If you’ve ever ridden your bike on a road–sharing space with cars, trucks, buses, and the occasional tractor trailer–you know that having a space of your own can make a big difference.
Bike lanes provide people riding bicycles with a small, dedicated slice of the roadway where they don’t have to compete with automobile traffic nearly as much. Bike lanes also show others that bikes do belong on roads and there are ways we can all share the road.
Bike lanes don’t come without their own set of issues, though. They essentially become useless and even dangerous for riders when trash and debris collects to the point when it causes obstructions. Whether it’s glass, gravel, tree clippings, weeds, trash bins, or a parked car… these obstacles halt the pleasant and safe travel within the bike lane and make the rider have to think fast to avoid the issue and merge in with traffic. While an experienced and confident rider may not mind this inconvenience so much, a beginner rider will likely have trouble navigating this kind of situation and may get turned off to riding on the road.
The solution is clean bike lanes.
Winston-Salem currently has 18 miles of bike lanes and more scheduled to be added this fall. It is critical that all of our bike lanes, across the city, are maintained so they are safe and accessible to all citizens who want to utilize it.
What you can do
Do you recall seeing “hall monitors” back in elementary or middle school? The hall monitor was a student, usually wearing some kind of awesome badge, vest, or sash so you know how important they are, who would patrol the hallways to make sure the hallways to clean and orderly, and students got to class.
We’re searching for something similar to keep tabs on our bike lanes…. we’ll call them “lane monitors.” These volunteers will keep an eye out for a specific segment of bike lane and report back to WS CAN on their condition, specifying any issues like a car that keeps parking in the bike lane, or a section that collects a lot of gravel or other debris. This data will be collected and analyzed by WS CAN and brought to the City of Winston-Salem Department of Sanitation so we can work together to address issues and improve conditions for riding .
If you live near a bike lane or ride on a section of it regularly, we could use your help. Sign up to be a lane monitor! It’s super easy. Just look at the segment and use this form to report back to use on it’s condition. Ideally, we’d like to get an update once a week but monthly would suffice.
Bike Lanes Needing Monitoring: (link to maps below)
Academy St: Peters Creek to Brent Street Acadia Ave: Buchanan St to Sunnyside Ave Broad St: Cotton St to Acadia Ave Buchanan St: Cloister to Brewer Rd Carver School Rd: Teresa Ave to Viking Dr Linden St: 5th St to Martin Luther King Jr. Dr Lowery St: Lowery Ct to Martin Luther King Jr. Dr Main St: Salem Ave to Clemmonsville Rd Northwest Blvd: Hawthorne Rd to Reynolda Rd Polo Rd: Brookwood Dr to Indiana Ave Reynolda Rd: Robinhood Rd to Kent Rd Reynolds Park Rd: Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Campus to Hubert Ct Salem Ave: Broad St to 1st St Waughtown St: Main St to Lomond St 4th St: Martin Luther King Jr. Dr to Patterson Ave 5th St: Martin Luther King Jr. Dr to Paterson Ave
Your input will help us understand the current condition of our bikes lanes, identify common issues, and address them in a timely and effective manner. Sometimes the solution is as simple sweeping that section of bike lane more often, sending out crews once a year to trim overgrown bushes and trees, or having the City send a letter to residents to remind them not to put their trash and recycling carts in the bike lane. Whatever the issue, there is a fix and I think that as we work together to bring the problems to light, we can work with the City and other partners to address them.
Bike lanes are great! They provide dedicated space to bicyclists so we can travel safely and easily. If you ask me, we need many more miles of them. For now, we need to manage the ones we have so that anyone who wants to, can get out and ride without any issues.
If you agree, sign up to be a lane monitor and let’s make our bike lanes the best they can be!