Archive | April, 2015

Richmond’s First Bike-Friendly Business District Coming to Northside

30 Apr

BikeFriendlyBusinessDistrict_Bellevue_FINAL

There are a lot of ways to encourage people to use bicycles to get around: building bike lanes and providing parking, organizing rides, and providing incentives, to name a couple.  The idea of a Bicycle-Friendly Business District (BFBD) is to encourage or take advantage of bike-friendly conditions, and give people a little extra nudge to make that shopping or restaurant trip by bicycle by offering them a discount or some other perk.

For the month of May, a total of 10 businesses (and counting) on Bellevue and MacArthur Avenues in Richmond’s Bellevue neighborhood are participating in Richmond’s first BFBD.  From the Bike Walk RVA press release: “It will serve as the city’s first self-proclaimed bicycle-friendly business district, and participating businesses will offer discounts and other special deals for people who arrive by bike during the month of May. Participating businesses will be identified by window-clings displayed in their front windows starting May 1.”  Most are offering discounts of 10% for those who arrive by bike, and some are doing a raffle for cycling customers.

So hop on your bike and ride — down the block or across town — and support these bike-friendly businesses while saving some $$.  A map of participating Bellevue businesses and nearby bike racks can be found here (participating businesses highlighted in green).

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Enough Events to Make Your Head and Wheels Spin — RVA Bike Month 2015!

28 Apr
Kidical Mass ride in Tuscon, AZ.  From livingstreetsalliance.org.

Kidical Mass ride in Tuscon, AZ. From livingstreetsalliance.org.

Richmond’s 2015 Bike Month is shaping up to be the most fun yet!  A whole gaggle of Richmonders have stepped up to organize everything from a commuter bike train from Bon Air to downtown, to Star Wars and taco themed rides, to neighborhood family bike rides and bicycle garden tours — not to mention some films and talks to boot.

Click here for the full calendar.  See you out there!

Let’s Ride! Fun Ride May 3 for Riders Big and Small

23 Apr

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Grab your best costume (there will be a contest and prizes) and join us for a short (2.23 miles) fun, family bike ride hosted by Bike Walk Northside! Our short ride will travel as a group on existing and future bike lanes on Brookland Parkway and a section of Brook Road (with cones to separate riders from traffic and volunteers posted along the way) as well as quiet neighborhood streets. *Rain Date: Saturday, May 9 (Same time)

(If you would be wiling to help with the bike decorating table, some set up, clean up, help direct riders along the route, or run a bike rodeo, please send an email to the address below).

Who: Kids and riders of all ages! Note: Kids should be accompanied by an adult rider.

What: Refreshments, free bike adjustments, a decorate-your-bike table, a bike rodeo, a group photo and a costume contest (with great prizes for: most colorful costume, best group costume and best original superhero!)

When: Sunday, May 3: Activities start at 1 pm; ride at 1:30 pm

Where: The Westwood Tract (at the south-west corner of Brook Road and Westwood Avenue)

Contact: BikeWalkNorthside@gmail.com / Event Facebook page here.

Why We Need Protected Bike Lanes: Rabbits and Elephants

22 Apr

The most succinct argument for protected bike lanes I’ve seen.  So until we get a network of protected lanes and paths, who wants to work on the giant bike?

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Help Make Bike Month 2015 the Best Yet

6 Apr

Bike-Commuting

Bike Month is just a few weeks away!  Bike Walk RVA is hosting a volunteer gathering this coming Friday, April 10, 6-7 pm (with socializing afterwards), Richmond Bicycle Studio, 1717 Summit Ave.

Here’s what they say:

May is National Bike Month, and 2015’s will be the BIGGEST ONE EVER. We need your help!

Please join us for a fun, quick, and action-oriented meeting to figure out how we can work together to pull this off. Food and drink will be provided.

Click here to RSVP.  Hope to see you there!

A Wall on Broad?

2 Apr
From Bike Walk RVA.

From Bike Walk RVA.

This is not about bicycling per se, but could certainly affect people on bicycles as well as those traveling by foot downtown.

You probably know that the city is working on a Bus Rapid Transit project — funded by a federal grant — planned to run from Rockett’s Landing to Willow Lawn, primarily on Broad Street (learn more about the project here).  This kind of bus both physically resembles and works a bit like a trolley, but without as much infrastructure needed.  There will be more substantial but also widely spaced stops where passengers can buy tickets and board the bus from a platform.  In the downtown segment, it will travel on a dedicated bus lane.  This helps to make these busses more “rapid,” along with technology that allows the driver to control traffic signals.  That could be very nice for the bus passengers but maybe not so great for folks trying to cross the street.

There has been a lot of back and forth about the route, where the stops will be, and a number of other things.  One thing that hasn’t been addressed much yet is how the busses and stops will impact pedestrians and bicyclists along this part of Broad.  There are lots of people on foot and bike there already — and if BRT is successful there will be more and more.

Bike Walk RVA raised this issue in a recent blog post asking whether BRT threatens to create a wall on Broad Street that would actually make the street more dangerous — including for the people using transit. Two public meetings about BRT are being held next week — a perfect time to ask planners what they have in mind for keeping pedestrians and others crossing Broad safe:

Monday, April 6, 6-8 pm, at University of Richmond Downtown, 626 E. Broad Street, Suite 100

Tuesday, April 7, 6-8 pm, at the Department of Motor Vehicles, 2300 West Broad Street

See this GRTC post for more details.