Durham leaders OK funding for more bike lanes and sidewalks

Photo by Derrick Lewis/CBS North Carolina

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — More bike lanes and sidewalks are coming to Durham.

Monday night the Durham City Council approved an additional $1.3 million for the $9 million project on Old Chapel Hill Road.

As things are now, bikers and pedestrians say they don’t feel safe.

Cyclists are only a few inches from cars flying past them along Old Chapel Hill Road.

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It’s a reality for Robert Alston who rides his bike every day along the road.

“Bike lanes definitely would help probably from here all the way to the intersection of Garrett Road and University. Definitely, would help,” Alston said.

The North Carolina’s Department of Transportation has a draft plan of the project, which shows bike lanes and sidewalks will go from Garrett to Pope road.

“It’ll give the fellow bikers lanes to ride their bikes in without worrying about traffic,” Alston said.

The traffic is also a concern for Robert Merritt, who walks along the Durham road.

“You have to walk on the side of the road on the white lines and that’s really dangerous for anybody, kids, adults, anybody,” Merritt said.

Sometimes the sidewalks lead to nowhere, forcing pedestrians to walk right next to cars.

“If they’re not looking, they’re on their cell phones, texting, or whatever they’re looking at on their phone, you’re in trouble,” Merritt said of drivers.

The project will start this summer and expected to be completed in May of 2019.

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