The verdict is in: Residents who attended a series of walking tours told the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) that they don't feel entirely comfortable walking or riding a bicycle along much of Parkwood Avenue. Instead of functioning as a neighborhood street for all users, the avenue is plagued by heavy traffic and unsafe driving behavior.
The idea of adding bike lanes to Parkwood Ave was a clear favorite!
The formal quest to make Parkwood Ave safer reached a peak in November 2015 when neighborhood residents directly addressed City Council and asked for change. Read more about that here.
Soon after that Council meeting, CDOT announced that Parkwood Ave and The Plaza was one of the 3 corridors chosen for a round of three Arterial Corridor Studies. The other two corridors were South Boulevard and South Tryon from Uptown to South End.
Since Parkwood Avenue has recently been the site of some serious bicycle collisions including the death of a 73 year-old cyclist, we were especially interested in what survey participants had to say about bikes and safety:
- Many (44%) of the respondents indicated that they are “interested but concerned” about bicycling in general. While approximately 40% of respondents feel comfortable bicycling on Seigle Avenue, most respondents do not feel comfortable bicycling on the road or sidewalk on Parkwood Avenue, or crossing Parkwood Avenue on a bicycle.
- Most respondents indicated that a signal would improve safety at the intersection. Driver behavior, including paying attention and obeying the speed limit, were concerns for a majority of respondents at this location. Bike lanes and slower traffic were the most common suggestions for making Parkwood Avenue better for bicyclists.
There's much more to the survey results! We encourage you to dig in to find out more about what's working for residents and what's not, as well as their suggestions for change. Read the full survey results for Parkwood Avenue and The Plaza.
This isn't the last of the Arterial Corridor studies for Charlotte. In 2017, CDOT will begin a study of the West Boulevard Corridor. Thanks to a grant from Wells Fargo, Sustain Charlotte is partnering with a volunteer team of residents from Reid Park, Arbor Glen, and other West Blvd neighborhoods to launch a positive and action-oriented grassroots effort to make area streets safer.
We hope to see action taken very soon to transform these long neglected auto-dominated corridors into walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly streets! Adding protected bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks and signals, and improved access to bus stops will allow us to re-create streets that truly serve the needs of all people.