Raleigh's busy Oberlin Road to make way for bikes, pedestrians

Andrea Blanford Image
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
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Oberlin Rd updates

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Part of a plan to improve a corridor to one of Raleigh's most bustling shopping and dining destinations would reduce a section of Oberlin Road at Cameron Village from five lanes to three.

The Oberlin Road Streetscape Project includes adding protected bike lanes on both sides of the street, as well as 26 on-street parking spaces between Clark Avenue and Bedford Avenue.

The streetscape improvements would also include widening sidewalks and adding sidewalks to side streets.

Cyclists would be better protected with on-street parking between bike lanes and traffic lanes.

Bus stop islands would keep buses in the travel lane at bus stops.

Richard Dickie, Senior Engineer for the City of Raleigh said his team has studied the reduction in travel lanes, known as a "road diet," and the changes would only tack on 20 seconds to a driver's trip through the project zone.

"What it's showing is that those additional lanes were not really essential," Dickie said. "They were perhaps convenient in some regards and they were mostly for people pulling, pulling out."

More patrons pulling in is exactly what Steven Halaszi is hoping for. The owner of Benelux Coffee, next to Brixx Pizza and Flywheel on Oberlin Road, said customers already get there by bicycle, scooter, and skateboard.

"The on-street parking is needed. As we all know, parking's a challenge in this area," he said. "It'll be great for us as a coffee shop where people can just pull up, park for 10 minutes, get their coffee and then move on."

The Oberlin Road Streetscape Plan's design is 65-percent complete.

The project would cost about $4.7 million with construction beginning spring 2020.