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.

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