Build Our Bicycle Network

Build Our Bicycle Network

Join us in telling city council members that our bike network is an important community resource that deserves more funding! 

Sustain Charlotte, along with our partners and supporters, is urging the City of Charlotte to increase the budget for the bicycle program from $4 million to $10 million per fiscal year. 

This funding would make it possible to: 

  • Build 10 miles of All-Ages-Abilities bicycle facilities every year.
  • Complete the remaining 100+ miles of the Bicycle Priority Network before 2040.
  • Reduce injuries and fatalities for all road users, ultimately helping us reach our Vision Zero goal.
  • Increase local economic activity and support upward economic mobility when bicycling facilities are added or upgraded.
  • Help mitigate congestion and promote healthy, active mobility.
  • Increase climate-friendly transportation to help the city achieve its 2050 Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP) goal of drastically reducing per capita greenhouse gas emissions.

Take a look at the Priority Bike Network

Below, the map on left shows the existing, disconnected bike facilities while the map on right shows the connected Bike Priority Network that additional funding would allow us to complete faster.

Map of existing bike lanes

Map of Priority Bike Network

Why are we asking for an increase in the bicycle program funding?

Grant Baldwin Photography

Build at least 10 miles every year

The current funding allows, at best, four to five miles per year of All Ages and Abilities (AAA) bike network facilities. 

Although some progress has been made toward building out the 173 miles of the Bicycle Priority Network, given the current funding, there will be gaps totaling more than 100 miles by 2040[1]. By increasing the budget allocated for the bicycle program, we can double the miles of bike lanes built per year and meet the goal of completing the priority network before 2040.

Make progress in shifting mode share

In order to achieve the goal of reducing the current 76.6% single occupancy vehicle mode share to 50% by 2040[2], we need to make tangible progress in investing in walking, micro-mobility, and public transit. This requires a change in the allocation of funds, as alternative modes have been underfunded or nonexistent for many decades. 

The Strategic Mobility Plan confirms that 65% of participants who were surveyed during public outreach want more options and opportunities to use modes of transportation other than cars. However, past investments have not resulted in a well-connected network, which makes the limited infrastructure for cyclists vulnerable to adverse weather conditions, construction, and street closures. We need alternate modes of transportation to help mitigate congestion and promote healthy, active mobility. There simply aren't enough miles of safe infrastructure for all ages and abilities to provide a convenient route to where people need and want to go.

Safety, safety, safety!

Despite only being involved in 3% of crashes from 2017-2021, pedestrians and cyclists accounted for 40% of traffic deaths[3]. However, cities that have invested in building protected bicycle facilities have witnessed a decrease in traffic fatalities for all road users while experiencing a significant increase of 51% in the number of people traveling by bike[4]

The City of Charlotte has acknowledged the need for safety in its transportation system by adopting the Vision Zero goal in 2018. Despite this aspiration, Charlotte has seen an increase in traffic-related deaths and an uptick in fatalities for non-motorists. As research has shown, increasing the budget allocation will help the city work towards reversing this trend for both motorists and non-motorists alike.

Costs and local economics

Bicycle facilities have been proven to boost local economic activity[5] while being less expensive to build and maintain, having a longer lifespan, and accommodating more people per unit of space than traditional roads. Given that 44% of major roads in Charlotte are in disrepair[6], it's worth considering cost-effective alternatives like more bike infrastructure instead of building more roads. 

Supporting the environment

In order for the city to achieve its 2050 Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP) goal of drastically reducing per capita greenhouse gas emissions, we must increase climate-friendly transportation.

Now is the time to advocate for full funding to support our bicycle network.