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Bike lane connecting Irwin Creek, Little Sugar Creek greenways in Charlotte officially opens

It now serves as a spine for cyclists traveling east and west through uptown Charlotte.
It now serves as a spine for cyclists traveling east and west through uptown Charlotte.
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 5:57 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A brand new two-mile bike lane in uptown Charlotte is the city’s latest effort to step away from a car-centric design and try to improve safety for people on bikes and on foot.

The bike lane connects Irwin Creek and Little Sugar Creek greenways.

A map from a 2017 study shows where the existing trails and greenways in uptown were. That study created the vision of the bike lane as a way to better connect the infrastructure already in place.

Five years later, it now serves as a spine for cyclists traveling east and west through uptown Charlotte. Features like raised medians and metal guards protect people from cars, while raised bus stops create equal access for people who might have a hard time getting on busses.

There is also plenty of signage dictating the right of way.

Charlotte City Councilman Larken Egleston has been a proponent of the project. He says people living in his district need these amenities to create a more prosperous Charlotte.

“We’ve historically had a bunch of different pieces of infrastructure, part of greenways and bicycle lanes but they’ve often been disconnected,” Egleston said. “This is something that brings a lot of those existing pieces of infrastructure together and creates a network for people that allows them to get in and out of the center city. It’s not only a means of recreation but a means to get to work and get home from work. So, we think this plugs in and better utilizes a lot of things that were already on the ground.”

The bike lane could be used earlier in the week, but an official ribbon cutting took place on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Fourth Ward Park, and was followed by a community bike ride.

This new lane and its safety features coincide with April being Distracted Driver Awareness Month. It’s a time when drivers are asked to put down their phones and slow down to protect their neighbors.

Related: New crosswalk installed at dangerous intersection in west Charlotte

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cyclist deaths have been on the rise since 2010. The deadliest time of year - June, July, and August - are right around the corner.

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