The 2020 PeopleForBikes ratings on America’s Best Places For Bikes have been published and the City of Richmond improved greatly beyond ratings from the first two years of this data-driven scoring system. Richmond is rated among other American cities somewhere in the 40s (tied with several cities).
Overall score: 2.7
2020 ratings for the City of Richmond:
Ridership: 2.0 | Estimates how many and how often people are riding bikes.
Safety: 2.7 | Includes injuries and fatalities from vehicular crashes to people biking, walking and driving.
Network: 1.4 | Rates how people are connected to their destinations using comfortable bike routes.
Reach: 1.4 | Measures how consistently a community’s bike network serves everyone in the community.
Acceleration: 3.7 | Indicates how quickly a community is improving its biking infrastructure and getting people riding.
The rating for the City of Richmond dramatically improved over the ratings for 2018 (1.6) and 2019 (1.7). Efforts by the city to continue creating bicycle lanes and a safer bicycle network with infrastructure through roadway reconfigurations (road diets) likely played a large role, but the advocacy from local groups (see the jump in the acceleration category) like Bike Walk RVA, the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, and others, must also get credit.
Richmond (2.7) fared really well among other Virginia cities, rating higher than all other cities except Alexandria (3.0).
Newport News: 1.4
Virginia Beach: 1.3
If you’re impressed with Richmond’s improvement, think about how much stronger these numbers can be as we continue to develop the Ashland to Petersburg Trail (or whatever the trail is eventually named). The staff at PlanRVA (where I work) been working with the seven localities and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) along the corridor to develop the plan and analyze the opportunities for funding for the trail. Please continue to support safer bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.