South Columbia Street
Purpose of Improvements
This is a high priority connection to mitigate conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists and to create safe conditions for two-way bicycle traffic.
- There are bicycle lanes and transit lanes between Fordham Boulevard and North Medical Drive.
- South Columbia Street is one-way northbound between Pittsboro Street and Cameron Avenue.
- Approaching North Medical Drive (at School of Nursing), the transit lane and bike lane terminate to a 17-foot-wide outside lane with shared lane markings centered 4 feet from the curb.
- North of South Road, the roadway narrows to 29 feet, with three 9- to 10-foot travel lanes with a 5-foot sidewalk on the west and an 8-foot sidewalk on the east side.
- Bicyclists currently operate two-way with pedestrians on the 8-foot, east side sidewalk and on the roadway
- This section was identified by many Wikimap users as the highest-stress part of their bicycle route. Commenters noted they had to choose between sharing the right lane with heavy bus traffic or the sidewalk with heavy pedestrian traffic. The bicyclists would prefer their own space through this area.
- This roadway is maintained by NCDOT.
Short-Term Recommendation Options
Further study will be required to select one of the following options. The termination of the existing bicycle lane into a wide shared lane at North Medical Drive leaves ambiguity for bicyclists and motorists. The shared lane marking is located too far to the right to control the travel lane, yet sufficient space remains to mark a bicycle lane. One of the following options is recommended.
Shared Lane Markings
Relocate shared lane marking from right hand edge of the existing travel lane to the center of the travel lane between North Medical Drive and South Road. Add sharedlane markings in center of curb lane between South Road and Cameron Avenue. Add BICYCLES MAY USE FULL LANE signs.
Primary Implementation Challenges: coordination and approval of Town and NCDOT.
Probable Construction Cost: $5,790
Reconfigure the curb lane from a 17-foot shared through/right/bike lane to an 11-foot right turn-only lane onto Medical Drive and South Road with a separate 6-foot bicycle lane to the left of the right-turn lane. North of Medical Drive, add shared lane markings in the center of the curb lane to Cameron Street with BICYCLES MAY USE FULL LANE signs.
Primary Implementation Challenges: may degrade motor vehicle mobility during peak periods of use. Coordination and approval of Town and NCDOT.
Potential Construction Cost: $47,010
Long-Term Recommendation Options
Further study will be required to select one of the following options.
Transition from a bike lane to a one-way cycle track approaching the School of Nursing and continue the cycle track to South Road. At South Road, transition to potential future one-way pair of bicycle lanes or cycle tracks on South Road and to a two-way cycle track for the remainder of South Columbia Street up to Cameron Avenue on the east side of roadway. The two-way cycle track between South Road and Cameron Avenue can be developed by either:
- Removing one travel lane on South Columbia Street, developing pull-out bus stops and reconstructing portions of the eastern curbline
- Primary Implementation Challenges: may degrade motor vehicle mobility during peak periods of use. Coordination and approval of Town and NCDOT.
- Probable Construction Cost: $572,730
- Reconstructing the east side of South Columbia Street between the existing curb line and buildings
- Primary Implementation Challenges: May require relocation or construction of retaining walls, utility relocations and tree removal. Coordination and approval of Town and NCDOT.
- Probable Construction Cost: $1,197,030
Shared Use Path
The existing sidewalk could also be widened to provide a high level of service shared-use path. Similar to the cycle track, the sidewalk could be widened by removing a travel lane or reconstructing the space between the curb line and the buildings.
Primary Implementation Challenges: May require relocation or construction of retaining walls, utility relocations and tree removal. Coordination and approval of Town and NCDOT.
Probable Construction Cost: $413,130