$$ and the Master Plan

5 May

BicycleMasterplan

Hope your Bike Month is off to a good start.  We had some exciting races and great weather in town over the weekend.

But there’s lots for us not-so-fast, non-lycra-wearing folks to do as well.  Don’t forget to check out the Bike Walk RVA calendar for lots of fun events for all ages and abilities.

And on top of that, city council voted last week to put $4.5 million back into the budget for bike and pedestrian infrastructure (see below).  We’re not out of the woods yet, since Mayor Jones can veto the council amendments, and the veto can be overridden only with a 6-3 vote (the amendments passed 5-4).

That makes the completion of a Bicycle Master Plan especially important.  That way we’ll have a specific list of projects and a comprehensive network for which we can ask for funding.  Well, we’re getting close!  See the text from an email I received today from Bike Walk RVA’s Max Hepp-Buchanan, which includes links to rsvp for a public meeting and information on how to view the proposed network and provide feedback.

Everything you have done so far has worked! On Thursday night, City Council agreed to add an additional $4.5 million to the budget for new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, including the Brown’s Island Dam walk and several miles of bike lanes.

While the City budget still has yet to be finalized, this is a huge first step. But without a vetted and finished master plan for bicycle infrastructure in Richmond, it will be incredibly difficult to get any funding for new bikeways in future years. 

Click here to RSVP for the Richmond Bicycle Master Plan Open House on the evening of Wednesday, May 14 at the Carillon in Byrd Park >>

The City of Richmond has been working on the Bicycle Master Plan for months and they now have a network map for us to review and comment on in the coming weeks. But it needs a lot of improvement. The draft plan proposes over 120 miles of new bikeways, about half of which are sharrows and will not work for our less experienced and timid bicycle riders.

The project managers and consultants will want to know: Do you want to continue sharing the lane with cars, or do you want a network of real bike lanes and calmed streets that make bicycling feel safe and comfortable for everyone?

Tell them in person! RSVP for the open house on May 14 >>

If you can’t make it to the open house, you can also use this online mapping tool for providing comments and recommendations from the comfort of your own home. And knowing full well that not everyone will be able to use the online tool, you can also email the Bicycle Master Plan project managers directly with your thoughts and ideas.

You are the expert on what it takes to make biking safe and comfortable in your community. Please help contribute to the plan that will guide bikeway construction for the forseeable future by RSVPing and providing your feedback today.

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