Summer Update from Bike Walk RVA: New Bike Lanes, New Sidewalks, New State Laws, and All Streets RVA!
By: Brantley Tyndall, Bike Walk RVA Director of Outreach
Hey walkers, rollers, riders, and striders. We’re back with our summer update, and during one of the most unsettling times in generations, this one is jam-packed with good stuff. Get yourself a nice iced tea to sip while catching up with biking and walking developments around the region and state.
Bike shops are busier than ever, and bikes and parts are selling out everywhere. A new crop of POC bike leaders have launched consistently large (and safe) group rides like Urban Cycling Group, Bike Monday Bros, and Full Cycle Bike Crew. Groundwork RVA’s Bellemeade community rides (masks required), are kicking back in gear, too. Streets in Ashland and Petersburg have been converted to pedestrian space to allow folks more room to stay healthy around others while enjoying the outdoors. All major bike rides and runs have shifted to virtual or alternative models, and new events like All Streets RVA, The Great American 5000, and the Great American Ride are giving folks outlets to compete in new and fun ways, all in partnership with great causes.
New Bike Lanes!
City of Richmond:
- Brook Road is complete!
- Mosby Street: complete
- Franklin Street under Main Street Station: complete
- Construction has started on bike lanes connecting Malvern Avenue to Patterson Avenue
- Construction has started on bike lanes on Forest Hill Avenue west of Powhite Parkway
- Turner Road: complete
- Thamesford Way: complete
- Construction continues on Lakeside Community Trail
- New Trail in progress connecting the Virginia Capital Trail north on Courthouse Road
- New transportation chapter passed as a component of the city’s comprehensive plan in June!
- Construction has started on the northern end of the Ashland to Petersburg Trail! A boardwalk along Walder Lane north of the Trolley Line
- 29th St. in Church Hill is getting sidewalk extensions (bulb-outs) as part of implementing the long-awaited Bike Walk Street there
- Three Chopt Road in Henrico: in progress
- Blanton Ave leading north from the Nickel Bridge: in progress
- New raised crosswalks on Grove Ave are complete
In June, Mayor Stoney’s Hands Free Driving ordinance went into effect in the city of Richmond (and the state law will go into effect January 1, 2021). Put that phone down!
In July, Richmond City Council adopted a resolution requiring construction projects which block a sidewalk or bike lane to provide a temporary one while construction is ongoing. The resolution was a component of Councilman Addison’s Safe Streets For All omnibus package. This is a huge step for safety!
In the same meeting, the council also approved lowering the speed limit on Patterson Avenue to 25mph between Willow Lawn and Pepper Avenue.
Our Vision Zero yard signs are available to free pickup outside our office (100 Avenue of Champions), and sign up here if you would like to find a drop point near you. We are taking suggestions for places around the region where we can leave a stack for people to take safely. Take as many as you like: one for yourself, a neighbor, a local business, etc.
New state laws in effect!
July 1 is our annual state law refresher date, and several new ones are now on the books.
Drivers are required to STOP for pedestrians.
Localities may now implement automated speed enforcement programs in work zones and/or school zones to protect our most vulnerable people from dangerous speeding cars. This limits the need for committing police officers and resources, increases effectiveness, and deemphasizes traffic stop interactions.
The Central Virginia Transportation Authority is up and running, collecting funds for major regional projects like the Ashland to Petersburg Trail!
And packed into the Vulnerable Road User law, making it a misdemeanor to injure a person walking or biking (a wonderful thing in itself) is a prohibition of driving in a bike lane to make a pass. That’s one step toward making driving in a bike lane illegal!
All Streets RVA
We launched All Streets RVA as a new event concept, totally free, to have community volunteers walk or run every street in Richmond. What a cool concept, and y’all did it! Participants were encouraged to track their routes and to provide feedback on sidewalks, bike lanes, shade, and other infrastructure to help us understand where improvements could be focused. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog analysis!
Our team is back at full steam, and we’re lining up our next steps. Definitely keep an eye out for how you can be involved and support new biking and walking efforts! These efforts will include a new Bike Walk RVA Academy, some public art, candidate and voter education for the upcoming local elections, and new ways to engage with communities around the region that aren’t strictly virtual, and aren’t strictly gatherings. We’ve been at the drawing board to make sure voices are heard and community feedback steers our work.
This was a long post, and we are so thankful to have your support. If you want to help us continue this work, please feel encouraged to send us a donation here. We really can’t do it without you.
Director of Outreach
Bike Walk RVA