Floyd Avenue Bike Boulevard shifts into higher gear

Posted at 7:40 PM, Oct 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-30 06:48:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—There are several groups, including the city government, working toward making the City of Richmond a more bike and pedestrian friendly place.

On Monday, the Richmond City Council voted 8-1 to fund a study looking at the possibility of creating a "bike boulevard" on Floyd Avenue.  Reva Trammel, 8th District, held the dissenting vote.

The project will convert a two-mile stretch of Floyd Avenue into a low-speed street with speed humps, small round-abouts and curb extensions.

The distance would span 27 blocks, from VCU's Monroe Park Campus to Carytown.

Proponents say the project would create a safer environment for bicyclists and pedestrians on one of Richmond's busiest streets.

"A lot of people ride bikes, but it would help if motorists were a little more bike aware and understand there's  a lot of bike traffic through here,"  Richmonder Bobby Sanders said.

City Council President Charles Samuels said the project is in its early stages.  Richmond leaders are applying for close to $700,000 in federal and state grants to help fund the project.

"The city is committing about $175,000, about 20 percent of the overall budget, for creating the plan and then we'll be able to have a plan to discuss," Samuels said.

Several Floyd Avenue residents expressed concerns about decreased parking spaces and impacted property values, which could be a result of the project.

Brantley Tyndall with Ride Richmond argued the project is a win-win for both bicyclists and residents.

"It won't exclude cars or exclude parking by any stretch," Tyndall said.  "It will favor the slower modes of travel."

On Saturday, November 2, Richmond Sports Backers and several organizations will hold a forum to discuss the project.

The 10 a.m. meeting will be held in Monroe Park and then travel to Floyd Avenue.  It will end at the Virginia Museum at Fine Arts after a brief presentation.