Open Street 704 is returning to the streets of Charlotte on May 7. Biking enthusiast get ready to rejoice. As part of the event’s festivities, organizers are planning to install a dedicated and most importantly a protected bike lane demonstration. This demonstration will take place on The Plaza from Central Avenue to Mimosa Avenue. This demonstration is the first-of-its-kind in the Queen City and will help people in Plaza Midwood, Villa Heights, Optimist Park and NoDa get to and from the event route.
Cyclists will be protected in the pop-up bike lanes by tall orange delineators (the slender cones you typically see installed permanently on the street to keep drivers from crossing over a lane) and a 3-foot striped buffer. In addition, temporary staging areas will be established at the intersection of The Plaza and Central Avenue to give cyclist room to make a safe crossing. As an added measure of safety, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer will also be stationed at the intersection for anyone who needs extra help crossing Central Avenue.
More good news for cyclists in Charlotte, this pop-up demonstration is part of a larger picture for cyclist safety in our city. While these bike lanes will be removed following the Open Streets event, the Charlotte Department of Transportation is currently working on a pilot project to install a protected bike lane across uptown. That project will eventually connect to Little Sugar Creek Greenway (in the east) to Irwin Creek Greenway (in the west) and would give cyclist of all abilities a comfortable way to travel through Uptown. The pop-up demonstration on The Plaza and the pilot project through Uptown are part of a larger movement in Charlotte toward establishing safe and comfortable bicycle facilities for all ages and abilities.
Come out on May 7 and get a look at what the future of Charlotte could become for cyclists. A safer and easier place to ride your bike through the city.