The commute in uptown Charlotte may soon change thanks to bike lanes

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Until Sunday, several lanes in Uptown Charlotte will remain closed as the city test protected bike lanes.

For a week, portions of 5th and 6th street have transformed into pedestrian and cyclist friendly lanes as the Charlotte Department of Transportation works to get feedback about a permanent protected bike lane.

This particular street, 6th Street, connects the two greenways so we want to create a network around Charlotte where you can get on your bike. The more people who get on it, and ride it, and experience the benefits of it, the more positive feedback we are going to get," said Kate Cavazza, the bike program manager at Sustain Charlotte.

A protected bike lane differs from a normal bike lane in that it separates the cyclists from moving traffic.

We are trying to target a new commuter who will take this lane. They may not be the most confident biker in traffic but this barrier removes them from that," said Cavazza. 

It gives people the chance to commute Uptown and they may have not tried it before, said cyclist Angela Vogel Daley.

The temporary bike lane, a collaboration between the city, Sustain Charlotte and Charlotte Center City Partners, is in place until Sunday.

It is a temporary bike lane so some of the issues we hope to get cleared up. We have a lot of egress into the buildings so cars are coming in and out. Overall, we have not seen a ton of congestion," said Christine Webber, who bikes to work through Uptown.

After Sunday, the city will gather feedback and data from the test week to help plan the next move. The city will start designing a permanent protected bike lane in 2018.

I think it reduces traffic congestion overall and gives people another alternative to get to work, said Daley.

The lane runs along 6th Street from North McDowell Street and ending near the Irwin Creek Greenway.

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