Raleigh’s Bicycle-Friendly Transformation

Bike LanesThe city of Raleigh is gearing up for a cycle-friendly renovation!

Bike Share Program

The Raleigh City Council recently received the results of an $86,500 feasibility study, which found that the city has the population density and tourist market to support a bike share program. The study polled residents and compared Raleigh to other cities with similar programs.  “More than a transportation system, this is a way of branding the city as a place for healthy lifestyles,” said City Councilman Russ Stephenson.

Residents suggested 115 sites for bike sharing stations, but the study found the highest potential inside the Beltline – with an exception: “The art museum was the most popular station location – that’s because it’s one of our best bicycling destinations,” said Jennifer Baldwin, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

Corporate sponsorship and membership fees will likely offset the estimated initial cost of $1.5 million to install 30 stations and 300 bikes, as well as the monthly operating costs ranging from $25,500 to $61,200.

 

Raleigh’s 1st “Cycle Track”

Raleigh’s newest bike lanes hope to give cyclists a much-needed separation from traffic. The city budget includes $150,000 for Raleigh’s first “cycle track,” a buffer lane with bollards to keep cars at bay. “Not only do they increase ridership because of the improved comfort and safety, they also appear to be safer in general,” said Eric Lamb, the city’s transportation planning manager.

The track will be installed on Gorman Street between Sullivan Drive and Hillsborough Street, one of the few on-street sections of the Art to Heart bike trail, which gives cyclists a safe ride from downtown to the N.C. Museum of Art.  This cycle track will serve as a test run and could be used elsewhere in Raleigh. Gorman is unusual, however, because there are hardly any driveways, and driveways would force cars to cross cyclists’ paths. Lam said the city tries to pick the correct bike amenity for each area based on traffic counts, on-street parking, and driveway conflicts. “We have to marry the right tool for the job,” he said.

 

Bicycle Pavement Marking Design Project

Raleigh received a $1.1 million grant from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, and plans to construct at least 27 miles of marked, on-road bicycle facilities.

The design phase of the project is nearly complete, having 90 percent of the drafts finalized. Review the drafts and submit any questions or comments to BikeRaleigh@raleighnc.gov.

Construction on the project is anticipated to begin fall 2014 and wrap-up spring 2015.

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