UPDATE: Road closures, parking restrictions for this weekend’s cycling races

Heads up: Friday will be tricky for drivers downtown.

Update #3 — May 1, 2014; 7:59 AM

One late-breaking road closing that you need to be aware of: Broad Street will be closed between 3rd and 7th starting at 9:00 AM on Thursday. This is a new closing.

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Update #2 — April 30, 2014; 7:08 AM

Road closures and parking restrictions (PDF) go into effect as early as Thursday night ahead of the three-day 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals this weekend.

The biggest impact to motorists will come Friday, when cyclists will compete in team and individual time trials from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Pre-race info

Friday’s course stretches from Boulevard and W. Broad Street, to Oregon Hill and the Southside via the Lee Bridge, to downtown and parts of Church Hill.

Towing will begin at 3:00 AM on Friday and run until 7:00 PM along the course route. So make sure you move your car Thursday night.

Speaking of Thursday night, street closures will begin at 7:00 PM on Thursday around E. Broad Street near 5th Street, specifically:

  • E. Broad Street between 3rd and 7th streets
  • 5th Street between E. Marshall and E. Grace streets
  • 3rd Street between E. Clay and E. Broad streets.


Click for a larger version.

Click for a larger version.

If you use a garage (or lot) to park, you should be OK on Friday. But Gene Lepley of the Richmond Police Department advises that you park your car by 8:30 AM. Also don’t plan to drive during your lunch break, and expect to leave work at about 5:00 PM after people and paraphernalia clear out.

If that doesn’t sound appealing–or if you rely on street parking downtown while you’re at work–you should probably work remotely or take the day off. Not only will parking be limited, but driving around the city, especially downtown, will be difficult due to road closures.

There will be course “bridges” (or crossing points) for vehicles at 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th streets crossing E. Main Street downtown. Motorists will only be able to use those “bridges” intermittently because they can only cross the course when there are no riders in the vicinity.

That’ll be difficult on Friday due to the nature of that day’s races.

“Full teams and or individuals will go off one-at-a-time at one-to-two-minute intervals,” said Lee Kallman, marketing and communications director for Richmond 2015, about Friday’s races. “With riders going off every minute, you’re going to have riders all over the course” throughout the day.

Motorists may get lucky and only have to wait a couple of minutes to cross, or they may have to wait 20-30 minutes.

There are also two “bridges” crossing Monument Avenue at Meadow and one that crosses W. Franklin Street at N. Harrison Street.

GRTC will also have “major service changes” this weekend.

What about pedestrians?

Kallman said that there will be some barricades that’ll prevent pedestrians from crossing the course, but for the most part, pedestrians will be able to cross the course at will. Just look both ways because, on some streets, cyclists will be traveling the opposite way motor traffic typically does (I’m looking at you, E. Franklin Street).


Click for a larger version.

Click for a larger version.

Saturday’s race has a much smaller footprint and shouldn’t be as inconvenient to drivers. Unless you want to go downtown to watch the races (which will be cool to see!) it’s probably best to avoid the area all together. All other parts of the city’s roadways should function normally.

“No parking” restrictions go into effect at 4:00 AM on Saturday and runs until 7:00 PM.


Click for a larger version.

Click for a larger version.

The course used on Friday goes back into effect (with additional eastern expansion) on Sunday.

Course “bridges” will again be available, and should be easier to use because Sunday’s race will have cyclists in a group (or a peloton) rather than scattered across the course.

“No parking” restrictions go into effect at 2:00 AM on Sunday and run until 7:00 PM.


The Richmond Police have several maps online to help you navigate this weekend’s races.

Here’s a combined “no parking” map spanning all three days:

No Parking - Combined Courses

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Update #1 — April 28, 2014; 7:14 AM

Over 400 cyclists from more than 100 colleges will race through Richmond’s streets during the 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals this Friday through Sunday.

As mentioned when the races were announced last year, local organizers believe the three-day event will serve as a test-run for the larger 2015 UCI Road World Championships that’ll be held in Richmond next year.

“This premiere collegiate athletic event will allow cyclists an exclusive look at the time trial and the road race courses ahead of the World Championships in 2015,” said Monica Callahan, community engagement director of Richmond 2015. “While much smaller in scope, the [Collegiate Road Nationals] offers the opportunity to test some of the same infrastructure that will be used for the UCI event in 2015.”

In contrast to the Collegiate Road Nationals, the 2015 UCI Road World Championships will last nine days and is expected to attract 450,000 spectators; 1,000 athletes; 6,000 officials; and 1,000 journalists. That’s a lot of people, people.

The collegiate cyclists will compete in four different races over this year’s three-day event:

If you work or live near one of the routes, it might not be a bad idea to carve out some time to watch the races. Watching hundreds of cyclists pedal through our streets should be fun to see.

Of course, a large event like this one means there’ll be street closures. You can peruse the maps and street closures for each day of the event below, and read over the traffic impact briefing here.

2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals takes place Friday, May 2nd – Sunday, May 4th.

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Original — April 15, 2014

The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships will take place Friday, May 2nd through Sunday, May 4th.

That means LOTS of roads will close throughout the city.

Here’s the traffic briefing for the three-day event, and below are the maps/street closures for the competitions (click for larger versions!) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Plan accordingly!

photo by Roy Appleyard

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Rob Sterling on said:


  2. Liz on said:

    Yes Rob – three out of 365…

  3. Amanda on said:

    This is awesome for RVA!!

  4. heather on said:

    wow. this looks like it chokes out the possibility of food carts getting down to their locations on friday. taking away a day of business, without notification to small business owners. is the city going to put in place large chain food carts for this too? like the redskins camp? this is not ok. athletic handies on the backs of small business people and the work force in general, is not ok.

  5. Steph on said:

    What hours? Meaning during what hours will affected small businesses will lose all revenue?

  6. Richard L. on said:

    So stoked for this and for the World Championships next year.

    For those who haven’t thought to click the provided link, it takes you to a thorough explanation of the closures, including times, changes to traffic flows, etc.

    Also, I’m all for small business, but this event has been in the works for some time, with plenty of notification given.

    Lastly, bike races are awesome to watch in person, particularly the criterium, and this event has us, tiny lil’ Richmon, on the national stage. And next years event will put us on the world’s.

  7. RVASBO on said:

    R.L. Put the breaks back on your bike buddy. This event may have been in the works for a while but the routes have not. Insulting the folks who make a daily time and financial investment in “lil” Richmond is not cool. We have a long term commitment to this city, which thanks to us is getting National Attention. The only “lil” thing about this city at times is its coordination on events that have a direct negative impact on the revenue of its tax base. 2 weeks notice is not enough. No input from effected businesses is not enough.

    Please enjoy the race. I’d love to watch but will be figuring out how to get customers here to salvage something of the weekend. Been down this road before and it is a hardship.

    And I hope the Kale chips you munch on are made locally but probably not… the City’s most recent National Sporting Event wouldn’t allow local vendors. Customers filled up there apparently, as the (slow to be released and poorly elucidated) city tax revenue numbers showed no big spike for local businesses during the event. These events have potential to benefit all; we just need to find a way to achieve this.

    Lastly, walk with me for a minute. Imagine the city wins the Olympics. YES! Now imagine you find out with 2 weeks notice the Olympics will be held in your cube. Your customers have no reasonable way of getting to you, and you and your dozens of employees have no way of earning money. Still love the Olympics?

    Sacrificing your income (even “just” for 3 days out of 365) IS a big deal. Can we just not pay utilities for those days? (I’m willing to give 2 weeks notice.)

    We ALL want the continuation of the rise of RVA. But there HAS to be a better way to plan these events other than to the detriment of RVA businesses.

  8. Sean on said:

    I like events, but the businesses have a point. A years notice should be the minimum for budgetting purposes.

  9. Garth on said:

    I agree that local businesses should be included in this but I think you’re a little over the top on the 3 days of lost revenue and only two weeks notice. I come through downtown frequently on Saturday and Sunday and I don’t see too many food carts. So we are talking, then, about one day. As to the two weeks notice: the routes were published at the end of February. We all knew there would be road closures and, looking at the routes, all knew pretty much what those closures would be so we had a lot more than two weeks to come up with an alternate plan or reach out to the organizers (probably could have done that even before the routes were published) to express interest in participation.

  10. Steve K on said:

    It’s got everything, but time of closures! (Not the race from when the police block the roads!)

  11. Cody Boyd on said:

    What hours is this occurring? Will I be able to move my car in the evening?

  12. Not Loving RVA on said:

    Given the road closures around MCV, looks like Friday will be a bad day to get shot.

  13. steve on said:

    Carve out some time, indeed. Sporty RVA boosters will have a field day but I suspect most citizens will be ‘inconvenienced’.

  14. John Eiler on said:

    Road closures have been out for months. I’m a small business owner. Use this event as practice as a way to thrive for next year. The world is coming in 2015.

  15. dadathome on said:

    Well I hope Richmond paves the rest of it’s streets by the time the world shows up. The roads that the racers are traveling on sure are smooth.

  16. WHR on said:

    As for the paving. Much of Riverside was done a year or two ago and Forest Hill AND Westover Hills Blvd are scheduled to be done this summer. There are a lot of paving priorities for the City and while in no way do I think it has been perfect, they have been getting better over the years. Hopefully once the main roads in the area get some much needed attention they can get to some of the side streets.

  17. Jenipede on said:

    Has there been any mention of what GRTC plans to do this weekend? I need to get to and from downtown via the bus on Friday and Saturday and have no idea how that’s going to work.

  18. Nathan Cushing on said:
  19. Rich Borie on said:

    I’m a cyclist but this event has been poorly planned and doesn’t belong in Richmond! The city wants to be bicycle friendly but the decades old, narrow streets make cycling dangerous and irrates car traffic when stuck behind a bike while the adjacent lane is bumper to bumper. Little to no advance notice was given to affected businesses and hardly any information given to the public other than the political rheteric handed out by the illustrious city leaders of the date and wild guess of how much revenue the city will get. How about a map that you can see the race course on! On one map makes it looks like the course in within a 4×7 block area of central Richmond. On another, it looks to be extended way beyond that area. The map can’t be printed full page because of the diagonal layout and if zoomed out, becomes so small it can’t be read! All I can envision is a traffic nightmare.

  20. Jeff E. on said:

    My God do people love to complain…

  21. Amy on said:

    Personally, I’m excited about this event. I’ve volunteered to be a course marshall, and I absolutely can’t wait to get out there an support these athletes and my city!

  22. Alexander Ander on said:

    Why ate people saying that this was not announced in time? It was announced a year ago, and these course announced in September. 8 months is plenty of forewarning for this. And to compare this to the fiasco that is the Redskins training camp is just plain ignorant. The only thing this cost us in infrastructure is repairing the road. If I had a food truck I would have an event permit so I could bennifit on the people coming to watch the race.

  23. jarendt on said:

    Alexander, where did you see the course announced in September? The first map I saw came in late Feb. http://www.richmond.com/recreation/article_73149432-9d66-11e3-91f2-001a4bcf6878.html

    Rich, the Richmond 2015 has PDF versions of the maps that are complete and reasonably readable. Why they chose their main displays to cut off half the courses is beyond me.

  24. Scott Burger on said:

    You will notice that I have not been complaining about the event here, even though my neighborhood will be one of the ones most effected. Like Amy, I am excited and looking forward to the cyclists zipping by. I am hoping that this and Richmond2015 will be a catalyst for more bicycle infrastructure. But these things should also bring more streetscape infrastructure improvements. Right now those solar trash/recycling bins only appear in Venture Richmond’s special downtown tax assessment zone and VCU, when they should be in more of our inner city neighborhoods that see a lot of traffic. Richmond does need to step up its game quite a bit in organizing and preparing.

  25. Donna on said:

    Sounds like the grumbling in the nursing home dining room

  26. Sum Yung Gai on said:

    Complaint is the soil in which progress grows.

  27. Cam on said:

    Thanks for all the info Nathan! You nailed it! Psyched to be both spectator AND participant in this weekends races. I know it will inconvenience some folks, and that’s never an easy thing to deal with when you work and/or live downtown, and I hope that it does indeed benefit some of the local businesses at least a little. I think that while the majority of the racers this weekend are college kids, there will likely not be too much of a financial spike. The world championships next year, on the other hand, should hopefully be a different story!

  28. WHR on said:

    Rich. There is one race that only consists of a few blocks downtown. It is called the Criterium. Traditionally those races are only run over short routes, but with mutiple laps. Sometimes those are the best ones to go and watch because you get to see the riders mutiple times in quick succession.

  29. tincup on said:

    Looks like this will affect Friday Cheers….

  30. Jen on said:

    When the Tour de Trump came through downtown Richmond there were more reporters than spectators on hand. Most observers called it a flop. Everyone seems to think these new bicycle races will dramatically uplift the city socially and financially. I hope they’re right but I’m skeptical.

  31. Rich, if you take a closer look at the article above (and especially the most recent version), you’ll see that the there are three different routes being used on the three different days, for three different types of races. Enjoy!

  32. Tj on said:

    My only issue which this event is the disparity between Friday and Saturday’s courses and street closures. Why couldn’t they have made Saturday’s course be on Friday instead? The difference is striking, and would have severely cut down on the impact on the city. It’s just a shame that no one had the foresight in thinking, “gee, maybe we should make the smaller course happen on a weekday and save all the big stuff for the weekend when most people aren’t forced to drive into town.”

  33. hana on said:

    These road closings are ridiculous. Did the city officials even consider what this race will do to the people who rely on the bus system to get to and from work, or even individuals who still have to go to work through this mess. Telling people to work from home is not always an option. I really wish they would have considered this before they shut down a city for a bicycle race…

  34. Boodle on said:

    Major problem here: what if someone has a heart attack and needs urgent medical care on Friday? The way the race is set up on Friday, VCU Medical Center is essentially cut off from the world. Not everyone calls the ambulance because not everyone can afford to. As some one who works there, you wouldn’t believe the amount of people who drive themselves in thinking that they have enough time to drive before things get really bad. Most of the reasons stem from them either not having insurance or not having a lot of money to pay for an ambulance because their insurance isn’t that good. This makes it really difficult for a lot of people and I’m just worried about how it will negatively impact people looking for emergent medical care. I just think that cutting off all of the more major and instant routes into the major hospital for low-income people isn’t really a great idea for Richmond to have chosen.

  35. Boodle on said:

    Or on Sunday? I mean seriously, while some people can choose not to work or come into town during this time, a lot of people can’t make that choice. I’m just really worried about how this will impact the availability of health care to people trying to come in for stuff like heart attacks, traumas, and the like. We’re the only hospital in the area that can handle level 1 traumas, so if anyone gets into a truly horrendous accident the only place that can handle the level 1 stuff is hours away.

    I’m really just very worried about this. Partially for my sake, but mostly because I don’t want someone to get seriously hurt or even die because they couldn’t get to the hospital.

  36. Donna on said:

    There has been a plan in place for many months now at VCUHS for emergency care.

  37. Karen on said:

    If it’s truly horrendous, it’s likely the patient will be flown in so road closings really won’t matter. And as Donna said, VCU has been planning for this for months.

  38. Tired of Negative Nancies on said:

    You people must be miserable being so negative. All the majority of Richmonders do is complain. God forbid you be inconvenienced or have to use you head to think of new ways to get around the city. With all the issues we have in this city, you all pick road closures to complain about?

    It should be a nice weekend. Get out and enjoy it and quit your b!tching.

  39. Karen on said:

    And I can tell you that Retreat, Community and St. Mary’s all see their share of low-income patients – they do not only go to VCU.

  40. Tired of Debbie Downers on said:

    You people must be miserable being so negative. All the majority of Richmonders do is complain about other people voicing their opinions. God forbid someone have a different viewpoint, or care about small businesses or emergency services. Instead of pointing out that things could be better if we just thought about it a little bit, JUST SHUT UP and TAKE WHATEVER OUR RULERS GIVE YOU, EVEN IF WHAT THEY’RE DOING IS STUPID!

  41. Jen on said:

    Tired of Negative Nancies — while you’re in downtown please go to Saint John’s Church and see where Patrick Henry did his “bitching” about tyrants like you. I’m proud of my city. Sorry if you’re not.

  42. Adrien on said:

    I’m also tired of the complaining. Everyone wants Richmond to be OMG so cool and important, and then when cool things happen, everyone freaks out because it’s inconvenient. Instead of avoiding the area, go watch a race! Enjoy the expo and the food trucks! It’s going to be a freaking FUN weekend!

  43. Megeneration on said:

    Jen- you have aligned yourself with Patrick Henry (really?) as well as most 3 year olds worldwide who bitch when they dont get their way. Last I checked, this city doesnt revolve around me- or you. Nor should it. There will be plenty of things i agree and disagree with because this is a community made up of differing needs. If some small business owners cant embrace this event and others, even if transient dip in $, i suspect they have bigger fish to fry as far as viability of their business. Certainly, you could move your business out to the country where nothing happens. Of course, that may not be a great business model either. As a small business owner myself, the challenges come with daily wrinkles- people call off work, weather delays, traffic accidents, holidays. It kinda comes with the territory. In general, most business minded folks agree that generating “buzz” in their backyard is a good thing. Esp when its free

  44. Rocket J. Squirrel on said:

    Funny, Jen, that you’re invoking Patrick Henry, who contemporary research suggests did little to nothing of consequence, and almost certainly didn’t utter any of the notable phrases to which he’s generally attached.

    Kinda like RVANews comment threads, really.

  45. Karen on said:

    Ok maybe I am not seeing it but is there a race schedule available to tell us the times of particular races?

  46. Nick on said:
  47. Brandon C on said:

    Instead of diminishing people’s legitimate complaints, perhaps it’d be smarter to say that you understand their point of view but the prestige and revenue this event will net the area is worth the inconvenience.

    Is that so goddamn hard?

  48. Scott on said:

    Umm…I don’t think prestige and revenue will make it worth it…however, if this gains Richmond more bicycle awareness and bicycle-friendly infrastructure in the long run, then yes, I will think it is worth it. Today was a small practice run for Richmond2o15. The good news is that things went relatively smoothly. I could make some small complaints about traffic on Idlewood and speeders on Laurel, and yeah, I want to see more streetscape improvements, but overall it went well. The challenge is not to shout down complaints and concerns, but listen and improve in preparation for 2015.

  49. anonymous on said:

    There will be no “social uplift” for the people in Richmond who rely on GRTC to get around. We get our precious time taken from us due to major bus detours and trying to figure out where to transfer between buses downtown, said major bus detours being such that southside buses coming into downtown are having to go through Church Hill to get to the downtown transfer plaza on 9th and 10th streets. It’s an insult, really. And we aren’t the people who can realistically commute around town on bicycles.

  50. zach on said:

    i just wish that our local media had provided a users guide to this week end with some sort of overview of events, features on local competitors as well some of the out of town favorites, and suggestions for prime viewing and participating. It would be wonderful if when the world comes to visit richmond next year our main focus is not how to avoid them. I expect our local media will do a better job with the lead up to next years event, but it would have been nice if they had done a practice run and got people excited about this event. I mean, this years thing is kinda a practice for next years thing, but if there were no next years thing, this years thing would still be pretty cool. I hope people can find a place to go and watch the big race tomorrow. monroe park seems like a good spot.

  51. zach on said:

    Also, as a business owner in the area closed , I can tell you we received a post card in the mail with details about the closures with a contact # if we needed more information a few weeks ago.

  52. JohnQ on said:

    And that was that.
    See you all next year for the World Bicycle Championship thread-jacking.

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