Share the Road

We applaud the efforts of GDOT staffers to find ways to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians at the often-confusing confluence of McGee and Davie streets near the underpass leading to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Downtown Greensboro.

That intersection is confusing enough for drivers passing through, often at too high of a speed, but it’s even more so for pedestrians looking to cross the street. As downtown projects continue to boom, and more residents move downtown, that intersection needs a major overhaul.

GDOT and several community organizations held a visioning session last fall during which they narrowed the roadways, installed temporary bike lanes and pedestrian zones, in an attempt to anticipate the reaction to potential improvements.

That led the city to decide that resurfacing of the area would need to be done, in order for new paint to clearly outline the various lanes of traffic. At $60,000, the expense doesn’t seem that much to bear, but with roads in shoddy shape all across the city, we can understand why staff would be sensitive to criticism of a downtowncentric focus.

Staff is seeking grant funds to offset part of the cost, and we think that’s a smart move.

Cycling and walkability are critical in the current paradigm of urban development. Finding ways to keep pedestrians and others away from the train tracks that split South Elm Street is a wise move as well.

But no amount of bike lanes can make up for drivers who refuse to share the road. Bike lanes can often become de facto passing zones for automobiles, like the one’s on Spring Garden Street near UNCG.

Drivers have to adopt an attitude of compassion for cyclists and make sharing the road with bikes and pedestrians as important as using turn signals and leaving a safe following distance.

People still do that, right? !

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