Bike Lanes Debated for Sections of Oberlin Road

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The Raleigh City Council Tuesday approved moving ahead with plans to add sharrows, or shared lane markings for cyclists, to Oberlin Road.

The city is restriping roads to add sharrows and bike lanes as part of the adopted Comprehensive Bicycle Plan. Work on Oberlin Road is scheduled to begin this summer.

"Sharrows" remind motorists to share the road with bicyclists.

In this case, North Carolina’s Department of Transportation approved the use of sharrows along Oberlin Road from Hillsborough to Glenwood and granted federal dollars for the project. But Councilors agreed Tuesday to pull three sections for further public review.

The three sections pulled are: Groveland to Clark, Bedford to Mayview and Wilshire to Colonial.

Those areas have some on-street parking that would be removed in favor of adding either sharrows or bike lanes. Anecdotally, many residents do not use the on-street parking, which is not well marked.

But City Transportation Planner Eric Lamb said he prefers to verify that through public meetings in the coming months before moving forward.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Chair Alan Wiggs said pulling those three sections from the plan gives them an opportunity to make changes, such as considering bike lanes instead of sharrows

Bike lanes in that area will add direct, safe routes for cyclists traveling to Cameron Village, North Carolina State University, and provide safer crossing over Wade Avenue, Wiggs said.

“My hope is that City Council, after public input, will do the right thing and ensure that bike lanes are valued more than on-street parking on Oberlin Road for many reasons,” he told the Record in an e-mail.

Potential Oberlin Bike Lane Implementation

Groveland to Clark
Cost: Sharrows $2,400
Bike lanes: $7,550

Bedford to Mayview
Cost: Sharrows $3,800
Bike lanes: $9,150

Wilshire to Colonial
Cost: Sharrows: $3,800
Bike lanes: $9,160

Cutting those three sections from the project means losing out on about $8,000 in federal funding, Lamb said. Raleigh will have to spend city funds to add the markings, but there are Capital Improvement Project funds available for that project.

In addition, a resurfacing project is scheduled for that area north of Wade Avenue. So the city could use federal funds and add the markings now, but the city would have to pay to re-stripe it again later anyway.

The next step is to gather public input on the issue.  The public is invited to share their thoughts at the next BPAC meeting at 6 p.m. May 23 in City Hall Room 305.

One thought on “Bike Lanes Debated for Sections of Oberlin Road

  1. Ought to hold off on painting the lines until after the road is repaved . One, it’s a waste of money, time and effort, and two, when it’s repaved the bicycles won’t have to zig-zag around the potholes. Paradoxical, but think about it.