New Projects to Protect Cyclists and Pedestrians to Increase Accessibility to Essential Destinations
In the coming months, residents and visitors will see multiple projects transform the landscape for Durham pedestrians and cyclists.
These City of Durham transportation projects are meant to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries, and reduce vehicle traffic, congestion, and noise throughout the city. In 2023, the most visible changes will be new Neighborhood Bike Routes, new bike lanes, and a new sidewalk on South Alston Avenue between Capps Street and Riddle Road.
What You Need to Know
- Multiple bike and pedestrian improvements appearing across Durham this spring and summer.
- Most visible changes will be new Neighborhood Bike routes, new bike lanes, and new South Alston Avenue sidewalk.
- Residents encouraged to share feedback with Transportation staff at National Bike Month activities and the final budget public hearing on June 5.
“We want to make it safe, simple, and sustainable for residents to bike, walk, and roll across Durham,” said Transportation Director Sean Egan. “New sidewalks and a more complete bike network provide better travel options and reduce dependency on fossil fuels and reduce the emissions from traffic congestion. These projects are an important step forward, but we know that much more work is needed, particularly in disadvantaged communities, so we are using an equity lens to prioritize future investments.”
New Neighborhood Bike Routes and New Bike Lanes Coming this Spring and Summer
Property owners located along corridors to receive new neighborhood bike routes and bike lanes are now receiving postcards detailing this spring’s installation, with work beginning in mid-May and lasting through the fall.
The Neighborhood Bike Routes will span seven miles in the downtown area. These ‘bike boulevards’ will be located on low-volume, low-speed streets. The goal is to help bicyclists more safely navigate to nearby destinations, such as parks and schools. Neighborhood Bike Routes will be identified with arrows on the pavement. Additionally, blue signs with “Durham Neighborhood Bike Routes” branding will help people navigate the routes. New pedestrian crosswalks will also be installed at some intersections. Traffic calming measures, including neighborhood traffic circles and painted curb bulb-outs, will also be installed as part of this project.
Residents are encouraged to visit the Neighborhood Bike Routes webpage to see corridor locations. These routes were identified using the 2018 Neighborhood Bike Routes Route Analysis and Concept Plan, which explains how the routes were identified, major route destinations, and it describes the local land features. The Bike Routes project is funded with a federal $505,498 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant and a local match from the City.
Construction of new bike lanes will follow the completion of the Neighborhood Bike Routes. The bike lanes will be striped within existing roadways, in some cases reducing the number or width of existing vehicle travel lanes. Where space is available, buffers will be striped on pavement between bike lanes and vehicle travel lanes. The work will also include restriping some pedestrian crosswalks.
A full list of new bike lane locations, boundaries, and lane configurations is available online. The new bike lanes are funded with a federal $1,002,170 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant, with a local match from the City. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2023 and be completed in fall 2023.
New Bike Fixit Stations, Other Improvements Already Installed
In recent months, Transportation crews have installed Bike Fixit stations downtown as well as delineator posts along Willard Street. In February, high-visibility crosswalks were installed on Mangum and Pettigrew streets. In March, bike lane and high-visibility crosswalks were completed at the intersection at Erwin Road and Anderson Street.
New Sidewalk Connections to Help Pedestrians
Transportation officials also continue to improve sidewalk connections throughout the city. In April, work began on a new public sidewalk at South Alston Avenue between Capps Street and Riddle Road. The sidewalk will measure about 0.4 miles and will provide continuous pedestrian access along South Alston Avenue and connect the American Tobacco Trail to this area of the city. The sidewalk is scheduled for completion in January 2024.
An additional pedestrian project to fill in sidewalk gaps in several locations throughout Durham will soon be underway. The project includes sidewalk gaps on Leon Street, Hunt Street, South Elm Street, Lumley Road, Pickett Road, and South Cheek Road, which were identified in the 2017 Bike+Walk Implementation Plan. Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed in March 2024.
Transportation Officials Seek Feedback at National Bike Month Activities
May is National Bike Month and Transportation staff want feedback about what works and what can be improved to save lives and increase accessibility to essential destinations. Staff will be available to answer questions at multiple Bike Month festivities, including the Bike Month Kick-Off Event on Saturday, May 6, stating at 2 p.m. at the Museum of Durham History.
Residents are also encouraged to register to speak at the final budget public hearing that will take place inside City Council Chambers at City Hall during the June 5 City Council Regular Business Meeting.
Residents can also visit the Biking Resource page to learn more about transportation commissions and to report problems with a bike path or facility.
City of Durham Transportation Department
The Transportation Department is responsible for a broad range of transportation services, which include traffic signs and signals, transportation planning, transportation demand management, parking operations, street lighting, taxicab administration, and bicycle and pedestrian planning. The department works to increase transportation choices as well as local and regional connectivity by planning for and securing funds for highways, public transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. As guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the Transportation Department helps to strengthen the foundation, enhance the value, and improve the quality and sustainability of neighborhoods that are necessary for a strong and diverse community since the provision of a sound transportation system is critical to maintaining a strong economy. For more information, visit the department’s webpage and follow their team on Facebook and Twitter.