DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Instead of using cars, some people travel by bike as a primary form of transportation.
That’s what Jasmina Nogo does every day in Durham. But it’s not always a smooth ride.
“Every day that I ride with cars on the road, I’ll hold my breath and imagine my death because I feel like I hear about car accidents with cyclists,” Nogo said.
Two new projects from the city’s Transportation Department aim to calm those fears.
One of the projects will install eight miles of new bike lanes on existing roads. That’ll cost about $1.2 million.
“[The hope is that] people have safe, accessible ways to get from their homes to schools to grocery stores to downtown, etcetera,” Durham Multimodal Transportation Planning Manager Erin Convery said.
On some streets, there will be a painted stripe between bicyclists and traffic. In other places, there will be a painted buffer for additional safety.
Another project creates seven miles of neighborhood bike routes along some of the downtown area’s low-traffic roads. That’ll cost approximately $630,000.
“Creating a network that connects people from their neighborhoods to downtown, and then also to other existing bike facilities,” Convery said.
The neighborhood bike routes project adds pavement markings and signage to let people know they’re on the right path. Some streets will also get traffic circles and curb extensions to slow motor vehicles and shorten the crossing distance for walkers and riders.
“Long term, the idea would be to grow that network outwards, expand that to other neighborhoods,” Convery said.
Both projects are expected to be finished by the fall and the new routes will start to take form as soon as this month.
“It’s really important to me as an alternative to car culture and it just makes me feel good in my body to be able to move around on a bike,” Nogo said.
Find a full list of streets involved in the projects here.