For those of you in the Richmond metro area, and specifically if you are a Henrico County resident, I strongly urge you to contact the County and voice your opinions on the lack of bike, pedestrian, greenway, and alternative transportation content in the Comprehensive Plan updates. The Partnership for Smarter Growth has informed me that the County has said they have not heard from the bicycling community on this issue. As such I believe there will likely be little done to change that content if they don’t hear from the citizens of the County. Further, I urge you to speak with those in your communities to also voice their concerns or desires relative to bike/ped/sustainability issues since these affect much more than cycling enthusiasts. The County is currently hosting several “informational” public meetings and will be having public comment periods at a later date and info can be found at their website (http://www.co.henrico.va.us/planning...n/meetings.htm).
§15.2-2223 of the Code of Virginia now requires that the plan “include, as appropriate, but not be limited to, roadways, bicycle accommodations, pedestrian accommodations…”
This language of course waters things down, however the intent of the law is clear and with more development, more congestion, less road funding, costlier gas, a greater emphasis on “new urbanism”, etc there has never been a more relevant time to include this kind of content in the Comp Plan. The County needs to hear directly from the citizenry and I encourage written correspondence. I know others have contacted them, so I find it curious to hear that they have not heard from people. If you have concerns then this is the best opportunity to get these thoughts documented so that the County plans for a variety of facilities and accommodations during this revision process.
Jakob Helmboldt, AICP
Statewide Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Coordinator
Transportation & Mobility Planning Division
Virginia Department of Transportation