We’re Getting a Plan!

21 May

As usual there was good but not overwhelming turnout for the Bike to Work Day event at Monroe Park last Friday (coverage here and here).

Mayor Jones offered fairly standard comments about the importance of bicycling and so on, but an announcement from bike-ped coordinator Jakob Helmboldt indicated that Jones is still — at least to some degree — putting his money where his mouth is.  We are going to get a Bike Master Plan.  The goal is to lay out exactly what we want and where to have a good network of bikeways in place over the long haul.

Having a plan that includes specifics and has received the stamp of approval from the relevant city agencies and city council will really help in making the case for installing infrastructure in cases where it’s not easy — say where underused parking might be removed or an underused travel lane repurposed for a cycle track.  It will also be something the cycling community can rally around as a public document of what we are aiming for.  Even if we don’t have a great network in place by the time the 2015 championships take place (and we won’t), we can point to a solid plan that sets the bar high.


5 Responses to “We’re Getting a Plan!”

  1. Zac May 23, 2013 at 4:34 AM #

    I would be all for this if I wasn’t so worried that it’s going to result in miles of bike lanes located dangerously close to parked cars, and motorists angry when we don’t ride in the unsafe infrastructure.

  2. Stuart May 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM #

    PLEASE GOD tell me you guys aren’t going to organize public input sessions, charettes, or anything like that. It’s easy to forget that for as much as we support cycling and cycling infrastructure there is an equal or larger cohort of people who are extremely hostile to bicycles. We do not want those people influencing this process in any way! It would be a HUGE, HUGE mistake to try and win general public approval of a master plan. Seriously, don’t go there!

    I’ve said it on here before but it’s worth repeating that a plan is not above Jake H’s paygrade and it seems to me he’s perfectly capable of doing it with the help of some other people who get it. Going to the public though, man that shivers my timbers!

    • bikeablerichmond May 21, 2013 at 10:25 PM #

      There are no doubt people opposed to bicycle infrastructure in general or in specific instances, but I’m not convinced that keeping things under wraps is an effective long-term strategy. It’s not like all of the infrastructure is going to be put in place a few hours under cover of night. It’s going to happen over a matter of years, so the debate/conflict is going to happen sooner or later if it’s going to happen. Leaving people totally out of the loop just makes them that much more intransigent when they organize against you later. Even in NYC, with the formidable Janet Sadik-Kahn with Bloomberg strongly behind her, has been under a lot of pressure to change some infrastructure after the fact due to well-organized opposition. I don’t think we can assume in Richmond that our leaders will stand up to vehement opposition if it comes later. I think it’s better to deal with it up front.

      • Chuck Gates (@RVAChuck) June 7, 2013 at 5:44 PM #

        Well said. Not to mention it is illegal to spend the type of money required without having public hearings.


  1. Floyd Avenue Bicycle Boulevard | Bikeable Richmond - June 7, 2013

    […] If you’ve been reading your occasional dose of bikeablerichmond.com posts like a good boy or girl, then you know that the city is pursuing a bicycle master plan to supplement the bicycle component of Richmond Connects, a multi-modal transportation plan that has been in development for a couple of years now.  (See previous posts on Richmond Connects and the bicycle master plan here and here). […]

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