The region is abuzz on bicycle and pedestrian transportation issues. With the overarching focus on sustainable mobility and livability in planning nationally, Hampton Roads also is enhancing the integration of bicycle and pedestrian issues in regional transportation planning.
New Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner
At a statewide level, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has named a Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner. Mr. John Bolecek, who has worked for the US Department of Transportation, will be responsible for leading, coordinating, administering, implementing and monitoring the Commonwealth’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. Collaborating with state, regional, and local government entities, Mr. Bolecek will be championing the integration of bicycling and walking into the transportation planning process.
Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Initiatives
At a regional level, there are various trails being planned to provide better bicycle and pedestrian mobility. The first trail in the region, the East Coast Greenway, is an 81 mile alignment through the Hampton Roads region. The Hampton Roads alignment, which is from Jamestown to Elizabeth City, NC, aims to provide an off-road trail alignment when possible. The East Coast Greenway, a 3,000 mile trail network, serves as an urban counterpart to the Appalachian Trail network. The second trail, the South Hampton Roads Trail, is a proposed 41 mile federation of projects that aims to connect four of five urban centers from Suffolk to Virginia Beach. The project aims to have a mix of facility types along the alignment, including dedicated trails, bike lanes, enhanced road shoulders, and ferry service.
A steering committee of planners from Suffolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach collaborate with VDOT, the HRTPO, HRPDC, and regional bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups to discuss planning and advocacy issues to bring these two trail projects into fruition.
The next South Hampton Roads Trail Steering Committee is open to the public, and is scheduled for Monday September 12, 2011 at 10 AM at the Regional Building (723 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, VA 23320). Access to the Regional Building is available by public transportation (HRT Route 15).
Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Research Scan
Within the FY 12 UPWP, the HRTPO will be conducting research to prepare a Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Scan. The scan, the first step in pursuing the development of a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan, will look to identify best practices in facility/network development and management, outlining a methodology in regional bicycle/pedestrian plan development, and highlight implementation strategies to educate, fund, and develop the regional non-motorized network. Stay tuned for additional updates on the regional bicycle and pedestrian scan from the HRTPO website (www.hrtpo.org).
Local Bicycle and Pedestrian Trails Advisory Committee Meetings
Virginia Beach - Bikeway and Trails Advisory Committee
September 12, 2011
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation: Landscape Management Division
4141 Dam Neck Road. Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Attn: Wayne Wilcox (757) 385-1100
Historic Triangle Bicycle Advisory Committee
October 17, 2011
James City County Government Complex, Building A Conference Room
101 Mounts Bay Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Attn: Luke Vinciguerra (757) 223-6685
Chesapeake Bicycle/Trails Advisory Committee
October 24, 2011
Chesapeake City Hall, Planning Department Conference Room
306 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322
Attn: Mark Shea (757) 382-8356