More Bike Lanes Coming to Hillsborough Street

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The City Council Tuesday agreed to add more bike lanes to Hillsborough Street between Woodburn Street and Park Avenue.

The city is planning to hire a contractor to resurface the stretch of street and re-striping is part of that process. The work will take place this summer.

The Comprehensive Planning Committee met Monday night to come to a decision on how to restripe it. After reviewing several options and listening to cyclists and residents, the committee unanimously voted on option 3. They recommended that option Tuesday to Council members, who then approved it.

Option three uses bike lanes rather than sharrows on the street for cyclists, parking on one side of the street and keeps a center turn lane.

“The good news is everybody generally wants the same thing. The bad news is the street isn’t wide enough to do what everybody wants,” Councilor Bonner Gaylord said at the committee meeting. “But bike lanes are important in these improvements and any further street improvements.”

The committee’s vote recommended having parking on the south side of the street.

“There are more spaces available on the south side, and there is more frequent use by motorists on the south side,” said Councilman Russ Stephenson.

The Cameron Park Neighborhood Association had initially recommended option 2 for the street, with bike sharrows, a center turn lane and on street parking on both sides. Members of the bicycle community opposed that option.

“The bicycle sharrows were what the neighborhood thought would work because we didn’t think bike lanes could fit into those sections,” said Bob Mosher, president of the association. “We didn’t realize that the bicycle community was so adamant against that.”

Dena Ali, a Raleigh resident and cyclist, has been riding most of her life. She said having the bike lanes is going to be great for the street.

“I just like knowing where I’m supposed to be, and that’s where lines are and cars are supposed to stay out of,” Ali said.

Ali also said with the way gas prices are and how congested traffic gets on Hillsborough Street and other areas, she feels more people would ride their bikes if it were easier and safer.

“Little things like that matter. If Raleigh was [more bike friendly] and all of the streets had easier access, it would draw more people to want to live in Raleigh and not just downtown,” she said.

“With these projects, you can’t do everything with them, so you try to get the best compromise you can, and that sounds like a decent compromise,” Mosher said. “That’s certainly better than it is now. It’ll be a more complete street with what they’re proposing.”

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