U.S. Cycling Event to Close Many Richmond Streets - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

U.S. Cycling Event to Close Many Richmond Streets

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Miles of roadways will be shut down in Richmond in a few weeks as a major biking event comes to town.

The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, which takes place on the first weekend of May, will serve as an official test event for the 2015 Road World Championships.

But that comes with shutting down a lot of roads and changing traffic patterns. Right now, police are urging businesses, churches and residents to make sure they're ready or they could be stuck.

John Van Peppen's restaurant Arcadia on Main Street in Shockoe Bottom is right in the middle of all the upcoming action, but he says he's not worried.

"We know there will be a little bit of growing pains," he says. "For us, if it gets us ready for next time or next year, we're excited to have it."

Parts of Main Street in front of his business will be closed for days as well as several other streets nearby.

"It may affect businesses, but I think they've gotten the word out so people coming out will know that they need to take an alternate route," says David Napier of the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association. 

Police have been in contact with potentially affected businesses and event leaders have released maps of the course and closures.

Overall, police just say to be prepared to stay out of the race area if you can.

"If you're not aware of that at the time, and you go into the downtown area, and the signs are confusing to you, it could potentially be confusing," says William C. Smith, Richmond Police.

Police say they will have plenty of signs and officers to direct traffic and will have alternate routes to many places available.

"It's not like the neighborhood is going to be shut down," Napier says. "If you have big events like a rehearsal dinner, or something like that, you need to reach out and tell your guests, this is the way you need to tell your guests to come."

The 2015 race will be much bigger, so city officials hope to see what works and doesn't.

For a full list of road closures, click here.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

Related Stories:

Richmond Road Closures for U.S. Cycling Event

Is the City Bike-Ready for Richmond 2015?

Richmond 2015 Unveils Courses for 2015 UCI Road World Championships

Neighborhoods React to Richmond 2015 Course

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