Richmond seeks input on bicycle, pedestrian infrastructure improvements

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond leaders are trying to make the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

New sidewalks and bike lanes are being considered, but the city wants to hear from the public first.

Bicyclist advocates applaud this decision because it means the city is making their voices heard.

“The city of Richmond is looking at this from a traffic safety perspective where they really take it seriously when someone is injured or killed in a traffic crash,” Director of Bike Walk RVA Brantley Tyndall said. “People who are on bikes or walking are the most vulnerable.”

Tyndall and the rest of Bike Walk RVA advocate for safe spaces to bike and walk.

One of the key ways to do that is by investing in better infrastructure like bike lanes, paved trails, crosswalks and lower speed limits on streets.

“I think incremental progress is something that we really want to support,” Tyndall said. “I think they are considering about 11 miles of bike lanes right now.”

The city identified seven corridors that could use some work, some in Scott’s Addition, others on the south side and several in different city areas.

The projects would be completed as part of the city’s paving and resurfacing program, which is set to wrap up in the spring of 2023.

“One of the great things about locations they are choosing is that they’re throughout the city. They’re not concentrated in any one area,” Tyndall said. “They’re not in any area that’s primarily one kind of people, which I think is really important and they’re also south and north of the river.”

Mitchell McKenna at Carytown Bicycle Company says more cyclists are being forced to share the roads, so he thinks the city needs more protected corridors.

“The last decade there’s definitely been a huge growth in the city with the racing, with the different groups, the different types of riding, the trail building, and then certainly over pandemic times, we saw a huge, huge explosion in the bike sales that we were doing,” McKenna said.

If you want to read more about the project in-depth and let the city know what you think, click to find the survey here.