Development

A protected bike lane through uptown? Some want to make it a reality

Rendering of a protected bike lane next to Marshall Park.
Rendering of a protected bike lane next to Marshall Park.

Bicycle advocates will make a pitch Monday to Charlotte City Council, seeking funding for a protected bike lane through uptown.

Unlike a bike lane that’s designated with a simple stripe of paint on the pavement, a protected bike lane separates bicyclists from cars with a physical barrier. That enhances safety, advocates say, and makes people more comfortable with riding on the streets.

Jordan Moore, bicycle program director for Sustain Charlotte, said the group is hoping the city will find funding for at least one protected bike lane running east to west. The lane would link the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and the Irwin Creek Greenway. One proposed route would run along Third Street, but Sustain Charlotte isn’t committed to a specific route at this stage.

“By connecting the Irwin Creek Greenway and Little Sugar Creek Greenway through a bike lane across Uptown Charlotte, access to Uptown will be spread to several Charlotte neighborhoods,” Sustain Charlotte’s presentation says. “Furthermore, implementing a ‘protected bike lane,’ though the incorporation of various barriers between cyclists and motorists, would increase safety and promote use.”

Cities including Philadelphia, Vancouver and New York have installed protected bike lanes in their downtown areas. Sustain Charlotte has been building public support with the hashtag #IBIKECLT.

What do you think of the idea?

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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