Editorials

A good plan to help bicyclists in Durham

Alcohol is a suspected factor in the fatal collision that claimed the life of a LimeBike rider in Charlotte
Alcohol is a suspected factor in the fatal collision that claimed the life of a LimeBike rider in Charlotte rstradling@newsobserver.com

A couple of start-ups focused on bike sharing have come to Durham, and the Bull City is hoping that the programs will get folks on the roads on bicycles who maybe haven’t thought of that option for a while – years, say.

That’s great, but what’s important is that Durham is welcoming what it hopes will be additional bicycle traffic, with maybe less automobile traffic as a result, while also trying to make the roads safer for those bicyclists. That means creating “bike boulevards,” which would be designated a bike-friendly and preferred routes for bicyclists, who’d be directed to those streets while being able to avoid busier streets where bicyclists would be more at risk for accidents – assuming that these programs are popular and there are more bikes on the road.

Durham can be a difficult city to navigate for people who either aren’t familiar with it or are trying a new mode of transportation (bicycle) and are thus looking at the city a little differently.

The boulevards have worked in Portland, Ore., and in Berkeley, Calif., two cities with lots of bicycle riders and many younger people, who are increasingly a larger part of Durham’s demographic. Raleigh will have to be imaginative as well as more bicyclists occupy its city streets. Lanes help; designated streets, not as prone to heavy traffic, will help more.

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