REVISIONS TO BICYCLE SAFETY ORDINANCES
Signed into law on July 11, 2016, House Bill 959 (Session Law 2016-90) includes changes to portions of North Carolina's bicycle safety law effective October 1, 2016:
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Bike Bond Project Update
ST1241 Bike Bond Projects: Installation Complete
In November 2012, Cary residents voted to approve the purchase of Community Investment Bonds for Transportation. The bonds were supported by 70% of voters and included $1 million for improving bicycle facilities and programs.
Bike Plan Overview
Cary's Community Plan calls for a safe, convenient and efficient system inclusive of all modes of transportation. Chapter 7, the bicycle section, establishes a bicycle plan for Cary which identifies a system of bikeways and connections to greenways within and beyond Cary. Check out the Town’s Bike & Hike Map and User’s Guide, complete with on-road bike routes, green ways, route descriptions and safety tips.
Bicycles are an essential component of a balanced transportation system and can be an efficient way to get around in an urban environment. They provide a clean alternative to cars and contribute to health and quality of life. Every street is a bikeway since North Carolina law regards bicycles as vehicles. Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. The League of American Bicyclists says cyclists fare best when they act as drivers of vehicles and adhere to the rules of the road.
Bicycle Friendly Facilities
Cary's bicycle transportation network will include a variety of bicycle-friendly facilities and pavement markings including:
Wide Outside Lanes which allow motorists to safely pass a cyclist while remaining in the same lane. Experienced cyclists prefer this approach. The Town of Cary has updated its roadway design standard to require 14-foot-wide outside lanes on multi-lane roadways. Existing multi-lane roads with two 12-foot travel lanes will be re-striped for 13-foot outside lanes and 11-foot inside lanes. These facilities have no markings for bicycles, but may have signs denoting a Cary Bike Route.
Striped Bike Lanes are designated by striping, signs and pavement markings. Best for novice or casual bicyclists, they are for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists. Typically, at least four feet wide, not including curb and gutter, bike lanes are effective on collector or multi-lane minor thoroughfares with relatively low traffic volumes, few commercial driveways and few complicated intersections.
Signed Bicycle Routes have heavy traffic volumes and high speeds and are recommended for experienced cyclists only. Directional or informational "Bike Route" signs along selected bike ways, often indicate 'loop' routes or other routes to important destinations. Signed routes can include wide outside lanes and striped bike lanes. Cross-town connectors are bike routes with signs located along major thoroughfares.
Street-Side Trails may be appropriate where access is cut off from adjacent neighborhoods, schools or shopping centers by a dead-end street or a cul-de-sac. A neighborhood connector is an asphalt path 10 feet wide for bicycle riders and pedestrians only. On narrower paths, cyclists may have to dismount and walk, and in most cases it is necessary to install bollards in spaced intervals at both ends of a neighborhood connector to keep unauthorized vehicles from cutting through. Cyclists must use extreme caution while traversing neighborhood connectors.
Shared Use Arrows (“Sharrows”) are pavement markings that remind motorists to expect cyclists in the travel lanes, encourage cycling on the roadway rather than on sidewalks and discourage wrong-way cycling.
CURRENT BICYCLE DATA (1/5/2018)
|Facility Type||Number of Miles|
|Shared Lane Markings||20.8|
|Total Miles On-Road Facilities||43.4|
Recommended Rides in Cary
Did you know Cary has 80 miles of greenway trail? We’ve recommended some routes below to get you started or keep you moving!
Cary Park Lake Greenway – This 1.9-mile greenway winds around Cary Park Lake. For those looking for a longer ride, continue south from the lake, along the Southbridge Greenway which connects to a street-side trail along Morrisville Parkway, or ride to nearby Mills Park.
Symphony Lake Greenway – This 1.8-mile loop extends around Symphony Lake with parking available at the nearby Koka Booth Amphitheatre. This greenway loop connects to the Swift Creek Greenway providing a short ride to Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve.
Higgins Greenway– This 0.8-mile-long central Cary greenway begins at SW Maynard Road and extends north to Dorothy Park. This short ride passes wetlands, popular for bird watching. From here, you’re just a short ride into Downtown Cary from Dorothy Park.
Speight Branch Greenway– This 1.3-mile greenway begins at Walnut Street, near the shopping center’s Tryon Woods Drive entrance, and extends through a wooded, flat section before reaching Cary Parkway. Extend your ride by taking the loop trail around Macedonia Lake.
Hinshaw Greenway– Explore two parks and cross a “giant” bridge on this 1.7-mile greenway trail. It connects MacDonald Woods Park with the Kids Together Playground at Marla Dorrel Park, with a bike and pedestrian bridge crossing over US 1/64.
Morris Branch Greenway– This 2-mile greenway in West Cary extends along Morris Branch, with views of Amberly Lake. The west end of the trail connects to the New Hope Church Road Trailhead and from there you can hop on the American Tobacco Trail to extend your ride!
Long, longer, longest:
White Oak Creek Greenway– This 4.7 mile east to west connection across Cary has some of the newest sections of trail in town, and connects numerous parks and schools on the eastern section, and as it extends west, you’ll forget the nearby neighborhoods as you ride past scenic streams, wetlands, and natural areas.
Black Creek Greenway– This greenway is the longest trail entirely within Cary (7.1 miles) and one of the most popular too. The trail connects Bond Park to Lake Crabtree, and also provides connections to White Oak Creek Greenway.
American Tobacco Trail– Hit three counties in one ride! The popular 23-mile American Tobacco Trail begins in Apex, passes through Cary, and extends all the way to Durham. Built on old railroad bed, the trail remains flat, as it passes through residential areas, by farm fields, past streams, and ponds, and even shopping and dining areas near Southpoint.
Safety and Education Resources
Cary offers a variety of bicycle facilities to accommodate cyclists of all ages and abilities.
For information on the Rules of the Road and a Motorist Briefing Presentation, please reference the training session by Steve Goodridge, a League of American Bicyclists Local Cycling Instructor (LCI). Talking points have been included as a reference point for the material.
Cary Police offers safety clinics and bicycle “rodeo” obstacle courses open to any group of children on request that address:
- Safety helmet importance and proper fitting
- Bicycle maintenance and safety checks
- Obstacle courses focusing on hand signals, sign identification, rules of the road
Please contact Officer Dean or Officer Clifton for more information:
Officer Ashlee Dean
Officer James Clifton
Recent Projects and Recognitions
Cary was among the first 14 cities in the country to be named a Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
The “Road Diet”
The Town installed shared lane markings, or “sharrows”, and bicycle signage on portions of three roads in Cary:
- Kildaire Farm Road from Walnut Street. to Cary Parkway
- Waldo Rood Boulevard from Cary Parkway to Davis Drive
- NW Maynard Road from Old Weatherstone Way to Kildaire Farm Road
Sharrows are characterized by a bicycle symbol and a directional chevron and are used to assist bicyclists with lateral positioning, alert road users to the proper positioning of bicycles, encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists and reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.
A “road diet," or lane reduction, was also installed on Kildaire Farm Road between Walnut Street and Maynard Road as part of an NCDOT resurfacing project to reduce the total number of lanes from 4-lanes to 2-lanes with a center turn lane. This reduced crossing distances for pedestrians, improved sight distances for turning movements and created additional width for bicyclists.
A striped bike lane, bike symbols and bicycle route signage along both sides of Lake Pine Dr. were also installed. The bicycle lanes on Lake Pine Dr. tie into the existing commuter bike route on Cary Pkwy. and connect to Apex Community Park. The project also tied into an existing bike route and bike lanes on Lake Pine Dr. north of Cary Pkwy.
Rack-n-Roll Program: Bikes on Buses
All GoCary fixed route buses and GoCary bus shelters are equipped with bike racks. View more information on the Rack-n-Roll program.
Bicycle Safety Activity Kit
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed the Bicycle Safety Activity to provide parents, caregivers, teachers, and community leaders with the tools to learn the basics about bicycle safety. The kit includes seven tools listed below.
Cycling Skills Clinic is a step-by-step approach to planning and initiating a bicycle safety skills event, which includes instructions and resources for setting up a course and how to conduct it to meet needs of participants.
Bikeability Checklist is a student, parent and teacher survey for evaluating bikeability in and around schools.
Fitting a Bicycle Helmet includes how to fit a bicycle helmet for all ages.
ABC Quick Check features bicycle maintenance tips.
Bicycle Adventures is a hands-on series available through the National 4-H Curriculum.
Ride Smart: It's Time to Start is a video that uses humor, real-life examples, computer graphics, and a diverse group of teens for a peer-to-peer approach to the rules of the road.
The League of American Bicyclists' Safe Routes program focuses on bringing training to middle school students inside and outside the classroom.
Bike Rack Request
Cary has an adopted bicycle parking ordinance to require bicycle parking spaces as part of all new development. To make a bike rack request at an existing location, please contact Juliet Andes.
Transportation & Facilities Department
Facilities Planning Manager
Transportation & Facilities Department