Proposed pedestrian crossing changes to Forest Hill and Roanoke – Bike Walk RVA says it’s not enough

Painted crosswalks and new light up crosswalks signage.

Update #1 — March 21, 2014; 10:18 AM

Bike Walk RVA has brought up an excellent point. In the proposal above you can see that pedestrians won’t have the “luxury” of lights during rush hour, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. This means that commuters using public busses won’t be able to easily cross and the same goes for those that want to gain access to Forest Hill Park.

To get the message to city hall Bike Walk RVA has created an online form that allows citizens to voice their opposition to the plan as it now stands. Copy from the form below.

I am writing to urge Department of Public Works to prioritize pedestrian access and safely in the Forest Hill neighborhood. It is my understanding that the proposed intersection design of Forest Hill Ave and Roanoke St would not give pedestrians a protected “walk” signal during rush hour (4 to 6 PM), when traffic volumes are highest and a protected crossing is most critical. Furthermore, people who are sight- or mobility-impaired would be at even greater risk, just to cross the street.

The community wants a street where people are comfortable walking and biking with their family, friends, and neighbors for fun and transportation; where traffic is calmed and non-threatening; and where people can safely walk or bike to homes and businesses along Forest Hill Avenue. “Scheduled crossing times” should not be part of the City of Richmond’s treatment of its pedestrians on any project in the city.

I understand the Forest Hill Neighborhood Association voted to send the proposal back to Public Works for change. Please take this opportunity to make the right decision for pedestrians living along this corridor that will invite people to walk to the park and local businesses from their nearby homes. The intersection of Forest Hill Ave and Roanoke St needs safe access for pedestrians to the park and to GRTC bus stops, and should protect pedestrians crossing Forest Hill Ave at all times of day.

Thank you for your support,

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Original — March 17, 2014

These changes will be discussed at tonight’s Tuesday’s, March 18th, Forest Hill Neighborhood Association meeting at 7 PM at the Forest Hill Presbyterian Church.

The intersection was the subject of debate going back to 2009 and the city and VDOT recommended the installation of a traffic circle. The proposal was dead on arrival to the community, Friends of Forest Hill Park Board voted 5-3 (not 100% sure of numbers) to oppose and the Forest Hill Neighborhood Association voted about 40-1 to oppose.

Original article about the traffic circle proposal being shelved. Unfortunately the links to the original traffic circle proposal have expired.

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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