Bicycle boulevards in Raleigh

A recent podcast episode by @JenniferS interviewing someone part of a grassroots effort to bring bicycle boulevards to the inner neighborhoods of Durham set me thinking . . . could that realistically happen in Raleigh? And if so, what would it look like?

A bicycle boulevard is essentially a lightly-trafficked street that features traffic calming elements designed to discourage through automobile traffic, but permit and encourage the safe and direct passage of bicycles. In Durham, the full network map looks like this:

Most of these streets are quiet neighborhood streets with little traffic, but great connectivity. The city has secured funding for the first phase of about 7 miles, and plans to implement them this fall.

Obviously, for cyclists this will be a huge boost to the existing network, providing a plethora of safe, convenient options for the less daring to get around via bike. But there are obstacles to be crossed, including 147 and the rail line through downtown Durham. Raleigh has similar geographic obstacles that could make forming a complete network difficult.

Here’s a great handbook for creating bicycle boulevards, created in part by Portland State University. (Found on the podcast page.)

What are your thoughts on this idea for Raleigh? What streets could be good candidates for this treatment? What would your ideal network look like?


Leaving Raleigh in the dust…

Love this idea. Is probably less controversial to implement then Cycle tracks or even bike lanes. While still providing cyclist relatively safe streets to use.


A BPAC person said they have some info on this, but not sure if that meant they are thinking about it or what. I’ll ask them again.


In the 2016 BikeRaleigh plan, there is actually a bunch of planned bicycle boulevards. Not sure if any of these have actually been implemented so far (I know the one near me in Five Points is in the planning process with no noticeable action recently). Unlike Durham though, these aren’t interconnected, they just seem to attempt to connect to existing or planned bike lanes.

Look for the dark blue dotted lines on the map here:

and pages 4-3/4-4:


Got an email about this “open house” this morning:

Looks very interesting…:grinning:


Crosstown Neighborhood Bikeway. (From the site)

Raleigh’s first Neighborhood Bikeway is proposed to connect Whitaker Mill Road to Ridge Road parallel to Wade Avenue. The project is intended to provide safer bicycle travel by choosing roads that have low vehicle traffic, have lower speed limits, and by increasing signage along the route. Review the draft plan and give your input on Tuesday, August 13 from 4 - 6 p.m. at Dove and Olive Mercantile.”

There is also a plan to RIDE the route from 6pm to 7pm. I have already ridden most of the proposed route and provided input. I believe the City is planning only Sharrows and some directional signs to help cyclists follow this route. I hope I’m wrong and there is some traffic calming as well as road markings across the many intersections this route will cross. Come to the meeting on Aug. 13. We want want Durham is doing.


What is the planned path for this bikeway? There’s no obvious road parallel to Wade connecting Whitaker Mill to Ridge.

It’s not a continuous path, instead winding through the neighborhood and therefor requiring ample signage and wayfinding to be best utilized.

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Thanks! If this could connect to the West/Harrington Street cycle track coming out of downtown I could potentially change my commute, since I live near Whole Foods. Currently I take the greenway parallel to western and through States campus. There’s a pretty big hill on Grant Avenue though that I like to avoid.

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According to Paul Black, the city bike/ped program manager, there are two routes he’s looking at for the Crosstown Bikeway west of Oberlin.

  1. From the Oberlin & Chester Rd intersection: Chester → Grant → Banbury → Leonard → Ridge
  1. From the Oberlin & Chester Rd intersection: Chester → Churchill → Ridge,-78.6591512/35.8020942,-78.6876333/@35.8036785,-78.6700147,16.25z/data=!4m24!4m23!1m20!3m4!1m2!1d-78.6613705!2d35.8050554!3s0x89acf5f91111df1b:0x25630a6bb837a525!3m4!1m2!1d-78.6681666!2d35.8054609!3s0x89acf5fb2d145b13:0xa7a46a64104614c9!3m4!1m2!1d-78.6740942!2d35.8057826!3s0x89acf5e683d46bc1:0x3beb7dde949668c1!3m4!1m2!1d-78.6812484!2d35.8057824!3s0x89acf5dd0b9ac235:0x3f92f4f6e8caecbd!1m0!3e1