What’s Up with Floyd?

24 Jan

Following the deferral of a decision on the Floyd Avenue bike-walk street on Tuesday, BikeWalk RVA has started a petition to the Planning Commission urging its members to pass the Floyd Avenue bike-walk street project.

As Style and the RTD both report, the Planning Commission decided to delay a final vote on Floyd until February.  After the plan was voted down by the Urban Design Committee, Public Works came back with some additions to address issues the UDC had asked them to deal with back in September.  The text below from the Tuesday meeting’s minutes suggests that the commission wants Public Works to address them still more definitively and in more detail:

The Commission stated that they would like to see the following issues raised by the Urban Design Committee included in the plan when it returns at the February 17, 2015 meeting:

(1) Addressing a lower speed limit for the length of the project. This would be in the form of a recommendation to City Council.

(2) Committing to a full planting plan including street trees along the extent of the bike/walk route.

(3) Making the project fully accessible with accessible ramps along the corridor.

(4) Addressing unique signage and pavement markings and identity that celebrates this as a bike/walk trail as part of a larger way finding effort.

(5) That the project be evaluated 12 months after the completion of construction and adjusted as needed, and that that evaluation involves the public and a presentation to the Planning Commission.

(6) That the project address lighting along the length of the corridor.

(7) That the project more fully considers the impact on parking and considers limits on types or permits of parking specifically in Zones 1 and 2 of the project.

The Commission also requested the applicant to include the following issues raised by the Commission in the plan when it returns at the February 17, 2015 meeting:

(1) Explore pedestrian initiated signals at Belmont and Harrison.

(2) School X-ing or Ped-Xing markings replace one of the sharrow markings on each block.

(3) Safety should be the first priority.

 One the one hand I am happy that Public Works is being asked to beef up the design.  I’ve commented before on their tendency to take the minimal route when it comes to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

But I’m also worried that DPW (in coordination with the Bike-Ped coordinator Jake Helmboldt and their consultant from the Timmons Group) may not be in a position to fully address all of these in a few weeks.  The first item is pretty easy — they’ve expressed direct support for lowering the speed limit.  And they could commit to prioritizing accessible ramps along Floyd.  Extra markings for crossings should not be too tough.

It’s less clear that the budget and coordination with other departments (Urban Forestry, Public Utilities) are there to incorporate the tree and lighting issues.  Those particular items, if I’m not mistaken, involve a bit of moving the goal posts: I’m pretty sure that those were not mentioned previously.  The additional signage is something I’ve supported, but Public Works’ point was that the city (via Planning and Community Development) is working on a wayfinding system and signage on Floyd should be worked into that plan.

Hopefully with clear expressions of support from us and some more detail on the things that Public Works can deal with in 30 days, we’ll see a vote in favor of the project mid-February.  Thanks to all of you continue to follow this saga and help Richmond get its first bike-walk street.

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One Response to “What’s Up with Floyd?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Have You Signed the Floyd Avenue Petition? | Bikeable Richmond - February 3, 2015

    […] that what Public Works can do will be enough.  As I’ve argued in earlier posts (here and here), it makes sense to make this project as good as it can be.  At the same time, unlike some other […]

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