Voice Your Views on Broad Street

23 Aug
Concept drawing for BRT on Rt. 29 in Charlottesville.  Image from http://imspatial.wordpress.com.

Concept drawing for BRT on Rt. 29 in Charlottesville. Image from http://imspatial.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, August 27 there will be a public meeting at the DMV (2300 W. Broad) from 6-8 p.m. on the future of Broad Street, specifically about Bus Rapid Transit  between Rocketts Landing and Willow Lawn.

So why am I posting this on a bike blog?  Well, there are at least two reasons.  One is that bicycling is one part of a more comprehensive, multi-modal transportation system, and BRT will make it easier to use a bike to get around the city.

The second is that, as the image above makes clear, BRT will involve major changes to Broad Street.  Is it possible, as some advocates I know have asked recently, that reworking Broad Street  might also include creating something like Indianapolis’ Cultural Trail?  As I mentioned in a previous post, the Cultural Trail is an innovate, attractive bicycle and pedestrian trail right through the heart of downtown Indianapolis.  It’s part of a broader effort by the city’s mayor to make the city bike- and pedestrian friendly and thereby attract new residents and businesses.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail.  From landscapevoice.com.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail. From landscapevoice.com.

Since Broad is at the center of the city’s Arts and Cultural District and was well as the VCU’s Monroe Park campus (including the future Institute for Contemporary Art at Broad and Belvidere), it would be perfect for this kind of trail.  It would contribute further to the revitalization of Broad Street, in part by making it less of an urban highway and more inviting to non-motorized users.

So, now is a good time to start asking questions — before plans get too far along.  Hope to see you Tuesday at the DMV.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Voice Your Views on Broad Street”

  1. gwelymernans August 23, 2013 at 7:50 PM #

    > BRT will make it easier to use a bike to get around the city

    How is this true? It seems as if, according to the graphic, the changes would decrease the number of motor vehicle lanes to 4. So given a cyclist is taking the far right lane, and a bus is in the left lane (or the lane prohibits cars), this leaves only a single lane for cars. I can only imagine this greatly upsetting that part of the population which is already unfriendly towards sharing the road.

    • bikeablerichmond August 23, 2013 at 8:20 PM #

      What I actually meant is that ideally one could use a combination of bus and bike more easily than is now possible, though that depends on policies for bringing bicycles on the bus.

      With regard to how space/lanes on Broad might be reworked, that is certainly something to discuss. I am not in favor of antagonizing motorists, but it may be hard to install really good bike and pedestrian infrastructure without doing making some people upset at times. Keep in mind too that, if BRT and bike infrastructure do what we want them to do, there won’t be as many cars on Broad Street and less need for multiple, wide lanes. Some of those motorists might turn into transit riders and pedestrians. There are also routes parallel to Broad.

  2. Joseph Lerch August 23, 2013 at 7:35 PM #

    Hi Jason – Who is conducting the public hearing? GRTC? The City? Both?

    Thanks for posting.

    Joe Lerch

    Director of Environmental Policy

    Virginia Municipal League

    13 E Franklin Street

    Richmond, VA 23219

    804-523-8530 – office

    804-640-5615 – mobile

    ________________________________

    • bikeablerichmond August 23, 2013 at 7:47 PM #

      I got the original notice as an email from a group called RVA Rapid Transit (they have a Facebook page), but the organizer is GRTC as far as I know.

  3. Joe Lerch August 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM #

    This is the 1st of heard and seen of the Indiannapolis example. If we are going to rebuild Broad I can’t think of any reason not to do this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: