RICHMOND (WRIC)—The City of Richmond is getting ready for one of its biggest events ever—the World Road Cycling Championships next year. City officials say the event will put Richmond on the map, so they're working hard to make the city more bike-friendly by September 2015.
Tim Miller, the chief operating officer for Richmond 2015, says when they first bid to bring the world championship race to Richmond, they did it with the goal to transform the city.
"A lot of that has to do with bike and pedestrian stuff," Miller said. "So, there is a lot of stuff happening to make the city and the region more bike and pedestrian friendly."
Behind it all is Jakob Helmboldt.
"While we've got some bike friendliness, we've got certainly a lot that we could do to be a truly bike-friendly city, and kind of put us on the map as a place that does embrace bicycling," he said.
The city has hired a firm to help come up with a bike master plan.
"And that's really going to be aimed at making infrastructure improvements," Helmboldt said.
That includes things like paving roads, adding street signs and creating new bike lanes. But the biggest issue is identifying which streets get which type of treatment.
"Some streets you have to work within the confines of the street and a shared roadway environment, versus other streets you might have more lanes than you need," Helmboldt said.
Once they target the roads that need immediate work, Helmboldt says they'll post a draft map online so that people can provide feedback.
"We want this to be a citizen-driven process in terms of what's needed, so that we're not overlooking potential corridors or streets or intersections that people feel need to be improved," he said.
Helmboldt says they'll start posting those maps online in the next month; the master plan should be ready by April. You can expect to start seeing new paving this summer.
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