RICHMOND, Va. – Worked started Monday on Franklin Street to implement a corridor with buffered bicycle lanes, known as a cycle track, that will run from N. Pine Street to N. 9th Street.
The project spans 15 blocks and helps establish two strong downtown corridors, the other being the Floyd Avenue bicycle boulevard, which runs from Monroe Park to Thompson Street.
This cycle track will easily sync up with Floyd Ave. and connects the Monroe Park area with important downtown destinations.
The project was estimated to cost almost $370,000 and consists of installation of buffered bike lanes, shared bike lanes and flexible delineator posts on the existing asphalt pavement.
Cyclists will have a 6’6” bike lane with an almost four-foot wide buffer between the lane and parked cars. Franklin Street will be converted from two lane traffic to one, except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. during peak hours. Cars will be able to park on both sides of Franklin Street, according to online plans, except for in some locations. Existing parking signs will be removed and new signs added as work is completed. Crosswalks will be retooled to fit the bicycle infrastructure.
The 2.2-mile stretch along Franklin Ave. moves around 6,600 and 9,900 commuters daily and the speed limit is 25 mph.
A survey of residents for the Bicycle Master Plan indicated that 90 percent of respondents are discouraged in some capacity by lack of bicycle lanes and or paths. More respondents indicated a willingness to frequently use a pathway that is a buffered bike lane versus a standard bike lane or a sharrow marking on a street shared with vehicular traffic.
The project is part of an effort to improve existing bicycle infrastructure, construct new facilities, and help diversify mobility in the city.
Some projects already completed (in addition to the Floyd Bike Blvd.) are 25 miles of bike lanes and buffered bike lanes on West Leigh Street, the Lee Bridge, and the Manchester Bridge.
Messer Contracting, LLC is implementing the project and construction is expected to last approximately two months, depending on weather.