The N.C. Department of Transportation recently announced plans to update its bike route system. The department will take public input on areas for improvement until March 14.
The updates will be made as part of NCDOT's WalkBikeNC, a bicycle and pedestrian plan that was last reevaluated and updated in 2013. The state's bike route system itself was developed decades ago, after the Bicycle & Bikeway Act of 1974 was passed in North Carolina.
The plans to update the route system follow a recent surge in pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Chapel Hill. Many community members and groups have been advocating for more bike- and pedestrian-friendly measures to be put in place.
The NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation will shift sections of existing intercity routes away from high-traffic areas to be safer, said John Vine-Hodge, deputy director of planning and programming for the NCDOT Integrated Mobility Division.
These updates will be reflected in new maps and signage as part of the WalkBikeNC plan.
NCDOT recently created an interactive map to identify problems and suggest changes to bike routes across the state. People can leave their names and a brief description of their concerns on the map.
A large number of the public comments are located around Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
“A bike lane that town buses can not enter would make bike travel on Franklin Street much safer,” Erica Sparkenbaugh, an assistant professor at UNC, said in a comment.
Vine-Hodge said the website was intended to be used for public feedback on the long-distance state bike routes. He was surprised to see so many posts in urban areas.