On Monday, Richmond City Council unanimously approved the November 2010 report issued from Mayor Dwight Jones’s, Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Commission recommending changes to make the city a more bike and pedestrian friendly city. The Commission was composed of city staff, business leaders, educators and interested citizens from the area.
The Bike, Pedestrian and Trails workgroup was tasked with creating a policy “complete streets” framework conducive to making Richmond a walkable, bikeable, trail-friendly city through networks of greenways that would safely connect neighborhoods, shopping districts, colleges, the James River, etc.
During the James River Outdoor Coalition meeting Tuesday, an elated city trails manager Nathan Burrell announced: “Now that that has been put in place, a lot more will begin to happen.” He said the first task to complete will be a section of new greenway signs installed along the Canal Walk at Tredegar Iron Works.
“There is also an overall signage plan that was worked out with VCU,” Burrell said, saying that the signs will be much more informative and attractive to tourists and Richmonders alike.
“This definitely changes the tone in traffic engineering and planning for the city,” he said. “We’ll be taking existing roadways and allowing for cyclists to use the lane safely….an overall traffic plan for Richmond for the next 20 years.”
According to Ninth District Councilman Doug Conner who sponsored the ordinance calling for adoption of the report, “the City of Richmond has tapped into a group of Citizens that have an abundance of energy and follow through and I look forward to getting more of these folks participating in the City’s Boards and Commissions. They are a great source of talented potential partners.”
Among the recommended changes in the report were hiring a full-time bike and pedestrian coordinator, creating an education and safety program and adopting a Complete Streets policy in the city.
The report also recommended a phased implementation of routes and greenways which would connect major attractors and for a capital improvement fund to be created to implement these plans.