More people around the Triangle are choosing a bicycle for transportation, and it’s understandable. They’re eco-friendly, affordable, and provide a great opportunity to get exercise and fresh air. In an attempt to increase bike riding in the city, Raleigh has created a program called BikeRaleigh with the goal of increasing safety, convenience, and accessibility. One of the main initiatives has been to install and increase bike lanes through the city, and while this may be a net positive for the city, there are concerns to address. We’re exploring how you may be negatively affected by bicycle initiatives in Raleigh and how we can help.
Bike Lane Expansion and Eminent Domain
For homeowners in the areas where bike lane expansion is taking place, this initiative could have a serious negative effect on your property. In the short term, living near construction can lead to traffic, noise, and property damage, but the Department of Transportation can also claim eminent domain.
Recent eminent domain cases have included:
Understanding Eminent Domain
Eminent domain is the legal right of the state or federal government to claim land for public use. This law is defined under the Taking Clause, a section of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, and is expanded in the Fourteenth Amendment to give state and local government the right to take land for public use, too.
Primarily used for road construction, utilities, and protected lands, the government is required to provide the property owner with fair value for your land. However, the government uses its own appraisers to determine the value of the land and offer you compensation based on that.
Your Rights During Eminent Domain
If the city of Raleigh or the Department of Transportation contacts you to use a portion of your land for bike lane expansion, you need to work with an eminent domain attorney. While you can’t refuse or resist the government’s claim, an attorney can negotiate a fair settlement that includes the long-term effects and negative outcomes the road expansion may have on your property.
Increase of Bicycle Accidents and Collisions
We can expect the number of cyclists on the road to significantly increase with the increase in bike lanes, and while this is certainly not a bad thing, we can expect to see an increase in vehicle collisions with bicycles. While dedicated bike lanes are designed to keep cyclists safe, many drivers neglect these protected spaces or are unaware that they even exist.
BikeRaleigh has installed three types of bike lanes:
- Separated bike lanes that are spaced out from regular lanes via vertical bollards. These are primarily found Downtown, near Peace Street, and in the Southeast area, near Wake Med.
- Buffered bike lanes have a painted line separating them from the car lane. These new lanes are found near North Hills and near Falls of Neuse to Oak Croft Drive.
- Sharrows, or shared lane markings are for both cars and bikes, but the lanes have bicycles topped by two chevrons to keep cyclists centered in the lane to increase visibility. These are plentiful around Raleigh, especially around NC State, North Raleigh, and the Brentwood area.
Schedule a Consultation with an Attorney Today
Whether your property is compromised or you’ve been injured due to a driver who was negligent, we can help. Reach out to a bicycle injury lawyer or eminent domain lawyer today at 919-615-2473 for our Raleigh office or at 919-365-6000 to reach our Wendell office, or fill out the form below to get started.
Information presented on this website should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Additionally, any email sent to Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas, L.L.P. or any of its lawyers at the email addresses set forth in this website will not create an attorney-client relationship.
Personal Injury - Case Review
Land Condemnation / Eminent Domain - Case Review