By. Neil Williamson, President
This morning’s (9/10) Daily Progress included a Rachana Dixit article with the headline “Survey Finds Demand For More Bike Lanes”. Despite the somewhat misleading headline, the well written story explained the priorities a survey of bicyclists found support for specific bike lanes.
The 2010 Bike Ballot, administered by Bike Charlottesville and the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation, had 586 respondents. When survey participants were asked to identify the three most important areas the cycling community should champion in the next few years, the largest percentage of votes, 82 percent, went to pushing for more bike lanes.
The article highlights the City of Charlottesville’s commitment to bike lanes:
The city’s fiscal 2011 Capital Improvement Program has set aside $50,000 for bicycle infrastructure and $77,250 for trail and greenway development. Chris Gensic, city park and trails planner, said Charlottesville has about 2.5 miles of off-road, bikeable trails.
“I think the goal is like 10 to 15 miles, and that’s what I’m working on now,” he said in an interview.
Gensic said the city hopes to open 2 miles of new trails in the next year or so.
What if there was a project that would connect city bicyclists with Pen Park and other attractions on near Rio Road? In reverse, it could bring County bicyclists safely into the Downtown area.
Such a project exists – The Meadowcreek Parkway.
When, and if, the city builds its portion, the road will come with one of the most useful bike lanes for the community. This will form the major spine of the northern commuter trail.
One might ask why the city is stalling the creation of this important link in the community’s cycling infrastructure?
Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Nelson County. For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org