Spring Update from Bike Walk RVA: State Legislation, New Projects, and RVA Bike Month!
By: Brantley Tyndall, Bike Walk RVA Director of Outreach
How are you doing? Are you hanging in there? It goes without saying that a lot of things have changed since our last quarterly update, and the first thing I wanted to do as I type this at my makeshift stand-up desk – my kitchen counter – is to remember our friends, participants, and supporters who have made and continue to make our work possible.
The global societal response to COVID-19 was unprecedented in its rapid and widespread reach. But one thing it has done is draw everyone’s eyes more intently to health, something we have cared about from the beginning. Our collective priority right now, very appropriately, is to drastically slow the spread of the virus as much as possible. With that, now that so many of us are at home all the time, each of us has become acutely aware of the need for activity and movement for our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Sports Backers and Bike Walk RVA are here to help you adapt to this situation by connecting you to motivational, distantly social, and optimistic opportunities to feel your best is this trying time. Thanks for being here. We’ll get through this. Some updates:
I wrote an update last month about the progress made for transportation (especially people biking and walking) at this year’s General Assembly, which you can find here. In short, Hands Free Driving, Stop for Pedestrians, enabling localities to implement Automated Speeding Enforcement programs in school and work zones, and enacting a Central Virginia Transportation Authority, which would fund major transportation projects in the Richmond area, especially the Ashland to Petersburg Trail, all passed the legislature and are awaiting the Governor’s signature.
New Bike/Ped Projects!
Construction has started on the Brook Road protected bike lane project, and it looks glorious. Any day now we should see signs of construction on the protected bike lanes coming to Malvern and Patterson Avenues. Traffic calming improvements to North 29th St started last week. And pedestrian improvements that neighbors worked tirelessly to get on Jefferson Ave are under construction, too. Many of these projects started years ago, and we can’t thank folks enough for committing to these efforts, and with us, for the long haul. There’s more good stuff to come if we stick together.
— RVA Bike Dad (@RVAbikedad) April 1, 2020
RVA Bike Month is coming!
This is usually our most social time of the year, so we had to do a big shift in how to offer celebratory, exploratory, adventurous experiences instead of events. But our seventh RVA Bike Month will build on the world’s best community volunteers to create exciting new experiences for folks from around the region to get outside, see new things, and have some fun in the effort to grow our community and continue to build the momentum needed to get new, more, and better bike infrastructure everywhere we need it.
We are thrilled to reveal this year’s theme: Bike the Change. We hope you will agree it is rich in meaning for this trying time. 2020 is a big year for elections, and it also a big year for societal response. Now is our moment to show how biking plays a positive and productive role in everything we do and who we are. And that starts with excluding ALL group rides and events for this year’s bike month. Everything will be solo, household-based, virtual, and/or service-oriented. We can be the change by biking the change. Big props to ShaCoria on our Bike Walk RVA team for proposing this theme and Caitlyn on Sports Backers’ creative team for making such a looker of a logo. Our experiences will go live on www.rvabikemonth.com on April 15. See you then.
Director of Outreach
Bike Walk RVA