While the city of Charlotte has over 100 miles of bike lanes, the transportation officials are now planning for a cycle track to uptown, which was not known to the city till now.
Talking about the project envisioned for the uptown, Will Washam, the bicycle program coordinator for Charlotte Department of Transportation said, “A cycle track is a protected bike lane where bicyclists are physically separated from vehicle traffic with any number of different separation types. That could be a curb, flexible ballers, planters, or it could even be a larger barrier.”
The officials say a lot of people park in the existing bike lanes. Hence the transit often runs on the streets making the bike lanes uncomfortable places to ride through. Nevertheless, the cycle lane will provide a fully protected facility for riders to pass through the uptown. As per the present plans, the bike lane is planned along the 6th street for most of its length and a bit of 5th street stretching till Irwin Ave for connecting with the Irwin Creek Greenway. The ultimate objective of the cycle track is to connect the two greenway systems namely the Little Sugar Creek and Irwin Creek greenways through uptown.
Washam said, “The city did a study called ‘Uptown Connects’ about a year ago, and that study actually analyzed all of the east-west connections – streets running through uptown – to find the most direct and safest connection between Little Sugar Creek Greenway and Irwin Creek Greenway. Through analysis, we found that 6th Street using portions of 5th was going to have the least impact to vehicle traffic, and also provide the best and safest connection for cyclists.”
The transportation workers say since 2017, there had been 222 crashes that involved bicyclists with 28 of them happening in the uptown. Hence many residents say they just can’t wait to see a project like this.