Two years ago, the city proposed what it called the West Street CycleTrack, a two-way street for cyclists that was to run along five blocks in the Warehouse District.
It didn’t work out, but now the city is back with a half dozen other options for bike lanes on the west side of downtown. It will present them during a two-hour open house Monday evening and wants the public’s feedback before moving ahead with one of them.
“The public meeting will present a number of different ways to achieve a fully separated bike route that include routes from Raleigh Union Station to Peace Street — some of which the public has not seen before,” Paul Black, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian manager, said in a statement. “The city wants your help choosing the right one.”
The West Street CycleTrack concept ran into trouble because of design challenges, and because West may be used for one leg of the city’s planned bus rapid transit system. The new options include various combinations of protected bike lanes on West and Harrington streets, from Martin Street north to Peace Street.
The bike lanes would mean eliminating some on-street parking, though the city will look to maintain loading zones for businesses along the route, said Bee Persson, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian outreach coordinator. The lanes would most likely be set off from traffic with bollards or posts, Persson said in an interview.
“We want to make it as temporary as possible,” she said. “We don’t want something too permanent if it doesn’t work.”
The idea behind the bike lanes is to help riders move safely between the Warehouse District and Glenwood South, but also to connect Dorothea Dix Park south of downtown with the planned Devereux Meadows greenway trail north of Peace Street.
The project has been pushed by Oaks & Spokes, a cycle advocacy group that approached the city about creating a cycle track along West Street several years ago and has provided money and volunteers for the effort. One weekend last spring, the group helped the city build a temporary cycle track along three blocks of Harrington Street, to introduce the concept and see what people thought about it.
Monday’s open house will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the 9th floor lobby of The Dillon, the office tower at 223 South West St. Those who can’t make the meeting will be able to see the proposals after Jan. 6 at bikeraleigh.org and fill out an online survey, Persson said. The survey will be up through the month of January, she said.