Drivers confused after designated lane for bikes, buses opens in uptown

Drivers confused after designated lane for bikes, buses opens in uptown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — You will notice something different during your commute through uptown starting Monday -- Charlotte DOT is trying out something new.

It is a lane just for bikes and buses and the pilot program is the city’s first shared bike and bus lane.

It is on East 4th Street between South McDowell Street and the Transit Center.

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Scooters, school buses and emergency vehicles will also be able to use the lane.

CATS CEO John Lewis said this will improve efficiency. CDOT hopes this will make driving in uptown safer and easier.

“Throughout uptown what we’re trying to do is just give folks more transportation choices,” CDOT Transportation Coordinator Scott Curry said. “That’s part of the way the city deals with congestion. We wanna give folks other options than just sitting in traffic.”

Channel 9′s Anthony Kustura said he saw cars coming in and out of the lane all day Monday and saw cars parked in the lane. Representatives from CATS were out in the area throughout the day alerting drivers that the lane is not for cars.

Drivers can make right turns in the bike and bus lane, but only in portions of the lane where the lines are dotted.

Lane closures expected as construction begins on bike lanes in uptown

Law enforcement can cite drivers for “improper use of lane.” However, officials were working to educate the public on the new lane before issuing citations.

All of the signage for the new dedicated bus/bike lane was installed Sunday. CDOT is evaluating identified locations for additional markings and signage in an effort to increase visibility.

CATS and CDOT are also planning on installing platforms as part of the pilot program to allow buses to stop without interrupting the bike lane traffic flow.

Bicyclist David Chanders said he is concerned about sharing the same lane with large buses.

“It would be nice if it was a separate bike lane,” Chanders said. “Definitely better than nothing, but still think it has a ways to go.”

The city will release a survey in the coming weeks. If the feedback is positive, then the change will become permanent on 4th Street.

The city is also considering implementing the project on Providence Road, Central Avenue and South Boulevard.