Don’t confuse bike lanes with parking spaces on Craven Street

Share the road doesn’t just apply to when you are driving. It also applies where you park your car.

So here’s a heads up regarding a particular street in Asheville.

Since 2014, the City of Asheville has been working on the Craven Street Improvement Project, a multimodal roadway and waterline upgrade adjacent to New Belgium Brewing. Work is ongoing but the road itself reopened in August.

The new Craven Street is designed with many users in mind, including bicyclists. Bike lanes are marked on both sides of the road. In addition there are some parking spots marked on Craven Street as well, and this is where some apparent confusion is coming in.

Some motorists are parking in the bike lanes. And that’s a violation that can result in a ticket, or even towing.

In April, the bike-friendly New Belgium Brewing opened its tasting room. Now there’s more traffic on Craven Street than before. Some drivers may not have noticed the newer street markings so the City Transportation Department and Asheville Police want to call them to our collective attention.

Please don’t park in the bike lanes!

“Bike lanes are travel lanes, so it is not legal to park in bike lanes anywhere in town, but this is a good time to highlight the issue on Craven Street,” said Transportation Planner Barb Mee, who serves as the City’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Coordinator. “Even though the construction is not quite complete, we want to get ahead of the issue as much as possible.”

May is National Bike Month, set aside by the League of American Bicyclists. It’s a great time to raise awareness about bike lanes and bike laws. The no-parking-in-bike lanes applies to all bike lanes throughout Asheville, of course. But now’s a great time to bring awareness to Craven Street.

“More people are visiting the area now that New Belgium Brewery’s Liquid Center is open, and we expect to see even more people walking, bicycling and driving there when the city’s new French Broad River West Bank Greenway opens in a few months,” Mee added.