Back in May, the City of Raleigh had their annual Bike to Work Day. Unfortunately, I live a bit far out and do not have access to safe bike facilities. I was however able to drive about halfway to Anderson Point Park and bike in from there.
Since then, I’ve gone on several other rides in the Raleigh area. This has led me to begin a new series where I’ll examine the conditions and ease of biking in the area.
Segment 1: Crabtree Creek Greenway from Anderson Point Park to Millburnie Road
Crabtree Creek Greenway follows Crabtree Creek pretty closely. This section of the greenway was constructed a few years ago and provides a connection between Knightdale and Raleigh. While this is good for scenic views and shade, it does cause a lot of twists and turns. There are no grade crossings along the corridor with some tunnel crossings of the major roads.
Unfortunately, there are no other access points with the intersections roads, or trail fronting developments yet rendering this greenway as purely a recreational facility.
If we are to transition to trails being seen as vital transportation links instead of just recreational facilities, we must provide links to existing road crossings. Access points at S Rodgers Ln, New Hope Rd, Holston Ln, Calumet Dr, and New Bern Ave would go a long way in inviting additional trail users.
Additional on-street facilities on either Poole Rd, or New Bern Ave to provide a direct East-West corridor will also help facilitate more ridership.
Although closely following the creek, opportunities for infill along the trail should be analyzed. Much like transit, we need to ensure as much density as possible is placed along bikeways.
With the future BRT line and trail coming to New Bern, a direct connection from Crabtree Creek Greenway to New Bern Ave should be constructed.
Segment 2: On-Street to Downtown
The 2nd half of my journey included on-street travel as the greenway continued along the creek.
Milburnie Road contains a striped bike lane in each direction. The AADT is around 4,000 so it wasn’t too uncomfortable. There was however lots of debris and a few parked cars in the bike lane.
A couple of the intersections contained some traffic calming elements, but I must say it was a bit weird being forced into a shared lane just for 100 feet.
One of the major crossings came at Raleigh Blvd. While there were cars there to trigger the light when I crossed, bike detection so a rider does not need to get off and press the button would help.
Continuing onto Oakwood Ave was a shared lane condition but with the low volumes was pretty stress free.
Downtown, East and Bloodworth streets have shared lane conditions with also rather low volumes. Both of these streets are pretty low volume and have rather wide widths so in the future a one-way protected bike lane on each – similar to West and Harrington would increase safety and ridership.
- E-Bikes are the future
- Overall, it was a pretty easy and safe feeling ride
- The New Bern BRT multi-use trail will be a game-changer for the area
- Greenways are great but when following creeks, may be seen as inefficient for travel due to curves
- Treat zoning around trails similar to zoning around Transit
- Intersections need attention. While many of the roads themselves are quiet, the intersections can feel unsafe. Bike detection at signals will help.
Opinions and insights are my own and are not representative of my employer or any organization.