City of Charlotte unveils new bike lanes on Parkwood Avenue

CHARLOTTE — A busy Charlotte street just got safer for bikers and pedestrians.

The city of Charlotte officially cut the ribbon and unveiled new separated bike lanes on Parkwood Avenue in the Belmont and Villa Heights neighborhoods.

“This segment of Parkwood has been transformed from a dangerous road for moving cars to a complete street that will be safer for all users: pedestrians, cyclists, bus riders and drivers,” said Shannon Binns, founder and executive director with Sustain Charlotte Founder, in a news release. “We are thrilled that the city has responded to the community’s plea for safety as we know it will result in a dramatic reduction, if not elimination, of lost lives and serious injuries on this road. We will continue to partner with residents and the city to bring safer streets like this to all neighborhoods.”

The 0.8-mile bike lanes are part of a $3.7 million project that also reduced the number of lanes and the speed limit on Parkwood Avenue.

“As a city that values freedom of movement and the importance of providing a multitude of mobility options, this is another fantastic step forward,” Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt said in a news release. “The Parkwood Avenue separated bike lanes will give our city more options to move around, exercise and spend quality family time in a safe, controlled area.”

The city held a news conference and ceremonial ride Friday afternoon. Councilman Larken Egleston said the infrastructure improvements to Parkwood Avenue are a good example of projects leaders can implement to improve safety in all neighborhoods of the city.

“Whether they are biking, walking or in their car I think it increases safety for everybody and it is going to decrease the number of accidents and injuries on our roads,” Egleston said.

In June 2015 on Parkwood Avenue, Charlotte artist Joe Borruso was struck by a driver police say was intoxicated. Borruso suffered serious injuries because of the crash. Read more here.

In September 2015, 73-year-old Alfred Gorman was struck and killed while riding his bike on Parkwood Avenue at Hawthorne Lane. A ghost bike was placed at the crash scene in his honor. Read more here.

(Watch the video below: Artist injured in bicycle crash talks about recovery, dangers)