Broad and South Roxboro Bike Lanes

The Skinny

As part of their 2018 Bicycle Improvements, the City of Durham, with help from Alta Planning & Design, is working on the design for restriping Broad Street (Main to Guess) and South Roxboro Street (Cornwallis to Summit) to include bike lanes. These two are being done first because NCDOT plans to resurface both roads this summer.

Links for Project Information

Broad Street (includes three design options and a survey).
South Roxboro Street (a single option and a survey).


This summer. No deadlines for initial comments or surveys have been given, but they should be provided as soon as possible. A public meeting is promised, but has not yet been scheduled. NCDOT already has contracts to resurface both roads this summer.

Bike Durham’s Goals for Both Projects

Protected bike lanes on both sides of the street are essential on each corridor. The lanes should be carried through intersections and connect with adjacent bicycle infrastructure. Vertical delineators should be added immediately and permanent barriers should be added within two years of the restriping. Travel lanes should be narrowed to slow traffic. Bus stops should be designed to minimize conflicts between buses and cyclists.

Design Options for Broad Street: Three options are presented.

Design Options for Broad Street: Three options are presented.

Option A should not be considered. It puts cyclists in the door zone of parked cars and would not allow for protected lanes on one side of the street.

Bike Durham supports Option B with one significant adjustment - if another foot can be taken from somewhere, preferably the travel lanes and/or parking lane, there could be a two foot buffer (enough for vertical delineators in the short term and a more permanent solution in the longer term) for the bike lanes not protected by parking.

If the adjustment to Option B can be made to ensure protected bike lanes on both sides of the street, Option C is not necessary. We recognize that this will risk an unnecessary fight with the business owners along Broad Street who are concerned about losing on-street parking. That said, it is the only option that includes protected bike lanes on both sides as currently shown and should be considered for blocks where on-street parking is rare. Our understanding is the Option B can include protected facilities, but was simply not rendered with vertical elements. Thus, a mix of an adjusted Option B with protected bike lanes on both sides where parking is needed, and Option C where parking is not needed, would be the best of both worlds.

The other option we have heard suggested by members of the community is a two-way protected cycle track. The City has indicated NCDOT would not support this design and that there would be additional signal and curb movement costs that the City has not budgeted. It also creates a tricky transition to the traditional bike lanes found at either end of the corridor. Therefore, Bike Durham does not recommend this design treatment.

Other Considerations for Broad Street

Bike Durham encourages the removal of turn lanes at unsignalized intersections along Broad Street to continue the bike lane protections as long as possible. Similarly, continuing the protected bike lanes through the ends of the corridor (at Main Street and Guess Road) is crucial to connect with the bike lanes on Main Street and on Broad Street north of Guess Road. While outside of the resurfacing project, the lack of bike lanes on Broad Street just north of the Guess Road intersection is a barrier to having a continuous cycling corridor along Broad Street and should be restriped to include bike lanes.

Design Option for South Roxboro Street

A single option is presented:

Bike Durham supports this proposal but requests that the City consider adding on-street sidewalks on the west side of South Roxboro Road, where they are currently absent. Since the proposed buffer between the travel lanes and bike lanes is ample (7 feet on both sides!), Bike Durham believes the City should consider using 5-6 feet of that to create an on-street sidewalk similar to this one in Seattle:



Make South Roxboro Street Safer for Biking


March Update— Community meeting

South Roxboro Street is being repaved soon and the prevailing design includes buffered bike lanes.  Join us by dropping into the public meeting this Wednesday between 6:30 and 8pm at Southwest Elementary to voice your support. 

We support the improvements but

  • Standard physical infrastructure should be added to prevent injury or death
  • The plan should be expanded to include the entirety of South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway & Hope Valley Road

Full details from the city can be read here:

Report from November, 2017

The Department of Transportation is currently accepting comments on a plan that will improve cycling in Durham on South Roxboro Street. While the plan is a good start, it needs your help to make the road safer for all users.

The stretch of South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Hope Valley Road is a prime example of why biking on Durham roads is often reserved for only the bravest and most experienced cyclists. This street features two travel lanes in each direction, a 35 mph speed limit, and no physically separated facility for cyclists. Drivers looking at the street have a hard time discerning it from a highway, which would explain why a study conducted in 2013 found an average traveling speed of about 42 mph. There is already a bike lane on the section between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Carlton Crossing Drive. But with nothing but a single line of paint to separate bicyclists from the speeding traffic, it’s not exactly safe.

Would someone new to cycling ever feel comfortable here? Photo: Google Maps

Would someone new to cycling ever feel comfortable here? Photo: Google Maps

Fortunately, the City of Durham Department of Transportation has proposed an improvement for the 1.6 mile section between Juliette Drive and Hope Valley Road. It will reduce that section from two travel lanes to one travel lane for vehicles and add a bicycle lane with a painted buffer, similar to the design that already exists on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard.


This is a major improvement but the project leaves a lot left to be desired. The painted buffer will increase comfort for cyclists already used to sharing the road with drivers but it does not ensure their safety and can be confusing for drivers. The bike lane should be separated from vehicular traffic by a physical barrier to protect cyclists. Only a protected bike lane will make cyclists feel truly safe and encourage new ridership.


Current plan introduces a gap between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Juliette Dr


It is important to note that the City of Durham Public Works Department is planning to repave the entirety of South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy and Hope Valley Road in 2018, not just the section ending at Juliette Drive. Bicyclists connecting to the new bike lane will have no choice but to continue navigating the dangerous conditions that already exist on the rest of the street. The Department of Transportation should use this opportunity to expand the scope of the proposed project and improve the design of the entire stretch of road.

What You Can Do

The Department of Transportation is currently accepting comments on this plan from the public. Your voice can be instrumental in improving the safety of bicycling in Durham so it is important to submit them by the November 30th deadline. You can read the full plan here and submit your comments using the form provided by the city here. It’s always more effective to provide a personal touch but feel free to mention your support for any of the following ideas:

  • I strongly support the plan to add a bike lane to South Roxboro St but it needs to go further to improve safety for cyclists.
  • The new bike lanes should be fully protected by a physical barrier that separates cyclists from vehicular traffic.
  • The plan should be expanded to include the entire stretch of South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Hope Valley Road.

Provide your comments to the City of Durham Department of Transportation by November 30th

Bike Month is Here!

May is a great time to dust off that bike and enjoy the beautiful weather from two wheels. Check out all the great Bike Month events happening around Durham on the Bike Month calendar. We hope you'll stop by one of the socials (May 1st, May 15th) or come grab treats and giveaways from one of our pit stops during Bike to Work Day (May 19th).

APBP North Carolina Chapter Kickoff and Networking Events

The Association of Bicycling and Walking Professional’s *new* North Carolina Chapter is hosting a series of six socials in late January for individuals across the state!

Join them after work at the social nearest you to celebrate the kickoff of the new chapter. You do not need to be a member to attend. We encourage students, private sector employees, state and local government, advocates, and individuals to attend that are interested in:
Upcoming NC Chapter Events, including free webinars
Bicycling and Walking as a Profession
Networking with colleagues and peers

Chapel Hill/Carrboro

Tuesday January 24th

Steel String Brewery @ 106 S. Greensboro St (6-7:30PM)

Host: Sarah Johnson, UNC Chapel Hill


Pop-Up Cycle Track Demo

Bike Durham is inviting cyclists to try out a two-way cycle track (aka protected bike lane), which provides a physical separation between bicyclists and motorized vehicles in the form of a raised curb, onstreet parking, or bollards.

Help us make the case to Durham stakeholders about investing in better bikeways. This segment of Washington Street (east side) between Trinity Avenue and the Durham Athletic Park happens to be a key link in the East Coast Greenway. Check us out on your way to the Farmer’s Market!

Thanks to event our cosponsor, East Coast Greenway Alliance.

Event Date: 

Jul 9 2016 -

8:00am to 2:00pm