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Progress at Great Shiplock Park

GSPmapWell, it might be four months late, but work has begun on the half million dollar renovation of Great Shiplock Park. The James River Park parcel will soon also be a swank trailhead for the Richmond end of the Virginia Capital Trail. I took the dogs there today for a walk (and to Chapel Island across the canal) and to check out the progress. Here are some pics.                               (more…)

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Bikes and cars in RVA: Can’t we all get along?

In her email newsletter to subscribers, Beth Weisbrod, executive director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, offers some needed perspective in the recent heated debate between Richmond-area bicyclists and drivers. Check out what she has to say, and, if this is a subject you’re interested in, a good place to make your voice heard would be at the Times-Dispatch’s “public square” debate — Tuesday, September 18, 7 p.m. at the Times-Dispatch office. 300 E. Franklin St.

From Weisbrod’s newsletter:  

 

This week is Virginia Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week. Unfortunately, cycling safety has been in the news a lot lately because of a spate of recent bike fatalities in the region. Emotions are running high in the ongoing tensions between cars and cyclists, with both sides appearing more polarized than ever. From angry name calling to conspiracy theories, drivers and riders are focused on demonizing the other. We’re firmly on a third side.

Most people reading this are both a motorist and a cyclist, and understand the issue is less about bikes and cars, than it is about people. Bad decision makers, law breakers, distracted people, and thoughtless jerks use roads, whether they’re driving, walking or pedaling on them.

One reason the Virginia Capital Trail is so widely supported is that people will feel much safer on this separated trail. With cars no longer in the mix, they will be. It’s exciting to think about 52-miles of a dedicated path and the worry free riding we can do on it. When tragic accidents happen on unfriendly roads, everyone feels a building sense of urgency to hurry up and finish these projects. We want the whole region to be more bike friendly, and would love to see hundreds of miles of separated trails, now.

That will help tremendously. But even the most progressive cities have bikes and cars sharing roads together. Boulder, Portland, and Amsterdam all incorporate at least some areas where a stripe is all that separates cars and bikes. And those cities, too, have the same simmering tensions we’re experiencing as our cycling culture grows.

We can work to pass laws, make safer infrastructure, and educate the public on how to use it. We should never stop moving ahead on those issues. But when it comes right down to it, the center of this conflict isn’t about what kind of wheels are under you. Mostly, it’s about sharing and knowing how to get along.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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Virginia Capital Trail happy hour at Pasture

Virginia Capital Trail Foundation is holding a fundraiser happy hour at Pasture! (more…)

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Happenings on the other end of the Va. Capital Trail

Interesting stuff from Beth Weisbrod, Executive Director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation:

Picture this: You decide to spend a Saturday enjoying the Virginia Capital Trail. You park at the Jamestown Settlement and head towards the trailhead across the street. What’s this? A place to rent bikes and kayaks? And a store with snacks (and worms) and cold drinks?

Welcome to Eco Discovery Park, a new operation within two pedal strokes of the eastern end of the Virginia Capital Trail. Steve Rose, owner of Williamsburg Event Rentals, recently leased the marina from James City County and in addition to renting boat slips, he now rents bikes, kayaks, canoes and SUPs (stand up paddle boards).

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