A public meeting on a transportation plan for Route 5 from 7th Street downtown to South Laburnum Avenue in eastern Henrico County will be held this Thursday from 6-8PM at Varina High School (7053 Messer Road). The plan is intended to address mobility, access, and safety for roads, mass transit, bicycles, and pedestrians. Word has it that the powers-that-be are considering running the Virginia Capital Trail along the shoulder of Route 5 through Henrico, rather than as a separate path as elsewhere.
An email from Beth Weisbrod, Executive Director, Virginia Capital Trail Foundation:
We strongly urge you to attend this meeting to show your support for the Trail as completely separate from Rt. 5. We want our public
officials to know we can pack a room and be a powerful voice.
If you can’t make the meeting, your comments are still very important. Go
to: www.route5corridor.com to be heard on this critical issue.
What’s at Stake?
This process will determine the shape of over seven miles of our Trail. If
you currently enjoy–or plan to enjoy–the Trail for jogging, walking, riding
bikes with your children, getting to school, bird watching, taking field trips into history, then think about these activities as cars and trucks go past you at 55mph. Would you plan these activities on Parham Rd., or Laburnum Ave.?
The Foundation’s Stance
- The 50-mile Virginia Capital Trail, once complete, will be a regional asset of statewide significance.
- There has already been a substantial public investment in building a
separate and dedicated trail. Currently 16 miles are complete.
- Having 6% of the Trail be part of a busy road, would significantly reduce the tourism potential and broad appeal of the entire Trail, and diminish its viability as a regional economic engine.
- This Trail needs to be available and safe for all users: families, children traveling to and from school, senior citizens, handicapped individuals, tourists, anyone commuting to and from work, among other groups who enjoy outdoor recreation.
It is Important to Note:
- The funds used to build this trail cannot be used for building roads,
filling potholes or adding to existing roads. They come from a federal
program, and must be spent on dedicated trails and similar amenities.
- If we don’t use them to enhance our own community, another location in Virginia will use them to make trails to enhance theirs.