Local bicyclist behind Capital Trail honored for 30 years of advocacy

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2021 Richmond History Makers Honoree

Bud Vye working on bike for kid

Lloyd “Bud” Vye has been an advocate for bicyclist and pedestrian safety for the past 30 years. (Photo: Andrew Vye)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — At the age of 52, Lloyd “Bud” Vye started bicycling. More than 30 years later, he’s become one of the greater Richmond area’s committed bicyclist and pedestrian safety advocates.

“It didn’t take long to become my number one recreational activity, and so here I came,” Bud said. “Pretty soon, I got wrapped up into it totally.”

Bud has always been active. He served in the U.S. Army as an artillery officer at Fort Riley, Kan., making the All 5th Army basketball team. He is also a former whitewater paddler, tennis player and volleyball player. But as he aged, Bud found that he enjoyed the time spent outside on his bicycle.

Bud leads the pack on a bike ride. He starting bicycling when he was in his 50s and only stopped a couple years ago. (Photo: Andrew Vye)

Moving to Henrico County in the 1980s, Bud started to notice that safety for bicyclists and pedestrians might be an issue.

“It’s been very much an interest of mine for years now because this is where I do my bicycling, is out on the road,” Bud said.

(Photo: Andrew Vye)

Bud’s son, Andrew, recalled that, over the years, some of Bud’s friends have been injured on their bicycles by cars that were following too closely or trying to pass.

“On the pedestrian front, there’s no crosswalks on Broad Street, there’s no sidewalks, there are no shelters or benches at the bus stops,” Andrew said.

Bud’s advocacy efforts to make roadways safer for pedestrians and bicyclists came together with the opening of Virginia’s Capital Trail, on which Andrew said his father worked tirelessly.

“It took 25 years to get that done,” Andrew said. “There were all kinds of land issues and right of way issues going down along the river and things like that.”

Bud also played a role in advocating for Virginia’s Distracted Driving Law, also known as the Hands-Free Law, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

For these reasons, Bud has been named as an honoree in the 2021 Richmond History Makers & Community Update Program for improving regional transportation.

(Photo: Andrew Vye)

Now 87, Bud hung up his bicycle a couple years ago, but he’s still involved with the Richmond Area Bicycling Association (RABA), where he served as advocacy director, and its efforts. Andrew said there is another project in the works to install a trail on the eastern shore of Virginia, going from the Bay Bridge Tunnel into Maryland.

“It’s been a tremendous activity for me,” Bud said. “I just gravitated toward it.”

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