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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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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.
photo by Roy Appleyard