RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A tiny vehicle has been added to Richmond’s fleet of street and sidewalk sweepers.
An identical miniature twin to its full-sized counterparts, the vehicle has been given the task of keeping city bike lanes clean and clear of debris, improving drainage on city streets and keeping sidewalk drains free of trash and debris — helping to keep the James River and the Chesapeake Bay clean.
Per a release from the Richmond Department of Public Works, of the 61 miles of bike lanes maintained by the city, 23 lane miles are physically separated from the rest of the road by flex-posts or floating parking to provide bikers with a greater degree of separation from cars.
While safer, the separated bike lanes don’t allow the full-sized sweepers to fit into the more narrow bike lanes. With the new mini sweeper, the previously unintentionally neglected bicycle travel lanes now have the same opportunities for cleanliness as the ones passed through by cars every day, which is sure to positively impact the safety and overall usage of Richmond bike infrastructure.
The Richmond Department of Public Works said the street sweeper’s schedule will be posted on the City’s website in early September, once the routes have been established. The department added that plans for a second mini sweeper are in the works, with the goals of improving the frequency of the routes and keeping up with the growing bike lanes.
You can find a video of the little sweeper at work on The Department of Public Works’ Twitter account.
To report debris, visit RVA311.com or call the Department of Public Works at 3-1-1.