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Re: “Speed Bump: Citing unanswered questions, council members aim to hit the brakes on a two-wheeler addition.

The "car-hating biker" is a myth, just like the "bike Nazi" above. I ride a bicycle to get around; I also drive a car, often on Brook Road, and would be absolutely happy with a delay of a few second or even a few minutes to make it safer for everyone -- including people in cars -- due to slower speeds. Making transportation options like biking, walking, and transit safe and appealing will actually make driving a car easier in the long run too; otherwise we'll just jam up all of the roads and parking lots because we have failed to give people good alternatives.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jake67 on 09/08/2018 at 12:08 AM

Re: “Speed Bump: Citing unanswered questions, council members aim to hit the brakes on a two-wheeler addition.

We need a good bike lane network if we are interested at all in a real multi-modal transportation system that gives people safe, viable options. You cannot seriously expect people to ride bikes or take the bus if you don't make it safe and attractive. But encouraging those options is the only way to deal with traffic and parking issues. That is where Hilbert and Gray are really short-sighted.

I'm also struck by the faulty logic used by Hilbert and Gray to justify their stance. Hilbert has repeatedly said that it's just "common sense" that there will be major traffic problems because the Westwood Tract development will double the number of residences on Brook Road. But the vast majority of cars on Brook Road are not driven by people who live on Brook Road. The addition of 300 or even 500 apartments will not make a huge difference in the 11,000 cars on that road. Even 1,000 extra cars a day (a very worst-case projection) is less than a 10% increase and still well within the federal guidelines for a road diet. It's not like they're going to build skyscrapers on Brook. Hilbert and others also simply assume that all of the people living in a new apartment building will be driving cars. It's been shown time and time again that a good network of protected bike lanes will be used.

And then Ms. Gray says that Bike Walk RVA should do (or fund?) the study because they are given money by the city to educate about traffic safety??? Bike Walk RVA is not a traffic engineering firm and advocating for safety does not equate to doing traffic studies that Richmond city council has refused to pay for. More importantly, it's clear that neither Hilbert or Gray would accept any study that does not confirm the conclusions they've already reached, because that is exactly what they are doing now: the numbers and projections are clear, but because they will not accept them, they insist on further study until they get something they agree with.

46 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by jake67 on 09/03/2018 at 9:03 AM

Re: “Commentary: Go Slowly, Here Comes the Pulse

Yes, there are a lot of people who drive to downtown for work or other things who won't take the bus. But if you hadn't noticed, there is a lot of growth in population in Richmond nowadays, and a lot more apartments within easy walking distance of the BRT and the improved bus lines (many major lines will not run every 15 minutes so you won't need a timetable, and the GRTC app can tell you when your bus will arrive). Many of those people now living in Richmond do not even own a car or don't want to use it a lot. The meeting about parking downtown (for the new city master plan process) also made it loud and clear: the solution to parking problems in the city is not more parking, it's also charging people for it (currently subsidized, like mass transit) and encouraging the use of other forms of transport.

Times change, but the crankiness of some Richmonders seems to stay the same. I for one am excited to see improved bus service throughout Richmond and plan to use it.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by jake67 on 06/24/2018 at 2:14 PM

Re: “How Richmond Brewers are Handling the Environmental Impacts of Craft Brewing

I was a bit surprised to not see anything here about the use of plastic cups. I realize that using glass is not without environmental impacts (transporting, washing), but re-usable glass has got to be better than the mountains of single-use plastic cups that pile up at the end of the day. How do the breweries stack up in that regard?

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jake67 on 04/25/2018 at 3:23 PM

Re: “Does Downtown Richmond Have a Parking Problem?

I'm a bit surprised to not hear much about the Pulse and improved bus routes, as well as a bike share system on its way and a still-expanding number of bike lanes in this piece. Those are very important parts of Richmond's parking and transportation system as well. The successes in Washington D.C. described here are a result not just of eliminating parking minimums and the existence of Zipcar, but also a good bike share system and network of bike lanes, along with the Metro.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by jake67 on 08/08/2017 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Jackson Ward Residents Debate Bike Lane Proposal

A couple of issues in the article and comments:
1. People ride bicycles in the city not only for recreation, although it can include that. Many, including people who live in Jackson Ward, use them to get to work and go out to eat, etc. This is not about going on joy rides through the city. It's about expanding our transportation options and making it safer and more inviting for people to ride a bicycle. The more people do that, the less car traffic and pollution there will be, and the fewer parking spaces we will need.
2. SOME cyclists do not obey traffic rules. So do SOME people in cars. We do not tell people who drive cars that they have to be angelic followers of the law before they earn the right to be safe or have a street repaved.

25 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by jake67 on 03/22/2017 at 8:10 AM

Re: “Architecture Review: The Virginia Capital Trail Offers a Sublime Public Amenity

I've ridden the trail twice and am struck by how popular it is and at the range of users -- among those on bicycles all the way from 4 year-old kids and the elderly to folks in lycra on expensive bikes. To me this is a really clear sign for what COULD happen within Richmond itself: if you build bike infrastructure that people feel comfortable and safe riding on, they will use it.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jake67 on 12/01/2015 at 1:08 PM

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