On Monday, July 25th, a group of Queen City residents rallied around Sustain Charlotte’s #bikeCLT movement at the City Council meeting…and gained a win for the Charlotte cycling community.
The #ibikeCLT campaign pushed for a protected bike lane through Uptown, connecting the Little Sugar Creek and Irwin Creek greenways. As the Sustain Charlotte Bicycle Director Jordan Moore presented Sustain Charlotte’s petition for the protected bike lane to each City Council member. The petition was signed by over 3000 residents. In his remarks to the council, Moore said: “Tonight you have the opportunity to do something much greater than build a bike lane. Tonight you can steer our city in the direction of equality. So many of our residents who live under the weight of being disadvantaged live in neighborhoods that this would benefit…Safe places for people to use their bicycles means a positive turn for social and economic mobility…Tonight we speak for over 3,000 people in our community who have aligned their voices to ask you for this lane. [Because] the benefits are endless when we design for safety, beauty and equality…”
In a rare action, City Council took action on the request immediately, during that meeting. As Mayor Jennifer Roberts pointed out, council members had received a number of emails in support of the bike lane prior to the meeting, making the action justified. Council member Patsy Kinsey expressed her support for the measure and made a motion to refer this request to the Transportation and Planning Committee. Council member John Autry also requested that funds be allocated specifically for bicycle and pedestrian projects when the City drafts their budget for next year. Council members Julie Eiselt, Vi Lyles, and Greg Phipps also expressed their support for the request. The council voted in favor of Kinsey’s motion, and the Transportation and Planning Committee will discuss this further and make budget and implementation recommendations by the end of the year.
In a story published the same day as the council meeting, Charlotte Agenda showed what uptown could look like with protected bike lanes.
What does this mean for the Charlotte cycling community? Much safer riding conditions. This is particularly true for commuter cyclists who use bicycles as their mode of transportation to and from work.
For now, we’ll need to wait to hear from the Transportation and Planning Committee. But to get this to move forward was a huge win for Sustain Charlotte and cyclists in the Queen City. I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next!