Durham Neighborhood Bike Routes

The City of Durham is working to implement neighborhood bike routes, otherwise know as bike boulevards, throughout Durham to help those travelling by bicycle access destinations more easily and safely.

Bicycle boulevards are streets with low motorized traffic volumes and speeds, designated and designed to give bicycle travel priority. Bicycle Boulevards use signs, pavement markings, and speed and volume management measures to discourage through trips by motor vehicles and create safe, convenient bicycle crossings of busy arterial streets. For more details on the design of bicycle boulevards, see the NACTO Bike Guide: https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/bicycle-boulevards/

The City has enough funding to develop the first phase of bicycle boulevards that will total approximately 7 miles. Design is currently underway, with construction expected in late 2019.

What Are the Routes and How Were They Selected?

Possible routes were identified by the Durham Bicycle Boulevard Initiative, and many of the possible routes have been published and promoted for bicycle travel in City of Durham maps since 2010 (see the 2010, 2012, and 2018 Durham Hike & Bike Map). The Hike and Bike Map identifies bicycle routes on shared roadways with lower traffic streets in green (see map link above). These routes, combined with the Durham Bicycle Boulevards conceptual network, formed the base to draw from for phase one projects. Planners examined about 30-miles of potential routes, looking at factors such as traffic volume, speed, and geographic distribution. During this review phase, four neighborhood meetings were held giving residents the opportunity to comment on potential routes.

 The funding for this project will allow for the design of up to seven miles total for this first phase. The seven miles proposed at this time are all roughly within a 1.5 mile radius of Downtown Durham, offering the best opportunity to build this network over time, starting at the center. You can view a map of the proposed routes below or here. They are:

  • Arnette Avenue/Hermitage Court to connect West Chapel Hill Street and University Drive
  • East Forest Hills Boulevard/West Enterprise Street to connect University Drive and the American Tobacco Trail
  • Glendale Avenue to connect the Duke Park Trail and West Corporation Street
  • Otis Street/Formosa Avenue/Concord Street/Brant Street to connect the American Tobacco Trail and North Carolina Central University
  • Spruce Street to connect Juniper Street and Southgate Street
  • Southgate Street/Maple Street/Ashe Street to connect Spruce Street and Driver Street
  • Taylor Street to connect Elizabeth Street and Maple Street
  • Watts Street to connect Main Street and West Club Boulevard
  • West Corporation Street/Cleveland Street/Dowd Street/Gurley Street/Gray Avenue/Hanover Street/Juniper Street to connect Glendale Avenue and Spruce Street
Base map Neighborhood Bike Routes


How Can I Provide Input/Get Involved?

The City is hosting a public meeting on Tuesday, December 11 from 4:30-6:30 pm at Forest Hills Clubhouse located at 1639 University Drive. Light refreshments will be served and there will be free giveaways. At the meeting, attendees will be able to learn about possible design options to help prioritize bicycle travel, ask questions of staff and project consultants, and provide comments.

Meeting materials and the opportunity for online comments will also be shared here on this website in the future.

Previously, four neighborhood meetings and bike rides were held to hear feedback on this project and try out possible routes.Additionally, in October Bike Durham hosted a community meeting focused on bicycle boulevards and a tour of possible bicycle boulevards.


What is "Durham Bicycle Boulevards"

The local advocacy group, Durham Bicycle Boulevards, is focused on developing a dedicated bicycle network of low-stress neighborhood streets. The Durham Bicycle Boulevards organization is working on community support and asking the City to move quickly toward implementation. Below is a graphic representation of the group’s conceptual bicycle boulevard network. More information on this group, including local events, can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/bicycleboulevards/

The City is building upon the Durham Bicycle Boulevards initiative by planning and designing an initial set of bicycle boulevard routes. This initial planning and design of the routes is considered as a first phase of bicycle boulevard implementation in Durham. It will take place mostly between Fall 2018 and Summer 2019, by using a Federal Highway Administration grant from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. The use of these funds limits the type of design that can take place in the short term, and the amount of the grant limits the total number (and mileage) of bicycle boulevards that can be addressed in this first phase. Still, the grant offers the City a way to design aspects of a first phase, such as pavement markings and wayfinding. Other design elements, such as traffic calming, cannot be used with CMAQ funding, but can be planned for for future phases.