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Adopt a Bike Lane / Sidewalk

It’s spring. Grass is growing, pollen is flowing, and our bike lanes and sidewalks can’t clean themselves. But we can! Similar to adopt-a-street, adopt-a-park, adopt-a-[fill in the blank] programs, the idea is simple: choose a bike lane or side walk and clean it up. Let’s do our part to keep the infrastructure we value in good shape. Here are some quick tips to make the most out of your bike lane or sidewalk clean up.


Gather supplies 

You’ll likely have all you need for this project right in your own home:  

  • Trash bag(s) 
  • Broom and dustpan (more for bike lane clean up) 
  • Scissors/yard shears (more for sidewalk clean up) 
  • Gloves (thicker gardening or automotive gloves are great, latex gloves work too) 
  • White or bright colored shirt, or vest (to be visible to drivers passing by) 
  • Brimmed hat to shield face from direct sunlight 
  • Comfortable walking shoes 

Choose a bike lane or sidewalk 

You can find a bike lane closest to you by visiting our RVA Bikeways Map 

Clean up! 

Time give your bike lane or sidewalk some TLC (tender loving care that is, not to be confused with the popular 90’s R&B group). Bike lane or sidewalk clean up will involve lots of squatting – bend with your knees, not your back! As you walk along, pick up any trash in the bike lane or on the sidewalk and place it in your trash bag. You can keep an extra bag with you to separate any recyclables as well. Use your broom to sweep up any big debris in the bike lane. Use scissors/yard shears to prune back any plant overgrowth on sidewalks in public right of way (i.e. greenspace between the street and sidewalk).  

Safety tips: 

  • Do not pick up sharp objects, including broken glass 
  • Walk in the direction opposite of bike and vehicle travel so that you can see oncoming traffic.  

Dispose of waste 

If you’re cleaning up in Richmond City, tie up your trash bag(s) and dispose in any public trash can. If you’re in a neighboring county, tie it up and dispose in your trash can. Be sure to wash your gloves (if reusable) and hands afterwards.  

Go the extra distance 

Photo cred: Ross Catrow

Have some chalk? Draw or write something positive in the bike lane or on the sidewalkTry Yarn Bombing some nearby sign posts or bicycle racksBrighten up your adopted space in a magical way. 



Share your bike lane / sidewalk TLC and tag us

Your clean up could inspire others to adopt bike lanes and sidewalks near them, so snap a photo or video and tag us @bikewalkrva. There’s no such thing as too many people doing something good!