A recent podcast episode by @inboundraleigh 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?