Bike lanes on Lewisville-Clemmons Road?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hey, want to go ride bikes on Lewisville-Clemmons Road some day?

It’s not as far-fetched as you might think. The idea of adding multimodal facilities, such as sidewalks and even bike lanes, came up in the NCDOT’s presentation to the Clemmons Village Council in the May 14.

It wasn’t actually part of the proposed plan from the feasibility study put together by Kimley-Horn, planning and design engineers, for the busy stretch highway between I-40 and U.S. 158. But it could be one of the “add-ons” if the Village wanted to pursue such facilities.

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I’d want to do on the chaotic, five-lane Lewisville-Clemmons Road is get out there on a bicycle with 40,000 cars a day whizzing by, even with bikes lanes in place.

Are you kidding me?

I’m all for bike lanes, sidewalks and connectivity in the appropriate locations. However, in the interest of safety and saving lives, this can’t be for real — not bike lanes, at least not on this road.

During the gathering, Mayor John Wait agreed, saying, “I can’t imagine bike traffic up and down that road, even with bike lanes.”

He asked about any available data on having that kind of road with bike lanes, to which Teresa Gresham, a consultant for Kimley-Horn, said she didn’t know about any bike crashes and didn’t have a number on how many bikers are out there, if any.

Plus, it would cost the Village more money to widen curb lines along with the potential utility impacts.

The one thing the council heard loud and clear in the work session with the NCDOT was that Clemmons will have the final say on the Lewisville-Clemmons Road project.

That includes whether to proceed with a median from I-40 to Stadium Drive, the most congested and dangerous part of the road — which only covers 20 percent of the entire stretch that extends to U.S. 421. That means 80 percent would not have a median.

More study is still being done to the I-40 bridge and interchange, which is a vital part of the overall project.

The May meeting was the first update for the council, and Pat Ivey, Division 9 engineer, said there will be a public information workshop this summer to solicit additional input from citizens with the purpose of this to help the council to decide on “whether or not to continue supporting the project” through the local input points.

“We do need the interchange upgrade, but in the end, it really is a local decision,” Ivey said.

As Gresham previously stated, “The goal is to not come and say, ‘We’ve got a design, do you like it or not.?’ Our goal is to say ‘Here’s the need, we’ve identified a design that we feel addresses that need, and then get your input — do we want to proceed or not? If so, how do we proceed and do that in a partnership way?’ ”

If not, the NCDOT has stated it’s open to listening to other solutions, if there are any.

But as for any bike lanes on Lewisville-Clemmons Road, let’s just hope that idea doesn’t gain any further traction. I don’t want to see anybody get hurt or die out there.

• • • • •

Of course, a great place to ride bikes or enjoy a stroll along the sidewalks is the new Village Point Drive, which runs beside the Village Point Greenway and Village Point Lake.

At the last Village Council meeting, a representative from the nearby Jerry Long YMCA came to ask permission from Clemmons to use the greenway, which was dedicated more than three years ago, as part of its upcoming Dirty Dozen 5K race on June 23.

The Village was glad to comply, prompting councilman Chris Wrights to respond, “It’s a great opportunity. A lot of people still don’t know the greenway’s even there. So, anything we can do to help more people realize it’s there would be good.”

Besides motorists enjoying the new cut-through road, many runners have started to come out there, too, with the nice bike lanes and sidewalks. As for the greenway, which consists of nearly three-quarters of a mile of a paved path around the lake, it’s a true hidden gem and worth exploring. Check it out.