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.
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 Street||Juniper St. to Holloway St.||0.3 miles|
|Benjamine Street||E. Main St. to Ashe St.||0.4 miles|
|Glendale Avenue||Englewood Ave. to Geer St.||0.7 miles|
|Maple Street||Taylor St. to Ashe St.||0.4 miles|
|Spruce Street||Juniper St. to Southgate St.||0.6 miles|
|Taylor Street||Alston Ave. to Maple St.||0.3 miles|
|Watts Street||W. Club Blvd. to Lamond Ave.||1.0 miles|
- Where can I help with or give input on Shared Streets?
- How can I get a Shared Street in my neighborhood ?
- What are other safe places I can walk or ride my bike?
- 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].
To request a Shared Street in your neighborhood, please send a request via email to [email protected]. In your request, please include your address, the street requested, the endpoints of the Shared Street, if you or someone on your street has interest in being Street Champion, and any proposed activities that you could see take place on the street.
An example for a submission could be: "I live on 300 W First Street. I’d like to request First Street from Ash Street to Beech Drive as a Shared Street. We want the children on our street to be able to skate and ride bicycles in the street safely. My neighbor John Doe would like to become a Street Champion."
Please note that the department has limited resources and capacity for Shared Streets treatment. Staff will review eligible street candidates for Shared Streets treatment, and will be looking at the following factors to determine eligibility:
- The street must be long enough to support physical distancing and provide room for exercise and play; at least 3 blocks or 0.2 miles long
- The street must be a single length of street, though other routes that could get chosen could intersect or connect with your request
- The street must not be directly on an active GoDurham or GoTriangle transit route, though it can cross one
- The street must not be on an emergency service route
- The street must be owned and maintained by the City of Durham. For reference, this link shows streets owned and maintained by the state (streets not owned and maintained by the City of Durham).
- The street is not affected by an active construction or utility project
- The street has a posted speed limit of between 20 mph and 35 mph
Staff will also consider the following factors, though they’re not required, to qualify for Shared Streets treatment:
- The street is further than a quarter mile (5 minute walk) from a nearby recreational resource, such as a park, trail, or recreational center
- The street is near a grocery store, food bank, other local food resources, a library, school, or other civic building
- The street is one of the City’s funded (dark blue) or unfunded (light blue) Neighborhood Bike Routes
Bike and Hike Resources:
Exercise and Travel Safety Reminders:
- Try to stay home except for essential activities
- Keep six feet between yourself and others
- Wear a mask or face covering
- Keep moving and avoid gatherings
- Consider using parks and trails at off peak hours
- If you see a crowd, go somewhere else
We remind everyone to travel safely and adhere to the current Durham Safer-at-Home Order. We ask for your understanding as we work with limited resources, in providing a safe environment for our residents, especially our essential public transit services.