Mayor Dwight C. Jones joined about 80 area cyclists in celebrating national Bike to Work Day as they traveled from around the Richmond area to Monroe Park and down to City Hall. The mayor addressed the crowd at 7:40 and the group left Monroe Park en masse to a police escort at around 7:55 a.m. […]
Mayor Dwight C. Jones joined about 80 area cyclists in celebrating national Bike to Work Day as they traveled from around the Richmond area to Monroe Park and down to City Hall.
The mayor addressed the crowd at 7:40 and the group left Monroe Park en masse to a police escort at around 7:55 a.m.
“We had a meeting at The Carillon of the Bicycle Commission, and I thought I’d go in and you know some of these community meetings…and it was standing room only,” Jones said. “And I gauged from that that this is something that really has the potential to really take off in the City of Richmond.”
I was at that meeting and it is pleasing how often Jones and other officials point to that meeting as a source for their resolve in continuing to push for more bike-friendly initiatives.
“It was this last year at this time that I announced the Cycling and Pedestrian Commission,” Jones said. “We said we were going to do it, and we did it.” It was approved in March.
“One of the most important things that came out of that commission was the hiring of a cycling coordinator who will have full-time responsibility for making sure we go to the next level of cycling in the City of Richmond. And I want you to know that I’m going to hold that person accountable so that next year, we come out here to do a cycling event, there are going to be a whole lot more people than there are this year.
“A whole lot more bike racks; more incentives for employers to encourage persons to commute to work; a whole lot more bike lanes; a whole lot more proactive things that will make cycling very much a lifestyle for the City of Richmond.”
Champe Burnley, President of the Virginia Bicycling Federation and a member of the Mayor’s Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Commission, and Doug Conner, 9th district city councilman, addressed the crowd and welcomed a group of four riders from Tampa, Fla., who were riding through Richmond from Florida to the West Coast (www.ridethenation.org).
My 11-mile commute was from Bryan Park to Monroe Park and then out the Robert E. Lee Bridge to Midlothian Turnpike. I’ll take the straighter 8-mile route home over the Boulevard Bridge and back to Bryan Park. Two crossings of the James, which will give me a chance to stop and watch for moment — slowing life down a little. I forgot how much I love to bike to work and I’m looking forward to doing it more often.