Category Archives: Urban Planning

Currently seeking my master’s degree in Urban Planning at VCU

2017 Bicycle Friendly State ranking: Virginia rides into Top 10

BicycleFriendlyState_Header-VA

The League of American Bicyclists released its 2017 Bicycle Friendly State ranking last week; their 9th Bicycle Friendly State ranking and first since 2015. There was plenty of good news for Virginia. Continue reading

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Greenways essential to creating safe & successful bike/ped network

IMG_20171001_132439100During my three-day visit to Durham, N.C., for the East Coast Greenway’s Southeast Greenways and Trails Summit, I learned plenty of new and inspiring information about bicycle and pedestrian trails and how to make safer and more successful spaces for people to travel without a motorized vehicle.

With all due respect to Durham, this is a no bull kind of story. Here are some thoughts and observations from the summit. Continue reading

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Parking requirements encourage driving, lead to unnecessary pavement

Credit: The EconomistEnvision Richmond’s Fan District, Monument Avenue, Church Hill, Jackson Ward, etc., without cars parked everywhere. What if instead of vehicle storage, we redesign those spaces to better serve humans and nature?

Imagine how much more attractive our best Richmond neighborhoods could look without cars lining the streets, blocking the tree-ling streetscapes and beautiful homes?

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No more roads. It is hard enough to maintain what we’ve got

Credit: Jupiter Images via SlateAmerica does not need more roads. We have enough pavement in the United States to at least cover the entire state of Georgia (61,000 square miles, and that is an old study). Enough is enough.

According to a recent article published by Slate, “the last thing America needs from [President] Trump’s infrastructure plan is more more roads.”

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City without safe bike network is like swimming pool without shallow end

Cyclists mix with vehicular traffic on the Mayo Bridge in Richmond, Va.

Cyclists mix with vehicular traffic on the Mayo Bridge in Richmond, Va.

I often draw from my experiences as a cyclist to form many of my opinions for improvements and alterations to roadways and bike networks. As someone who bikes often and is accustomed to being able to relax while taking risks among faster, larger vehicles, I’ve learned that that might not be the best strategy.

While children and less-experienced cyclists are usually on my mind, I’m still learning importance for how to plan for the most vulnerable users. Continue reading

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Record number of miles driven is a failure, not an accomplishment

traffic6“It’s Wow Wednesday! U.S. sets record in 2016 with an estimated 3.2 trillion miles traveled.” – Tweet from the Federal Highway Administration.

This is not good news. The “wow” here is that the Federal Highway Administration does not understand that we need to encourage people to drive less, not more. Driving 3.2 trillion miles is not an accomplishment, but rather a failure. It is in the best interest for our country that we promote alternative transportation options, not the consumption and exhaustion of the world’s remaining fossil fuels.  Continue reading

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Video evidence: Saving vulnerable users without needing data

Crosswalk at Dock Street in Richmond, Va.Can video evidence replace data when it comes to bike and pedestrian planning? I love this concept. Data collection is hard with bike/ped, and perhaps observing conflict areas over a dedicated period of time could prevent conflicts to vulnerable users…and unnecessary injuries and deaths.

A recent article by Next City detailed a planning process happening in certain cities that is helping to speed up processes in creating safer environments for pedestrians and bicyclists in key transportation areas.

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