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New Crosstown Bike Routes in the Works

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Plans to add new bike lanes and routes in Richmond are rolling forward. Taken together, the projects will form a backbone of bicycle infrastructure for the city to build on, says begin Richmond’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Jakob Helmobldt.

The city is on track to construct a 5.5-mile bicycle route connecting the North Side with Shockoe Bottom. Beginning at North Boulevard, the route will follow West Brookland Park Boulevard before heading south on Richmond-Henrico Turnpike and the Cannon Creek Greenway.

The route will consist primarily of painted shared-lane markings, or sharrows, and other signs, but will feature protected bike lanes when it approaches Shockoe Bottom on Oliver Hill Way, and then return to shared lane markings.

The plan also calls for a protected bike lane on Leigh Street Viaduct between 10th and Mosby streets. The city asked for bids from contractors last week. Helmboldt says the work could begin as early as December depending on weather.

The plan also calls for a protected bike lane on Leigh Street Viaduct between 10th and Mosby streets. The city asked for bids from contractors last week. Helmboldt says the work could begin as early as December depending on weather.

Two other projects will go before City Council for approval in the coming month. Council is set to vote on whether to support a bid for state funding to create a protected bike lanes on Franklin and Main streets. The project is estimated to cost $300,000. If council approves the plan, the city will apply for $260,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation and cover the rest with local funds.

Helmboldt says council also will be asked to approve a similar request for the creation of a bicycle boulevard on Floyd Avenue from Monroe Park to Carytown. Proposed previously, measures such as traffic circles would replace four-way stops at intersections to slow cars but allow cyclists to travel unhindered.

He says odds are good that the city can secure state funding for the projects because they're part of existing plans to increase multimodal transit in the city.

"The big thing is that we just need to demonstrate that it's moving in the right direction," he says. "But ultimately it's up to the people reviewing the application, and there's always lots of competition for the funds."

This map shows planned and funded bike lanes as green lines and sharrows as brown lines. The red lines represent proposed projects that have not yet been funded.

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