Is Richmond on its Way?

24 Jul
Virginia Capital Trail near Williamsburg.  from

Virginia Capital Trail near Williamsburg. from


If you’re talking about becoming bike-friendly, a recent article in the RTD says we are indeed on our way.  As much as I find myself deeply frustrated on some days at the slow progress and compromises, I keep hoping that we’ll turn a corner soon and the pace will pick up (and I’ve come to understand if not fully accept that the process is going to be slower and farther from perfect than I’d like).

One of the best signs is that citizens successfully convinced members of city council to put a total of $4.5 million for bike infrastructure and the Brown’s Island Dam Walk into the budget.  And the city is close to completing a full-fledged bicycle master plan that will hopefully be approved as part of a multimodal transportation plan called Richmond Connects.

The Virginia Capital Trail is also making some visible progress.  I’ve heard that construction of the trail has finally begun in Henrico for the New Market Heights phase, and the sections in Richmond and Varina are due to be completed by fall 2015.

By all accounts the most recent meeting about the Floyd Avenue bike-walk street went much better than the previous one, where vocal opponents derailed the agenda.  The latest meeting held last week , where design details were revealed, was for the most part much more civil (see coverage here and here).  The project is not a done deal, but it seems like it has a good chance of moving forward.

Let’s hope that Richmond does kick it into a higher gear — otherwise Chesterfield County may take the lead in bicycle infrastructure.  Chesterfield recently started process of developing its own Bicycle and Trails Plan.  The plan web site includes a link for a survey if you’d like to weigh in.  Rumor has it that even Henrico is starting to see the light.  The city has significant advantages for biking for transportation by virtue of density and a good street grid, but it would be great to see a regional bike network.





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