Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools (WSFCS) has initiated a “pedestrian and traffic improvement” project for Northwest boulevard near Wiley middle school and RJ Reynolds high school. The project aims to address safety concerns for students and guests at the two schools and improve traffic flow.
Davenport–a local engineering, design, and consulting firm–has developed a proposal and now it’s time for you to weigh in.
The current proposal has it’s pros and cons. Here are some highlights:
Medians, designated crosswalks, and flashing signs are added to promote safe movement of pedestrians.
Parking lots are redesigned to better handle buses and pick-up/drop-off traffic.
The bike lanes along the stretch of road are maintained but decrease from the current 6 feet wide to 4 feet wide.
On-street parking changes from parallel parking on both sides of the street to reverse angle parking on the Wiley side of the street.
WS CAN is a big believer in making our city more livable by improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure and policy, and promoting a safe environment for all users. This project is a great opportunity to improve bikeability and walkability for students and faculty at these two schools as well as the many citizens who frequent this area for games, activities at Hanes Park, and those of us who bike on Northwest boulevard to get somewhere else. But we have to make sure to do it right.
We have a few concerns about the current proposal…
Bike lane width is reduced and the added medians won’t allow motorists to give any additional space to riders. This creates a cramped environment for riders.
While the reverse angle parking is great for maximizing space, discouraging walking across the roadway outside the designated crosswalks, and eliminates the dooring hazard for cyclists, it may introduce new hazards for riders since drivers have limited ability to see cyclists when parking. However, reverse angle parking tends to have a general traffic calming effect which improves safety for all users.
Perhaps there is a better solution. Like a two-way cycletrack which puts both directions of bike travel on the same side of the street and can include a physical barrier making the space safer and more inviting to cyclists. Or a wide side path that is shared by pedestrians and cyclists.
The point is we need your input. What do you like and dislike about the current proposal? Do you have other ideas to make it better?
WS CAN is collecting feedback to share with WSFCS, Davenport, and City Staff for their consideration. You can send us an email with your name, address and comments on the proposal or use the form below.
Either way, it’s important that we hear from you! Even if you don’t ride in this area of town, you can still share your thoughts on the proposed changes. This could be a great project that will help influence future projects.
Please take a few minutes to review the proposal and share your feedback and help us spread the word. Your input will help shape the future of Winston-Salem.