Hillsborough Street Plan: No room for a Bike Lane

July, 06, 2007, by David

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Where would bicyclists ride?


The study will consider the needs of bicyclists in the corridor. An option being considered is to allow bicyclists their choice of riding through the roundabout under the legal definition of a vehicle, according to North Carolina law, or riding on the sidewalk instead.

The Hillsborough St. Plan

That’s right, bikers: You are on your own in Raleigh.  The future plan for revitalizing Hillsborough Street, a full restructuring and redesign of key intersections, does not include a bike lane.








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  • Barden
    07/06 03:50 PM

    Better start pedalin’ faster! ;)

    No but seriously, a bike line would have gone a long way to our budding bike-riding population.

  • sarah
    07/06 04:34 PM

    As part of the ever burgeoning bike crews of Raleigh, this is such a shame. 

    Currently, Hillsborough Street is one of the most treacherous strips of pavement for cyclists in the downtown area.  I’ve felt safer riding on Wake Forest Road and Capital Blvd.  There are parts of Hillsborough Street where the pavement and/or construction is so bad, you must ride to the far left of the right lane just to stay on your bike.  And not a day goes by that you are not yelled at by a driver to “Get on the sidewalk,” or “Get a car!”

    There is nothing negative about cycling: it is physical activity, doesn’t harm the environment, and uses no petro.  It fosters a sense of community, allows you to see and explore the city in ways that you simply cannot in your car.  Cycling eliminates the need for parking and is generally faster through the downtown area.

    Durham has bike lanes everywhere, and of course Chapel Hill does too.  The greenway in Raleigh is not continuous.

    As listed in the cities Redesign, “Where would bicyclists ride?
    The study will consider the needs of bicyclists in the corridor. An option being considered is to allow bicyclists their choice of riding through the roundabout under the legal definition of a vehicle, according to North Carolina law, or riding on the sidewalk instead.”  By putting roundabouts along Hillsborough St, you may decrease the number of T-Bone and Head-On collisions.  While, “since vehicles travel slower and the angle of vehicles as they merge and diverge is more conducive to sideswipes and fender bender type crashes,” the kind that usually happen to cyclists.  And for us, a “fender bender” = broken bones.

    If Raleigh wants to revitalize Hillsborough St, and the rest of downtown, we need to make room for cyclists, pedestrians, and cars.

  • David
    07/07 02:39 PM

    It really is frustrating.  It is as if the city has no idea about their biking population.  The inner beltline is bad, but you should try North Raleigh- absolutely deadly and the drivers don’t give you any respect.  I don’t understand why drivers get so angry with bikers- we are just locomoting.

  • Breigh
    07/07 05:31 PM

    It’s hard out there for a biker.  And I hate the argument that because bikers aren’t paying for gas, we aren’t paying for the roads.  Thats like taking away sidewalks because there is no extra sidewalk tax on shoes.  I say the bike posse makes signs/shirts that rally for a bike lane.  It is a mode of transportation that sould be encouraged, not only for the health of the environment, but for the health of our population!

  • Jedidiah
    07/18 03:33 PM

    I love riding downtown Raleigh, all streets except Oberlin and Hillsborough, both need bike lanes bad.  I have been involved in 2 or 3 altercations with drivers on Hborough St. a couple of times, drivers pulling over and following me to bitch at me for yelling at them to slow down….

    oh the irony…..

  • Adrian Hands
    07/18 09:07 PM

    TAKE THE LANE!

    Don’t ask for a bike lane—all that will do is make you ride in the door zone.  The real problem is the planned bulb-outs and raised medians.  With a raised median, cars cannot pass you on your left. 

    The planners’ own redesign diagrams show bikes riding down the road headed straight for a bulb-out.  The only option from that point would be to crash into the bulb-out or swerve to the left in front of moving cars.  Do not do that.  Take the lane.

  • Jedidiah
    07/18 09:14 PM

    Take what lane?  The one that already barely exists?  I don’t understand your point, b/c with a designation for a bike lane cars would be more aware of riders, without the lane, cars think the road is theirs and the sidewalk is ours.  But the walkers (very few there are) of the community think the sidewalk is theirs and the road is ours.  There lies the dilemma, bikers have no space to call their own and therefore are trespassing in other folks territory. 

    also, here is a great link for local bikers if you don’t know already:

    http://www.1304bikes.org/

  • adrian
    07/19 01:24 PM

    > Take what lane?  The one that already barely exists?

    Absolutely!
    The pedestrians are correct—bikes should stay off the sidewalk.  My point is bikes belong in the through lane, not in the door zone.  A bike lane would make the situation worse as it would put bicycle traffic in the door zone.  The raised median, coupled with the narrow lane, makes it impossible for a car to pass a bicycle safely, so the cyclist should ride down the middle of the lane and cars behind should stay behind, or use Western boulevard.

  • Jedidiah
    07/19 01:34 PM

    use Western?  you have to be kidding me… do you ride a bike ever in this town?

  • adrian
    07/19 02:15 PM

    i certainly do.  i ride a bike EVERY day in this town.
    I’ve been car-free for six years.
    Western has two lanes in each direction, making it easy for cars to pass bikes, but in this what I was suggesting is that motorists unwilling to wait behind bikes on Hillsborough should use Western.

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