Saturday, March 7, 2009

Carrboro: Smith Level Rd.

NCDOT is hosting both the pre-hearing and public hearing on Smith Level Rd on Monday. See the details at OP.

My chief concerns with this project are:

1. Bike accommodation on a steep grade
2. Interchange with the future Morgan Creek greenway.

On a steep downhill, bikes often approach the speed limit and cyclists need to be able to utilize greater lane width, especially if the lane edges are obstructed by litter, foliage, ice, salt, bad pavement, etc.. For this reason, wide outside lanes (no stripe) are preferable to bike lanes on steep descents. Furthermore, it is never a good idea to put a bike lane on only one side of a two-way street, because that would encourage wrong-way cycling. Wide lanes with Sharrows would be the appropriate treatment for the hill on Smith Level Rd..

Smith Level/Greensboro serves important destinations including Carrboro High School to the south and Weaver Street and Farmer's Market to the north. This section will also intersect with the future Morgan Creek Greenway. It is important that road widening in this section be planned to safely interchange bike & ped traffic with the future greenway--e.g. to allow safe ped crossing where necessary, discourage "wrong way" cycling, and facilitate easy, efficient and safe access for all travelers.

The DOT design map for this project doesn't even show the Morgan Creek greenway!

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