Durham Shared Streets Pilot Project

October 2021 Update

During the COVID-19 pandemic many Durham residents have wanted to walk and bike for exercise, fresh air, and to pick up food and other essentials. In response, the City of Durham implemented the Shared Streets pilot project to provide safe travel and exercise options along seven streets.   After more than a year, the Shared Streets pilot project will be coming to an end on November 1, at which time the barricades along the seven Shared Streets will be removed.  The traffic calming circles that were placed on Spruce, Taylor, and Benjamine streets as part of the pilot project will remain in place.

The Shared Streets pilot project provided City staff, residents, and community groups the opportunity to develop consensus and implement projects quickly.  Several innovations from the Shared Streets project will likely be employed in other Durham neighborhoods, including neighborhood traffic calming circles, neighborhood art installations, and painted curb bulb outs.  Overall, the Shared Streets pilot project has been very well received, though recently there has been an uptick in the number of requests from residents to remove the barricades.  Going forward, the City is working to ensure that temporary installations like these are properly maintained with the support of neighborhood residents and that these “champions” can be compensated for their time and effort to keep Shared Streets safe and accessible.  

The Durham Department of Transportation appreciates your engagement with the Shared Streets pilot project.  Durham DOT staff will continue to support finding ways to work with residents to safely reimagine public spaces for people, recreation, and active forms of transportation.   Five of the Shared Streets (Watts, Glendale, Spruce, Taylor, and Maple) have been designated as Neighborhood Bike Routes -- streets with low motorized traffic volumes and speeds, designated and designed to be comfortable streets for bicycling and other activities. Implementation of the Neighborhood Bike Routes is expected in 2022.

Shared Streets in Durham

The City of Durham is working to create Shared Streets that give residents more space to enjoy the outdoors while reducing the spread of COVID-19. Vehicular through- traffic will be restricted on Shared Streets, but local residents, emergency vehicles, deliveries, and trash collection vehicles will still have access to the street. An advisory speed of 15 miles per hour is being installed to support safe walking, running, and playing in the street. To start, Durham will implement seven Shared Streets in different parts of the city. Additional streets may follow based on resident support and the availability of materials.

Shared Streets Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Grant Report with Durham Shared Streets - December 2020

Shared Streets

The map below shows the seven streets within the first phase of the Shared Streets initiative, in red and yellow. Residents and businesses on these streets have been notified of the project via door hangers distributed to each address, along with additional workshops for the yellow streets. Most of the Shared Streets being considered are neighborhood residential streets designated as Neighborhood Bike Routes in the City of Durham’s Bike+Walk plan. They generally have lower-traffic volumes and lower posted speeds and are maintained by the City of Durham.

The map below also shows biking and walking trails (green), and on-street bike lanes (blue) in the City.

Shared Streets list:

Alma StreetJuniper St. to Holloway St.0.3 miles
Benjamine StreetE. Main St. to Ashe St.0.4 miles
Glendale AvenueEnglewood Ave. to Geer St.0.7 miles
Maple StreetTaylor St. to Ashe St.0.4 miles
Spruce StreetJuniper St. to Southgate St.0.6 miles
Taylor StreetAlston Ave. to Maple St.0.3 miles
Watts StreetW. Club Blvd. to Lamond Ave.1.0 miles

  1. Where can I help with or give input on Shared Streets?
  2. How can I get a Shared Street in my neighborhood ?
  3. What are other safe places I can walk or ride my bike?
  4. How can I follow Transportation Department updates and service changes during COVID?

A survey for the first phase of Shared Streets was available in Summer 2020, asking residents where they'd like Shared Streets to be, which of the initial ten corridors should be chosen, and the types of activities they would like to do in Shared Streets. Of the initial ten Shared Street corridors, seven were chosen to proceed. Those corridors not chosen, along with others not in the initial list, can be considered for future phases.

If your street has been selected for Shared Streets, you can volunteer to be a street Champion. A Street Champion is a resident near or on one of the Shared Streets who can help monitor the program, such as making sure street signs remain in place. To request to be a Street Champion for your Shared Street, please contact [email protected].