The Town of Chapel Hill is proposing to add bike lanes to Culbreth Road this summer. If approved, the center turn lane along most of the road would be removed and five feet bike lanes would be added on both sides of the road.
The Culbreth Road Lane Reallocation is part of a repaving project by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) – which the town sees as a chance to better the pedestrian and cyclist experience.
“Part of NCDOT’s repaving the town sees an opportunity to reexamine the lanes and look at the potential for bike lanes which we’ve identified as something we would like to do in our town’s mobility and connectivity plan,” Josh Mayo, the transportation planner for the Town of Chapel Hill, said.
The Chapel Hill Mobility and Connectivity Plan aims to achieve a 35 percent bicycling, walking, and transit commute to work in Chapel Hill by the year 2025. Mayo said to reach this goal, the town identified a network of changes to provide the best cycling and pedestrian experience possible.
“Over time we hope to implement those through projects like this, through new development, and through federally funded grants and create a connected, protected, and useful network for people ages 8 to 80,” Mayo said.
Unlike other mobility projects in the town, Mayo said the Culbreth Road Project arose without the need for federal funding.
“This Culbreth Road project is a great opportunity to get a low-cost bicycle facility in because NCDOT is already going to repave the road,” Mayo said. “It doesn’t take much additional cost or much additional effort to provide NCDOT with a design that includes bike lanes. It would be the same repaving costs at NCDOT’s cost as well.”
For those concerned about the impact on traffic, the project does not anticipate major changes. Mayo said the town modeled the proposed changes in a town-wide traffic model and found little to no delay as a result of the change.
Project managers are holding two public information sessions for community members to voice their opinions on the project June 10 and June 14. The town is also accepting feedback in a survey on the project’s webpage.
If approved, project construction could start as early as July 1 and would be scheduled to be completed prior to the start of the school year in August.
The Culbreth Road Lane Reallocation is not the only project happening within the Mobility and Connectivity plan. The town is also working on the Estes Drive Bike and Pedestrian improvements and the Fordham Side Path – both of which aim to begin construction later this year.
To find more information on the project or to voice an opinion, click here.
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