Brown’s Island Dam Walk Meeting

7 Feb

Brown's Island Walk

The public meeting to discuss designs for the Brown’s Island Dam Walk and the Chapel Island trail — originally scheduled for January 21 but snowed out — will be Tuesday, February 18 at 7 pm at the Virginia War Memorial.  Recent coverage of the project can be found here and here.  Documents and plans, if you’d like to take a look beforehand, are at the city Planning and Development Review office’s Riverfront Plan site.

Only the Beginning

This is a really exciting project — the first bridge across the James dedicated to pedestrians and bicyclists.  Let’s hope it signals the beginning of a trend to provide people on foot and bike with quality opportunities to get around the city and enjoy it.  By way of comparison, the city of Cleveland is one of a number of cities currently leaving us in the dust with regard to installing bike infrastructure.  According to Planetizen, the city has earmarked a million bucks to double its existing 47-miles of bike lanes by 2017.  How about if we try to get to where Cleveland is now by that date?

Taking on Safety

The increase in biking and walking for transportation — along with, unfortunately, continued cyclist and pedestrian deaths — is getting people interested in how to make streets safer for everyone, and not just through new infrastructure.  A recent story in the Times describes a growing network of New York families who, in collaboration with existing bike/ped groups, have taken on the safety of the city’s streets in the wake of losing a loved one hit by a car.

Although the overall trend over the decades has been a decrease in these deaths, 286 people killed by cars in New York per year still seems like too much to sacrifice for efficient driving.  It’s a striking testament to how much as a society we value car travel and speed over the safety of others that, due to state law and political opposition, it has not yet been possible to pass an ordinance reducing the speed limit on residential streets in New York City from 30 to 25 mph, much less the original proposal from advocates to reduce it to 20 mph.  The evidence is clear and has been around for a long time that the difference between 20 and 30 mph can easily be the difference between life and death for a pedestrian or cyclists.


One Response to “Brown’s Island Dam Walk Meeting”

  1. Mark Lewis February 8, 2014 at 1:39 PM #

    Makes me want to visit Cleveland. Why is there so much resistance with creating bike infrastructure. Ugh!

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