Monday, October 17, 2011

Today's the Day -- Hillsborough Street Bike Lanes on the BPAC Agenda

Today's the day that Raleigh's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission will take public comments on the temporary bike lane striping on Hillsborough Street. Got an opinion? Show up and voice it. 

The meeting begins at 5:45 p.m. at Raleigh Municipal Building, 222 West Hargett Street. With a large crowd possible, the meeting has been moved to the Council Chambers, not the normal meeting room on the 3rd foor.

Hillsborough Street is an east-west corridor into downtown that runs past three schools, making it a popular road for biking. The street got a much-needed face lift recently, including two roundabouts and wider pedestrian paths. However, much to the dismay of many area cyclists, the plans did not include a dedicated bike lane. Proponents of a bike lane pushed hard to remedy that, and the city, with the state DOT's approval, installed tape striping as a pilot project. The striping has been down for several weeks, and there are conflicting opinions about whether the lanes should be made permanent.

Proponents, and there are many, say they feel safer cycling in a dedicated area on this busy thoroughfare. However, others say the bike lane has actually made cycling more dangerous by putting bicyclists in the door zone of parked cars. If you're interested in the debate and outcome, please ride your bike down Hillsborough Street to tonight's meeting and check it out for yourself.

The pictures and video on this post were taken on a scoping ride two Sundays ago. They show riders in the temporary bike lane with parked cars on the left and passing cars on the right. Since it was a Sunday, there weren't that many cars parked along the last stretch you see in the video. Normally, all of those parking spots would be taken.

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