Dangerous by Design: Richmond rated worst in Virginia for pedestrian safety

 

Dangerous By DesignStatistics can be an important tool. Understanding statistics can help you assess the quality of studies and the validity of their conclusions.

As a planner, statistics are vital to assessing areas of need. As a bike and pedestrian planner, it can be difficult to measure certain aspects of our infrastructure and how people navigate our transit networks. Giving policy makers factual statistics to enhance work study is commonplace. Continue reading

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Rails to Trails: Riding the Virginia Capital Trail

Virginia Capital Trail map [Rails to Trails]

Virginia Capital Trail map [Rails to Trails]

I’m a big fan of the Virginia Capital Trail. It is beautiful, well-planned, well-maintained, and has become a tremendous asset for Virginia, not just Richmond and Williamsburg. As a planner, it set the bar high for the next trails to follow.

As a rider on the trail, I’ve been more of a tourist than purely out for a ride. I’ve toured much of the 52-mile trail along Route 5 by car, but I’m fascinated by the possibilities for new perspectives from the seat of my bike. Clearly, I’m not alone, as the trail is bringing people by the thousands out for a spin (see numbers the VCT’s daily counter).

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Richmond has a good thing going with its trails network

richmondtrailforumRichmond’s great network of hiking and biking trails are no accident. They were advocated for, planned and built by trail users. Volunteers have worked with city park staff for more than two decades to develop and maintain the trails and our region is better for them.

Over that time, Richmond has become more known as a great outdoors town. The trails are just part of the reason. We need to remain dedicated to protecting what we have and fight for more trails, especially ones that help connect neighborhoods, schools, commercial areas, employment centers and more.
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Goal reached: 4,000 miles biked in 2016

1001161117editI really got into biking in 2016. My effort was more than just fitness, I really wanted to replace automobile miles with biking miles. For an entire year, I worked to eliminate as many car trips as I could with a bike trip.

It worked out pretty well and I have the numbers to help tell the story. Continue reading

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MTB Project eats up Richmond’s singletrack trails

Belle Isle Bike Skills Park

Credit: Leslie Kehmeier

The Richmond region is a great place to ride a mountain bike. We’ve got huge parks with trails. We’ve got small parks with trails. We’ve got trails along both banks of the James River. We’ve got trails in the urban core of the city and plenty out in the counties too.

REI’s MTB Project sent writer/photographer Leslie Kehmeier to Richmond to find out what we’re all about for their Epicenter series, which was “created in partnership with PeopleForBikes, is a series highlighting communities that have invested in cycling infrastructure and grown into full-blown mountain bike destinations as a result.” Continue reading

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Local efforts are the backbone of a national cycling network

U.S. Bike Route 1 crosses U.S. Bike Route 76 near Ashland, Va.

Credit: Dana Carolyn

The November 2016 issue of Planning magazine had a detailed and well-written article entitled “Bikes Across America” about the efforts to build a national cycling network across the United States.

Now that I’m a transportation planner at the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission, I can see how much coordination and work is behind this type of tall task. A national bike network will take decades to complete, but each locality and region can help speed things up with incremental improvements.   Continue reading

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New look at a great book: ’60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Richmond’

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of RichmondFor the past couple of months, I’ve been hiking all over Central Virginia. My wife and two children have joined me several times, visiting some old favorites and several new ones, including some fantastic Virginia State Parks.

I love the outdoors, but this is “work,” as I’ve signed on to write a revision of the great book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Richmond by Nathan Lott and published by Menasha Ridge Press.

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