Road Widening

The NCDOT will hold a meeting to discuss plans to widen Weaver Dairy Road tonight at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at East Chapel Hill High School. This has been quite a contentious issue in the past. I think it's a tough issue because people who live near it don't want it to turn into a busy thoroughfare, but at the same time they have no other way to get around since most of them live on cul-de-sacs and streets that don't go anywhere. And there's the not-small matter of the very different approaches to street improvement of DOT and the Town of Chapel Hill. (Interestingly noted in this 2002 presentation at the American Planning Association by Chapel Hill Planning Director Roger Waldon.)

Downtown, opinions also abound about the perennial question of what to do with Cameron Avenue. The street's current unusual configuration includes part-time bike lanes, which turn into parking spaces during off-peak hours. The debate continues about whether parking should be allowed there at all, and if so in what way. Cameron is a major artery, especially for bicycle commuters to and from campus. Do you use Cameron? If so, you should let the Council know what you think about their options.


Looks like the DOT did good:

"The state transportation department got credit Thursday for what residents described as significant improvements to the Weaver Dairy Road project, but the agency's current plan also drew criticism for several features." - Chapel Hill Herald, 10/1/04

I'm wondering if the town has actually done a study of peak hours for bikes on Cameron. Has someone sat out there and counted?

Currently, there's no parking on the south/McCauley side from 7am to 9:45am, but you could be on your bike at 9:52am and still make a 10am class. And, Cameron is already parked up most days at 9:45--obviously people are willing to take their chances for a few minutes, to make a 10am class. I'd like to see the no-parking times extended, including on the north/Franklin side, when it's dark out--it's hard to bike in the dark by parked cars.

I'd hate to see the road have parking 24 hours, because it'd be really snug to have two lanes of parked cars, then bike lanes, then cars.

My bigger issue with bike transportation is actually around downtown "bike-friendly" Carrboro, if you're going from the bike lane through downtown. It's a mess on Weaver Street, where there's just not enough room for bikes and cars. Some cyclists either go on the sidewalk, which is dangerous in a busy pedestrain area, or cut behind Carr Mill Mall, which means you're biking through a congested parking lot. If you go down Roberson, you're still going through busy intersections. Basically, you don't ever see people biking with their kids through downtown Carrboro, and this might be why.

(This isn't exactly off-topic, since many folks biking down Cameron are heading to Carrboro.)

I use Cameron Avenue to commute by bicycle from Carrboro to where I work off Airport Road near the Estes intersection. Estes needs a bike lane a hell of a lot more than Cameron Avenue, but I hear that is a DOT issue.
I also encounter a great deal of difficulty navigating through Weaver Street, which I refer to as the "parking lot of northern aggression". Weaver Street from the railroad tracks to N. Greensboro should just be closed to motorized traffic. How bad would that be to have to detour around it on Main St. or just bail oout of town traffic and hook up with the bypass?
Cameron Avenue is already in good shape for cycling, plenty wide, most sections of it are already marked no parking ever, the spaces available have time limits which seem to work, and the problems I encounter on it are the same everywhere in town; speeding cars that cut you off, pull out in front of you or give you as little space as possible.
Putting in meters generates revenue so it makes good sense for the greedy, especially on Saturdays for visitors who assume like most towns they don't charge on Saturdays. I'd be a little more inclined to be for them if they didn't charge on weekends, but with the current time constraints and only in the areas they are currently allowed to park.
Eliminating all parking on Cameron doesn't seem neccesary nor does striping, maybe a few more share the road signs and occassionally giving out speeding tickets might raise awareness and make it a little safer.
Anything that promotes transportation
that is not reliant on oil from the middle east is in the interest of homeland security. It is patriotic not to drive everywhere you go.


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