City Plans a Bicycle Beltway

The city is planning to build a network of bike trails surrounding the city, paralleling the Rivanna Trail, Seth Rosen reveals in today’s Progress. The city is starting to get easements for twenty miles worth of trails — the same length as the Rivanna Trail — and hopes to begin construction later this year. The easements won’t be finished until 2010, and the trails won’t be done until 2015. The city will create dedicated trails running from the beltway to downtown, too. UVa, frustratingly, isn’t talking with UVa about integrating a bike network of their own with the city’s, but they say they support it in concept.

The simple creation of bike trails will make it viable for people to bike or skate to and from work and school, reducing traffic and giving people an opportunity to improve their health.

13 thoughts on “City Plans a Bicycle Beltway”

  1. Sounds like yet another feel-good idea by the city, another goofy way to spend our tax dollars.
    The private Rivanna Trails Foundation has done a good job(except for the monumental screw-up with Mrs.Presley).Why does the city need to get involved, with all the other needs in our infrastructure,like sidewalks in need of repair?
    I see people on bikes all the time, they seem to get around okay. Why do we need this, something that will likely replace even more vegetation with hard surfaces?

  2. The county needs to participate, significantly. I would love to be able to bike to work. Right now, Rio Road is simply suicide for a bike. I do not have the option.

  3. It is a life-risking experience taking a bike ride on the streets and roads around this area! You would see exponential growth of bicycling if there were lanes – heck, if there were decent shoulders! The city bike lanes stop at strange places. No complete runs. At that point a rider must change tactics from “stay in lane” to “merge with traffic”. The cyclists you see are there despite the roads, not because of them.

  4. Why do we need 2 trails running right next to each other?

    The Rivanna Trail is fit for leisure, not for transportation. Most of it like the Appalachian Trail — a foot-wide dirt strip, laced with rocks and roots, going up and down hills. It’s a fine way to take a stroll and spend some time in the great outdoors, but most of it just isn’t a viable means of getting from point A to b.

  5. The bikeway idea is great. When I lived in Austin, bike trails followed the mostly dry creekbeds down to the river, which enveloped the city in the crook of its ‘L’. It was a wonderful way to get to work. Here, I have to get onto Barracks Road or 29 just for a few minutes, but that is more than I can take. Hurrah for a bikeway!

  6. I work out west on Ivy road, just shy of Boar’s Head. I bike to work when the weather cooperates. Ivy road’s not too bad, but past the 29 interchange on 250 its really dicey. The speed limit is 35 but everyone’s going 50 and there are no lanes or shoulders. @2CentDonor: I rode out Rio exactly once, ever in the last 30 years, not recently.

    More lanes and bikepaths in-town would be fantastic. Ultimately it has got to be part of the area transportation plan just like for roads.

  7. @HollowBoy: Safety. Or the feeling of safety for cyclists, that’s why. Otherwise people won’t ride to commute.

  8. I once tried to get up 29 N. by rollerblading down Park and up Rio. About halfway down Rio I took off the skates and walked, in my stocking feet, through the underbrush in the ditch by the side of the road. I was too young to be driving, and simply hadn’t realized what I was getting myself into with the route that I’d chosen.

  9. This town needs to get serious about catering to we bicyclist. There is suppose to be money put aside from gas taxes for bike trails. Painting white lines on the road is a joke to most bike riders here in town. The car drivers either overeact or get in our way somehow The public needed to be educated to the rights of bike riders on the roads of Va. but it wasn’t done. Bike-riders who know the laws are usually getting the short end of the stick when cars with their big metal/plastic bodies decide to take on the right to the road. So, we need a path asside from the roads and don’t waste our time putting bike paths where there is already a trail, build bridges across 29 N or across dangerous intersections, or a path beside a dangerous road. And put it on the other side of the sidewalk away from traffic. Don’t put us into the roads anymore, ok? Because this city has done the worse job of working out good bike strategies.

  10. I’ve been hearing this sort of thing since I was in High School. I’ll believe it when I actually see it.

    Beyond that, I’m in full support. Heck if a large part of Alaska can have bike trails all over the friggin place with their own bridges and all, then I figure Charlottesville can swing it too.

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