Sports Backers Blog

Sports Backers releases the Fall Line Vision Plan

43-mile Multi-Use Trail will Transform Richmond Region’s Active Transportation and Outdoor Experience

February 6, 2024 – Bike Walk RVA

Sports Backers is excited to announce the release of the Fall Line Vision Plan, a signature inspirational concept and springboard for creating community-driven placemaking and amenities. The Plan was developed by Toole Design Group and overseen by Sports Backers’ Bike Walk RVA program. Sports Backers’ work for the Fall Line Vision Plan is supported by the Red Gates Foundation and Robins Foundation.

The Vision Plan was released in a webinar hosted by PlanRVA, the Richmond region’s planning organization. The Plan and the Webinar are available for viewing now. The Richmond Times-Dispatch covered the release and gave continuing coverage of the Fall Line as a project the paper is highlighting in 2024.

The geospatial analysis incorporated into the Plan shows the Fall Line will connect 340,000 people, 95 schools, 6 colleges and universities (including two Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and 150,000 jobs, establishing the Fall Line as a national-caliber backbone for active transportation.

The Plan outlines a context-sensitive approach to selecting sites and projects for varying places along the trail corridor, complementing the actual asphalt trail with intentionally-made places and amenities. It is designed to help answer questions such as:

  • “Where can we encourage public art to be installed along the trail?”
  • “How can my community, or school, get dedicated access to the trail?”
  • “What will be the curated destinations along the Fall Line?”
  • “Where can my local business engage trail users?”
  • “How can the Fall Line bring people into the history and culture of my community?”

How to use the plan

The Fall Line Vision Plan explains how it was created, through an extensive stakeholder engagement process throughout 2023 involving 50 meetings and over 100 stakeholders, including local government and nonprofit participants. It was also informed by more than half a dozen study trips to model trails throughout the United States.

The plan outlines existing conditions, categorizes sections of the trail into four experience types, and identifies 11 Character Areas to highlight the varied areas throughout the corridor’s communities. Incorporating context cues, the plan provides recommendations for placemaking that fit into their respective experience types and context zones. These ideas are outlined on maps and in profiles of each segment.

Implementation of amenities, art, trail connections, storytelling, and other placemaking will filter up from community interest, partner organizations,  philanthropic sources, and related local and state government administrators. Take a look at areas of interest to you to review if the recommendations make sense, and get involved with your local elected official and neighbor organizations.

  • Sign up for updates to learn of opportunities to support the Fall Line through service, public input, and events!
  • Propose the Fall Line as an agenda item for your next Neighborhood Association meeting. We can help!
  • Donate to support Sports Backers’ advocacy and leadership to build the Fall Line.

Trail Typologies

Character Areas

Example themes of placemaking

Example Character Areas


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