Bike commission meeting helping rethink our streets - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Bike commission meeting helping rethink our streets

By Phil Riggan – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A room of nearly 200 energetic and enthusiastic people gathered Monday night at The Carillon in Byrd Park to participate in the Bike, Pedestrian and Trails workgroup.

It was tasked with creating a policy framework conducive to making Richmond a walkable, bikeable, trail-friendly city through networks of greenways that would safely connect neighborhoods, shopping districts, colleges, the James River, etc.

"Rethink our streets" was a focus – planning our streetscapes so that everyone can use the roadways. Reworking traffic patterns on key neighborhood connectors like the Martin Luther King, Mayo, Manchester and Robert E. Lee bridges downtown.

City of Richmond trails manager, Nathan Burrell,  said that many people may not have the ability or means to commute by vehicle. Developing greenways, "this is empowerment. A city that you would want to live in." Allowing people to get off the couches and outside and connecting with each other.

Burrell declared that "we are a trail and cycling friendly town" and that Mayor Dwight Jones "moved fairly aggressively with the timeline for trail building and greenways plans."

Jennifer Wampler of the Department of Conservation and Recreation said "Richmond is a trail town" and suggested that the money spent on developing plans around physical activity is found to have a better return on investment. Bike and pedestrian trails could have a huge positive impact on tourism, with healthy economic benefits and help change our culture.

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