Richmond becomes more bicycle friendly

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Riding your bike in the city may just become a little bit easier. City workers have already started installing symbols to let drivers know they need to share the road.

Students at VCU say they welcome the new street signs. It's a busy road and they'd like to see more of them as they ride to and from class everyday.

The bike symbols on Harrison street are brand new. The mayor wants to steer the city in a greener direction by reducing its carbon footprint and emphasizing safety on the roads.

"This is one way we can do that in Richmond, said Sharon North with Richmond Public Works. "The more people who are willing to ride bikes, the less cars there will be out."

North says it's a small step towards putting the breaks on air pollution and encouraging more people to drive less and pedal more. The city also has people like Ricardo Mobarak in mind. A car almost him while he was riding his bike in the fan. It was a scary, close call for the VCU student.

"Yeah it was, it definitely was," said Mobarak. "I've seen worse things happen."

City crews have already installed about 32 bike markings already. The pilot project started at Harrison street at Broad street. It will continue to Idlewood avenue. People will soon see the indicators on Meadow street between Broad and Cary street.

"I think it makes more people aware of pedestrians riding bikes," Mobarak noted. "I mean, I definitely agree it's a good idea. I ride my bike to class everyday.

Each sign has two arrows above the bike. The project will cost the city about $775,000 in federal grant money. It's all an effort to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the city. More signs will be installed throughout the city in 2012.

City workers will install the symbols before it gets too cold. Once it drops below 50, they will have to wait until it warms up. Once it's all finished there will be about 70 new signs.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.