Take Action on Raleigh’s Bike Lane Projects

Raleigh bike pavement marking

There are some big things on the horizon for bicycling in Raleigh that require your action.  The city of Raleigh has an ambitious list of pavement marking projects set for 2014. Pavement marking projects mean striped bike lanes or “sharrows” otherwise known as shared lane markings. The list includes 22 projects near downtown, NSCU campus, and North Raleigh spanning over 27 miles. Oaks and Spokes has been looking over the city’s list of project information sheets and conducted a discussion forum with our advocacy committee and members of the bicycling community to get some initial feedback on the proposals for these 22 projects.

There are some crucial projects in this list: roads that are well used by cyclists and roads that many riders wish were safer. Oaks and Spokes is requesting bicycle riders in Raleigh to give the city your support for these projects. To empower the the decision makers and make these happen, the city needs written feedback from the public.

There are a few ways to do this. There are four public comment meetings happening next week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, AND Thursday. The information for these meetings is listed below. Attending in person and providing written comments at the meeting is a great way to learn about these projects and talk directly with city staff.  The second option for those who can’t attend is to send an email to bikeraleigh@raleighnc.gov and indicate your support.

Not sure what to say? We’ve studied the list and made some suggestions after getting an initial round of input from the community. We urge you to send a message by February 14, 2014:

Dear City of Raleigh,

As a Raleigh resident, I am writing to show my support for the Bicycle Pavement Marking Projects. I feel that these projects will improve the quality of life in the city by making streets safer for bicyclists of all types. I believe that well-designed bicycle lanes and shared lane markings in appropriate applications will go a long way toward making Raleigh a well-rounded city and provide much needed transportation options for its citizens.

Reviewing the list of projects, I have the following comments as a bicycle rider and as someone who aspires to use a bike for transportation and recreation more often:

  • Ashe Avenue (Project #1): Climbing lanes are preferred on the uphill section for cyclists instead of sharrows on both uphill/downhill lanes
  • Athens Avenue (Project #2): Bike lanes are preferred
  • Dixie Trl/Lake Boone Trl (Project #3): Bi-directional bike lanes are preferred, climbing lanes if possible
  • Gorman St. (Projects 10,11,12,13): Bike lanes needed due to high traffic volumes and speed on this roadway. In addition, this would be a good application for a bike box at the intersection of Gorman, Hillsborough, and Faircloth due to frequent left-turns from Gorman onto the bike path on Meredith College.
  • Fairview Rd (Project #5): This is not a high value project so it would be desired to use markings elsewhere.  This project is not a desired route for cyclists because it connects to a Capital Blvd off-ramp on one side and a in one-way on the other.
  • Hillsborough St (Projects 14,15): Bike lanes are preferred from Morgan roundabout to Glenwood Ave. at a minimum. Shared lanes could extend through the rest of the corridor from Glenwood to the state capitol.  
  • Garner Rd (Project #7): Bike lanes are highly preferred. Garner Rd is a major route out of downtown and is one of the mostly heavily bicycled roads. High volumes and speeds make this an undesirable project for shared lane markings.
  • Martin St (Project #16): This is not a high value project so it would be desired to use the markings elsewhere.  This project is not a desired route because it is parallel to Hargett St which is the preferred bike route and has higher connectivity through Raleigh’s downtown.
  • Wilmington St (Projects 18,19): Bike lanes are preferred.  In addition, the intersection with Morgan St would be a good application for a bike box for cyclists turning left onto Morgan St from Salisbury and those coming inbound to downtown from Hillsborough (Project 14/15).  This would be placed in the left-most right turn lane. 
  • Salisbury St (Project #19): Bike lanes are preferred.
  • Tarboro St (Projects 22,23,24): Bike lanes are preferred from Jones Street to the south.  North of Jones sharrows are desired due to high parking turnover.  It should be noted that parking turnover, road users and street design on Tarboro between Oakwood and Lane still make this is a challenging place for bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • Carbarrus St (Projects 25,28): This is not a high value project because it does not add connectivity to the bicycling network.  It would be desired to mark bicycle lanes along South Street. 
  • Glen Eden Dr (Project #9): Bike lanes are preferred
  • Forest Pines Dr (Project #6): Bike lanes are preferred.
  • Durant Rd (Project #27):  Protected bike lanes are preferred due to traffic volumes and high speed. Bike lanes at a minimum.
  • Strickland Rd (Project #21): Protected bike lanes are preferred due to traffic volumes and high speed. Bike lanes at a minimum.
  • Wakefield Plantation Dr (Project #26): Bike lanes are preferred

Thank you for taking the time to consider my comments on the proposed bicycle facility marking projects.

Best regards,

your name, your address

Of course, you should edit or add to this as you see fit. Where do you ride? Any personal anecdotes or input would help the city makes these projects as successful as possible. Raleigh is starting to move forward on the path to being a bike-friendly city but public support is crucial.

Please take five minutes to send an email to bikeraleigh@raleighnc.gov even if you cannot make any of the in-person meetings. Written feedback to support these projects is the needed.

Interested in knowing more about any of these projects or want a chance to ask the city specific questions? You can attend the following meetings:

Monday, January 27 from 5-6pm, before the BPAC Meeting
Raleigh Municipal Building, Council Chamber
222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC 27602
All projects will be reviewed

Tuesday, January 28 from 4-7pm, presentation at 6pm
Five Points Center for Active Adults Ballroom
2000 Noble Road, Raleigh, NC 27608
Projects for review: Ashe Ave., Athens Dr., Dixie Trl./Lake Boone Trl., Fairview Rd., Gorman St., Hillsborough St.

Wednesday, January 29 from 4-7pm, presentation at 6pm
John Chavis Memorial Park Media Center
505 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27601
Projects for Review: Cabarrus St., East St., Garner Rd., Martin St., Tarboro St., Salisbury St., South Wilmington St.

Thursday, January 30 from 4-7pm, presentation at 6pm
Millbrook Exchange Park Room #2
1905 Spring Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615
Projects for Review: Durant Rd., Forest Pines Rd., Glen Eden Dr., Spring Forest Rd., Strickland Rd., Wakefield Plantation Dr.

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