RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond's staking its claim as a cycling city. Leaders will spend $550,000 making bike safety improvements on 80 miles of city roads.
Miles of city streets will soon have painted markings with a cyclist on the road. They're called bike sharrows. They are not designated biking areas, but are meant to indicate a cyclist's right to the lane. It's part of Richmond's effort to be a true multi-modal community.
"We want to see bicycling in the City of Richmond become a huge impact," said Mayor Dwight Jones.
He's planning to hire a bicycle coordinator this year. The city's paying for the sharrows with money from the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The money also pays for cycling signs along the three different biking corridors that stretch from the Henrico County line.
"There's a little money in here for the possibility of lockers and I'm expecting us to do more in terms of encouraging and incentivizing businesses to encourage people to ride bikes," added Jones.
The mayor's hoping this latest wave of improvements also increases the city's chances of hosting the World Road Cycling Championships in 2015.
An event expected to bring 500,000 to the capital city. Richmond is one of two finalists, along with Oman in southwest Asia.
"When they see that we're serious about sharrows and serious about incentivizing businesses to bicycling that's impressive to them," said Jones.
Richmond will find out this fall if it host the World Road Cycling Championship. The winning city will be announced from Denmark in September.
Signs and pavement markings will be placed on 80 miles of the city's roadways over the next two years.