Encouraging news for two-wheel enthusiasts: the city of Durham added 2.8 miles of bike lanes last year, according to a presentation the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission made to the Durham City Council last week.
Among those new lanes is a contraflow lane on Watts Street, which BPAC says may be the first of its kind in North Carolina. Contraflow lanes turn one-way streets into shared roadways by allowing bicycle traffic to flow in the opposite direction of motor vehicle traffic. There are also new bike lanes on Broad Street, Club Boulevard, Chapel Hill Street, and Woodcroft Parkway. Additionally, the city installed 12 new bike racks, 476 new streetlights, and 800 new feet of sidewalk in 2016, and nearly 8,000 feet of sidewalk were repaired.
BPAC has also been incorporated into the city's review of proposed developments to ensure they will be bike- and pedestrian-friendly.
"That's one of the key areas where we feel we are really beneficial to city," BPAC chairman Max Bushell told the council at a work session last Thursday.
This year, Bushell said, BPAC will focus on connecting neighbors to the American Tobacco Trail, getting more kids to bike or walk to school, and ensuring that more Durham streets accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Mayor pro tem (and soon-to-be mayoral candidate) Cora Cole-McFadden told Bushell that BPAC "is rocking with it" but needs to diversify its membership and turn its focus to Roxboro Street, which she said is "not a safe place to walk or bike at this point."
She's not wrong, guys.
This article appeared in print with the headline "+Durham on Two Wheels."