Charlotte DOT testing out bike lanes in uptown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Department of Transportation has blocked off one lane of a street in uptown with cones and haystacks for a test run for bike lanes.

There's also new signage to remind drivers and cyclists where they need to be.

City officials said they plan to use feedback from the trial to figure out if they can set up permanent bike lanes.

The test bike lane runs almost 2 miles along 6th Street starting at North McDowell and ending near the Irwin Creek Greenway.

Renee Miller, who bikes with her kids several days a week, said she is excited to check out the new protected bicycle lane in uptown that connects the Little Sugar Creek Greenway to the Irwin Creek Greenway.

“It's nice to have your own space so you're not having to worry about cars coming through,” Miller said.

City officials said they'll be collecting data on how this impacts traffic all next week.

Another group will be surveying people who live and work uptown.

The city has already started working on a design for a permanent bike lane uptown.

"There has been a ton of study around this corridor and CDOT has determined this is the best lane to be given to cyclists,” Sustain Charlotte bike program manager Kate Cavazza said.

The city doesn't have the funding yet but feedback from the pilot project will play a roll in deciding if it will move forward.

Despite the temporary bike lane taking away a lane for drivers on the busy uptown street, Joleen Park, manager of the Queen City Q thinks the bike lane is a great idea.

"I know parking in uptown is always an issue and I think some people don't like coming downtown because of the parking,” Park said.

In May, the city tested temporary bike lanes in Plaza Midwood and received mixed feedback.

"As we know, traffic is getting worse, more people move here,” Cavazza said. “Forty-four people a day move to Charlotte, and with a bigger city, we need more transportation choices to eliminate that traffic, and it's good for our future."