Good News: Durham Is Getting More Bicycle-Friendly | News

Good News: Durham Is Getting More Bicycle-Friendly

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The city of Durham added 2.8 miles of bike lanes last year, according to the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.

Max Bushell, BPAC chair, touted some of the commission’s achievements in a 2016 annual report given during the Durham City Council’s Thursday work session.

Among the new bike lanes is a contraflow lane on Watts Street, which the commission 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.

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Additionally, the city installed twelve new bike racks, 476 new streetlights, and 800 new feet of sidewalk in 2016. Nearly eight thousand 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,” Bushell said.

In 2017, 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 mayoral aspirant) Cora Cole-McFadden told Bushell that BPAC “is rocking with it” but needs to diversify its membership and turn its focus to Roxboro Street.

“It’s not a safe place to walk or bike at this point,” she said.

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