Thursday, January 26, 2012

Durham Roads and Cycling

Last week I attended a info meeting with Congressman Price and a number of city, county and state leaders in bike and pedestrian transportation.  A few things struck me.

  1. There are some smart, committed and creative folks creating all sorts of opportunities for people to move around on bikes.  The rails to trails projects are booming and it won't be long before we can move from Durham to  Cary to Raleigh along these trails.
  2. There are a growing number of bike lanes that work for getting around close to downtown on the roads which is great since the trails only go to discreet places.  And "Sharrows" (share the road arrows) are showing up all over the place on our road surfaces around town.
  3. What seems missing is a good plan for folks to use roads for commuting.  Lots of money being used to create new bike/pedestrian trails but little buzz about roads.
  4. There are some good bike lanes approaching Duke and Durham from the south where a lot of the new growth is occurring.  
  5. There are literally NO BIKE LANES (yes, I am yelling for any who will hear) approaching Duke and Durham from the North where half the county lives.  Morreene, Hillandale, Guess, Gregson, Roxboro all are North/South corridors and none of them even approach being safe to ride on.  I did find out that a portion of Hillandale/Fulton, from I-85 to Duke Hospital, will be getting bike lanes within the next two years but the section being redone up to Carver will be getting only "wide lanes".  This addition is better but why no lanes up to Carver?  What a missed opportunity!
  6. As far as I could hear, there are NO OTHER PLANS (yelling again) for bike lanes from the north into the major work areas.  This makes no sense and leaves northern citizens traveling dangerous routes if they want to bike commute.  That includes me.
  7. Bike and pedestrian advocates and committee members are great folks.  They need more clout and I wonder what some of us non-involved citizens can do to help them get the clout they need.
Well , that's my rant for now.  I do appreciate the efforts of the local commissions and rails to trails folks.  But we seem to be missing some major pieces and more help is needed.

1 comment:

  1. Amen on that 'no safe roads in from the North' item! I'm an occasional commuter from the Eno to Duke, and while I feel okay holding my own on Guess in the extra-wide lanes, every time I go through the golf course on Hillandale it's feels like a sprint for my life. It's good to hear that bike lanes will be coming to that area in the 2-year future.