Floyd Ave Bike/Walk Street moving into next phase
Tuesday night was the follow-up to the City’s first open house in May for what is now officially recognized as the Floyd Avenue Bike/Walk Street project (no longer “bicycle boulevard”). Over 300 residents and interested citizens attended the open house at which the consultant designing the project, Andy Boenau of Timmons Group, and City staff presented responses to comments and questions from the previous meetings, as well as specific recommendations based on them. A 6-page FAQ handout was made available at the doors to accompany the presentation.
The presentation, maps, and FAQ sheet can be found at the following links:
The presenters explained in some detail that they recommended 14 intersection treatments among the 27 intersections along Floyd Ave. The primary tools recommended are replacing some of the stop signs and traffic signals with mini traffic circles and/or curb extensions (a.k.a. pedestrian bulb-outs or chokers).
The design intends to limit the amount bikes would have to stop-and-start while slowing motor vehicle traffic by making cars deflect around circles and fit through smaller gaps between curbs. Pedestrian crossings would be better marked and have shorter crossing distances, a major benefit for children and seniors. Emergency vehicle access would be positively impacted, too, as they will be able to fit through intersections but be required to stop less.
Following the presentation, the floor was opened for 45 minutes of questions and comments from the audience. There were lots of questions ranging from parking to timelines to whether the design is protective enough for bike riders and pedestrians, and the presenters and city staff had very succinct, appropriate answers. The whole process was about as civil and articulate as could be expected.
Lastly, attendees broke into groups around tables throughout the room to see maps of the specific intersection treatment recommendations up close. They wrote comments directly on the map about how the proposal would affect them, and there were lots of positive comments!
The next step for the project is for design plans to be submitted to Richmond’s Urban Design Committee this summer, after which they would go before the City Planning Commission before any construction could occur. If everything is approved at those levels (and there will be opportunities for public comment at those stages), construction could begin in Spring 2015 and be finished by the end of Summer 2015.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support improving biking and walking on Floyd Avenue! This project will fit into a developing network of bikeways that will make navigating the city by two wheels much safer, more inviting, and convenient!