Make South Roxboro Street Safer for Biking

The Department of Transportation is currently accepting comments on a plan that will improve cycling in Durham on South Roxboro Street. While the plan is a good start, it needs your help to make the road safer for all users.

The stretch of South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Hope Valley Road is a prime example of why biking on Durham roads is often reserved for only the bravest and most experienced cyclists. This street features two travel lanes in each direction, a 35 mph speed limit, and no physically separated facility for cyclists. Drivers looking at the street have a hard time discerning it from a highway, which would explain why a study conducted in 2013 found an average traveling speed of about 42 mph. There is already a bike lane on the section between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Carlton Crossing Drive. But with nothing but a single line of paint to separate bicyclists from the speeding traffic, it’s not exactly safe.

Would someone new to cycling ever feel comfortable here? Photo: Google Maps

Would someone new to cycling ever feel comfortable here? Photo: Google Maps

Fortunately, the City of Durham Department of Transportation has proposed an improvement for the 1.6 mile section between Juliette Drive and Hope Valley Road. It will reduce that section from two travel lanes to one travel lane for vehicles and add a bicycle lane with a painted buffer, similar to the design that already exists on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard.

 
 

This is a major improvement but the project leaves a lot left to be desired. The painted buffer will increase comfort for cyclists already used to sharing the road with drivers but it does not ensure their safety and can be confusing for drivers. The bike lane should be separated from vehicular traffic by a physical barrier to protect cyclists. Only a protected bike lane will make cyclists feel truly safe and encourage new ridership.

 

Current plan introduces a gap between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Juliette Dr

 

It is important to note that the City of Durham Public Works Department is planning to repave the entirety of South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Hope Valley Road in 2018, not just the section ending at Juliette Drive. Bicyclists connecting to the new bike lane will have no choice but to continue navigating the dangerous conditions that already exist on the rest of the street. The Department of Transportation should use this opportunity to expand the scope of the proposed project and improve the design of the entire stretch of road.

What You Can Do

The Department of Transportation is currently accepting comments on this plan from the public. Your voice can be instrumental in improving the safety of bicycling in Durham so it is important to submit them by the November 30th deadline. You can read the full plan here and submit your comments using the form provided by the city here. It’s always more effective to provide a personal touch but feel free to mention your support for any of the following ideas:

  • I strongly support the plan to add a bike lane to South Roxboro St but it needs to go further to improve safety for cyclists.
  • The new bike lanes should be fully protected by a physical barrier that separates cyclists from vehicular traffic.
  • The plan should be expanded to include the entire stretch of South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Hope Valley Road.

Provide your comments to the City of Durham Department of Transportation by November 30th

Bike Month is Here!

May is a great time to dust off that bike and enjoy the beautiful weather from two wheels. Check out all the great Bike Month events happening around Durham on the Bike Month calendar. We hope you'll stop by one of the socials (May 1st, May 15th) or come grab treats and giveaways from one of our pit stops during Bike to Work Day (May 19th).

APBP North Carolina Chapter Kickoff and Networking Events

The Association of Bicycling and Walking Professional’s *new* North Carolina Chapter is hosting a series of six socials in late January for individuals across the state!

Join them after work at the social nearest you to celebrate the kickoff of the new chapter. You do not need to be a member to attend. We encourage students, private sector employees, state and local government, advocates, and individuals to attend that are interested in:
Upcoming NC Chapter Events, including free webinars
Bicycling and Walking as a Profession
Networking with colleagues and peers

Chapel Hill/Carrboro

Tuesday January 24th

Steel String Brewery @ 106 S. Greensboro St (6-7:30PM)

Host: Sarah Johnson, UNC Chapel Hill

Source: http://www.bikewalknc.org/2017/01/apbp-nor...

Pop-Up Cycle Track Demo

Bike Durham is inviting cyclists to try out a two-way cycle track (aka protected bike lane), which provides a physical separation between bicyclists and motorized vehicles in the form of a raised curb, onstreet parking, or bollards.

Help us make the case to Durham stakeholders about investing in better bikeways. This segment of Washington Street (east side) between Trinity Avenue and the Durham Athletic Park happens to be a key link in the East Coast Greenway. Check us out on your way to the Farmer’s Market!

Thanks to event our cosponsor, East Coast Greenway Alliance.

Event Date: 

Jul 9 2016 -

8:00am to 2:00pm