great! So are ponytails on the bicycle symbol! We hope Raleigh gets to have both someday. (Photo Credit to Charlotte, NC – way to go!)

Downtown Connections, WIN!

We are really pumped about the new bicycle lanes on Salisbury Street and Wilmington Street that link Downtown Raleigh to points south and destinations to the north.  There has been a lot of positive feedback regarding these connections and are excited to finally have connections through downtown that have allowed bicyclists to ride to their workplaces “without feeling brazen or confrontational” with vehicles.

Buffered Bike Lanes, WIN!

It’s so great to see buffered bike lane applications on Hillsborough Street and Gorman Street in Raleigh!  In some ways, I feel like we really launched into a higher echelon of providing facilities for all types of riders and the buffered lanes demonstrate this as they are more comfortable to riders of differing ages and abilities.  Could we see designs for some much awaited protected bike lanes in Raleigh in the near future!

Pedestrian Improvements, a surprising outcome, WIN!

I already mentioned how the road diet on Tarboro Rd improved the conditions for pedestrians but there are other areas feeling the ease as well.  The new lanes provide an additional buffer between the sidewalk and the travel lane, creating an even more inviting pedestrian environment in downtown Raleigh.  Pictured below is a delivery driver who is comfortable enough to use the bike lane pushing a dolly filled with goods to make a local delivery.

Wilmington Street Bike Lanes Pedestrians Raleigh BikeRaleigh
Bike Lanes decrease speeds and increase the level of comfort for pedestrians on Wilmington Street

Sharrows, Lots of lots of Sharrows, HM.

With an awareness of how much effort goes into the design and application of bicycle markings, we are hesitant to boast about sharrows as paint applications considering what amounts to a limited benefit.  While there has been some research indicating positive impacts, there are other studies that show mixed results. We feel their usage should be limited to wayfinding applications with a preference for marked lanes and buffered lanes wherever possible.  When share the road applications are desired, Bicycles May Use Full Lane signage should be considered.  Bicycles May Use Full Lane signage delivers the desired message the most consistently to both bicyclists and motorists.  That message being that bicyclists are permitted in the travel lane and need not move over to allow motorists to pass them within the lane.  Sharrows are not a facility type.  They are included in the signage and marking category of the NC Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure Network.

Oaks & Spokes Presents Raleigh’s 2nd Annual Cranksgiving : A Food Drive Bike Ride to Benefit the Raleigh Rescue Mission

Oaks & Spokes presents the second annual mobile food dive, Cranksgiving Raleigh 2015. This event is a Food Drive Bike Ride to collect food donations to support the Raleigh Rescue Mission.  Registration begins at 1 pm at Crank Arm Brewing Company on Sunday November 22nd. Riders will set out on this self guided grocery ride will start at 1:30 pm and can participate as an individual or a team.

Cranksgiving Raleigh
At Cranksgiving Raleigh, there’s a lot to be thankful for.

Registration is free for this ride, but be sure to bring a small amount of money ($15-$20 suggested) to purchase food donations.  Bicyclists are encouraged to bring a a bag , panniers, or cargo trailer to carry goods in addition to a bike lock.  After shopping, partncipatns will return to Crank Arm Brewing Company for the “weigh-in” of their collected items and enjoy an after party with a raffle drawing for prizes.

Cranksgiving Raleigh 2014
At the 2014 Cranksgiving Raleigh, bicyclists collected 620 pounds of food including a dozen frozen turkeys and hams!

“It’s a unique opportunity to combine holiday giving with getting a little exercise. It’s not a race. Families come out and friends work in teams to carry the items they will donate. They have a good time and get to experience shopping by bicycle in the city.  Oaks & Spokes hopes that by participating in Cranksgiving people will be encouraged to take more short trips by bicycle in Raleigh” said Oaks & Spokes member Kristy Jackson.  Julia Garland added, “Cranksgving is a great way for new riders to get to know Raleigh because you can go at your own pace. When you map out the different places you need to go, chances are you’ll end up discovering routes you have never taken and parts of the city you’ve never seen.”

Cranksgiving Raleigh
Ride your bikes to grocery stores and the farmers market with friends and give back to the community. Oaks & Spokes hopes events like Cranksgiving will encourage people to utilize sustainable forms of transportation, like bicycling and walking around our city.

“Last year we road our bikes  around Raleigh, from the farmers markets to the grocery stores, and collected food. It was so rewarding to give back to the community while having fun,” extended Oaks & Spokes member Evan Brigham.  So come out this Thanksgiving season and have a little fun while supporting your local community!

The first Cranksgiving occurred in New York City in 1999 and now is a national bike event throughout the United States. In 2014, Oaks & Spokes hosted Raleigh’s first Cranksgiving where participants collected 620 pounds of food, including a dozen frozen turkeys and hams for the Raleigh Rescue Mission.

If you go:

  • Oaks and Spokes Cranksgiving: A Food Drive Bike Ride
  • Sunday November 22nd
  • Registration @ 1PM, Ride at 1:30PM
  • Crank Arm Brewery, 319 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • Bring:  A bicycle, lock and means to transport groceries (bag, panniers, cargo trailer)

Cranksgiving Raleigh 2015 Poster

Bicycle Repair Stations are Here!

We are excited to announce the Bike Repair Stations in Raleigh have been installed! This Dero Repair Stand, located off 201 East Hargett Street, is fully equipped with every tool you need for easy tune ups and quick repairs. A HUGE shout out goes to #BikeRaleigh and Marbles Kids Museum for helping complete the installation and to every single person who contributed to the campaign!!!! Now get out there and RIDE!  Find out more about the history behind this project and individuals who supported this effort on our PROJECTS page.

Map with Locations of Raleigh’s Bicycle Repair Stations:

Bicycle Repair Station Installed June 2015 in Partnership with Marbles Museum, Oaks and Spokes, City of Raleigh and Community Sponsors!  Each station contains a pump and tools and is available for use at all hours of the day.
Bicycle Repair Station Installed June 2015 in Partnership with Marbles Museum, Oaks and Spokes, City of Raleigh and Community Sponsors! Each station contains a pump and tools and is available for use at all hours of the day.
The Bicycle Repair Station at Anderson Point Park is located near the restrooms and large shelter.  Look for it!
The Bicycle Repair Station at Anderson Point Park is located near the restrooms and large shelter. Look for it!

Raleigh’s 3rd Annual Bicycling Festival



Oaks and Spokes 2015 Festival Poster (11×17 | PDF)

Handbills – 4 per Sheet (8.5×11 | PDF)

Oaks and Spokes Festival PSA (Audio | MP3)

Join us for 10 packed days of bicycle events and culture!  We have a little something for just about everyone.  Click on the poster for a link to the most up to date information or see below for a brief description of each event:


Capital City Ride | FRIDAY MAY 1 | IF ADVOCATING IS THE NAME OF YOUR GAME…support cycling in the Triangle! Ride and brush elbows with elected officials, City employees and fellow bicycle advocates.  Of course you have to wake up early to affect real change.  It’s not supposed to be easy.

Raleigh Bikes Art Show | FRIDAY MAY 1 | IF YOU REVEL IN THE ARTS…mingle and mix among custom hand-made bicycle frames, bike related paintings, photos, sculpture, sketches, prints, crafts and more.  Featuring work from local artists!

Raleigh Cat | SATURDAY MAY 2 | IF YOU LIKE MYSTERY AND ENJOY THE HUNT…get your fix on in a bicycle-powered scavenger hunt engaging you, your friends and your community.  Get rolling and get prizes.

Crit de Mayo | SUNDAY MAY 3 | IF YOU HAVE THE NEED FOR SPEED…join or spectate as the fittest of the fit go head to head and go whizzing by in our very own Raleigh criterium race.

Triangle Tweed Ride | SUNDAY MAY 3 | IF YOU’D RATHER BE STOKING YOUR PIPE…lolly on down in your vintage duds and pack a picnic for two.  This social mingle with a ride through Raleigh neighborhoods brings out the best in cycling style.

Bike-In Movie | MONDAY MAY 4 | IF YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE A NEW ‘TAKE’ ON A ‘MOTION PICTURE’…ride on in and catch a flick on the big screen.  Sorry about the puns folks.  I just can’t help myself here.

Bike Workshop | TUESDAY MAY 5 | IF YOU NEED A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS…we’ll be wrenching it!  Volunteers will be ready to assist and give simple instruction on small bicycle repairs and tune-ups.

Raleigh Roots Ride | WEDNESDAY MAY 6 | IF YOU LIKE IT A LITTLE WEIRD…join us as we explore downtown Raleigh’s most intriguing sites by bike. Find out just how much you really know about Raleigh’s unique history.

OCCP Cruiser Ride and New-B-Q | THURSDAY MAY 7 | IF YOU’RE JUST A NEWB…it’s cool.  Come out to find new friends, cruise leisurely, and learn some skills at bicycle polo!  And don’t forget the barbecue!

LBG Presents: Bike Prom | FRIDAY MAY 8 | IF YOU WANT TO DANCE, DANCE, DANCE…throw on your party dress!  Heels?  No problem!  We encourage ladies to ask the guys, Sadie Hawkins style.  Curl it up and DIY with a variety of pre-prom activities.

Marbles Bike Rodeo | SATURDAY MAY 9 | IF YOUR TYKE HAS A TRIKE…or a bike! bring them to this event where kids will learn a slew of bike safety smarts.  Gotta have something for the little’ns.

Crank for a Cause | SATURDAY MAY 9 | IF YOU LIKE TO SPIN IT RIGHT ROUND BABY…get a team together and put your pedal down in this stationary cycling challenge in Raleigh’s warehouse district.  Live music and craft beer round out the party like atmosphere.

Frankenbike Block Party | SUNDAY MAY 10 | IF YOU’RE NOT AFRAID OF MONSTERS…you’ll want to come out to the finale of Oaks and Spokes Festival.  Seriously, who could be afraid of a block party?  Buy, sell, and swap bike parts.  Eat food.  Revel in the glory of the last day of this madness.

Oaks and Spokes Bicycle Festival is May 1 – 10, 2015!

Save the date and Ride on Raleigh!   May 1 – 10, 2015!

Save the date and Ride on Raleigh!
Oaks and Spokes 2015 Festival Logo Design Winner:  Brian Cox of Raleigh Brands