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Plans to make Greensboro more bicycle-friendly

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- One-hundred miles of sidewalks, 75 miles of bike lakes and 13 miles of trails. They're all part of Greensboro's master plan over the next five years to make it easier to get around the city on bicycles and on foot.

Intersections and roads across Greensboro are getting a makeover.

Take Hamburger Square -- the intersection sandwiched between McGee Street, Davie Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. It's one of the most confusing intersections in downtown Greensboro.

"To make it safer, you can see those bright green dedicated bike lanes there," said Hillary Meredith, with Action Greensboro.

The goal is to create a more bikeable, walkable downtown and city.

"More miles and miles of dedicated or shared bike lanes, so people feel safer and also are more aware of cyclists," Meredith said.

The city adopted a Bi-Ped master plan in 2015, with the goal to create 75 miles of bike lanes by 2020.

Bike lanes haven't always been a priority for the city. In the decade before the plan was adopted, the city put in only 11.9 miles.

"The city employees, bike activists, the community members, have really come together to figure out, what do we want to be? And we want to be more bikeable," Meredith aid.

A map of the plan shows bike lanes going in Greensboro's busiest areas first. But over time, the goal is to expand lanes on major roads and trails all across Guilford County.

On top of the master plan comes Greensboro's new bike sharing system. The Lime Bikes debuted in the city this summer.

"We wanted a dockless system, which means there's not a lot of infrastructure," Meredith said. "The cost is cheaper. Bikes can kind of go where they organically need to be."

That means if you pick up a Lime Bike downtown and ride it up to Battleground Avenue, for example, you don't need to worry about getting it back.

"You cycle to work and you walk to work, and it decreases congestion of cars where ever you may be going," Meredith said. "It makes people healthier, so it makes us a healthier city. It makes it a more vibrant city when people are out and about. All of those things come together to make the city better."