Archive | June, 2014

RVA Streets Alive! this Saturday

18 Jun

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RVA Streets Alive! is back again this Saturday 10/21, 10 am to 2 pm, in a different location/route.  This time a loop including parts of Broad Street and Brook Road will be closed to traffic to make room for biking, walking, and all kinds of other fun and fitness-oriented activities.  See the route map here and a list of organizations and vendors here.  It’s free and open to everyone.  Just show up and enjoy!

Here’s the blurb from the event web site:

Inspired by open streets projects all over the world, this event is about closing streets to cars and opening them to the public — for one day — to create a whole new healthy, sustainable and vibrant city street experience. FREE and open to everyone to do what you wish – run, walk, bike, roller blade, WHATEVER! Make sure to check out the vendors lining the streets with free activities for the entire family!

This is a great opportunity to enjoy the city — or at least part of it — in a different way.  To me it serves to highlight what city streets that are friendly to people on foot and bike (and skateboard etc.) can be like.  The goal is not, of course, to make Richmond car-free, but just to show that streets where non-motorized activity is made safe and fun are a really good idea.

 

 

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Dinner and Bikes Monday: Advice and Inspiration for Transforming Richmond

13 Jun

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Elly Blue, a former writer for Grist, author of Bikenomics, and Portland-based bicycle advocate, will be visiting Richmond on Monday.  Here’s an RVA News piece about Blue and the event, which she describes as follows: “I’m going to talk about the power of people doing activism in the streets with bicycles. I’m going to talk about the different political strategies for making changes happen for bicycling, with bicycling.”

She’ll be at the Robinson Theater (2903 Q Street) on Monday, June 16th at 7:00 PM.  The event is officially promoted as “Dinner and Bikes,” but my understanding is that tickets for the dinner part are sold out.  Tickets for the presentation ($5) are still available here.

To get warmed up you can also go to filmmaker Joe Biel’s documentary Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland on Sunday 6/15, 8 pm, at the Scott’s Addition (Summit Avenue) Lamplighter.  Check out the trailer here.

 

 

Better Block This Weekend

11 Jun
Better Block Project in Kansas City.  From streetsblog.org.

Better Block Project in Kansas City. From streetsblog.org.

Our busy friends at Bike Walk RVA are at it again, this time in North Church Hill with Richmond’s first Build a Better Block project.  Better Block is essentially a way of making change in an urban area by showing what that change could look like — not in drawings or plans, but on the ground.  With volunteers and donated materials, it transforms an area of the city with pop-up businesses, fresh paint, parks and parklets, crosswalks, and bike infrastructure.

Better block projects have led to revitalization in places with vacant storefronts that were not inviting to pedestrians and cyclists.  It’s about showing what a good, friendly neighborhood street can be like.  As Max Hepp-Buchanan put it in a recent RVA News story, “It’s like a temporary demonstration of what a neighborhood could be like with renewed investment.”

In Richmond, some permanent and some temporary improvements were being put in place today on North 25th Street between P and Carrington Streets.  That work will continue Thursday, June 12 beginning at 10 a.m.  Volunteers are welcome !  Or come and check out the results on Friday 5-9 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. -3 p.m.  There will be food trucks and other pop-up offerings, performances, art displays, a farmer’s market, and a 5k walk-run at 9 am on Saturday.  Check out the event web site here.  Hope to see you there!