The North 29th Bike-Walk Street is being proposed by East End Connects as means to connect the south end of Church Hill to the north end of the area to create a comfortable shared environment for people of all ages and abilities who walk and bike for transportation. Phase one of the proposal would run from Libby Hill Park north on North 29th Street, run between George Mason Elementary and the water tower, and continue north across Nine Mile Road to Woodville Elementary, and on to Creighton Court.
I sat down with Hepp-Buchanan this morning to talk about about the project, which I’d honestly not kept up with since it first came to light last May.
Hepp-Buchanan stressed that the project is just beginning, and that nothing has really been planned yet.
“The biggest thing to remember at this point is that the proposed “neighborhood byway” project on N 29th St isn’t a done deal – not even close. This project was proposed by some residents of Church Hill and pitched to the City of Richmond. The City saw merit in the project and so applied for a federal grant, which if awarded, would fund a robust community engagement process, design of the project, and — if there is community support for that design — implementation,” he says.
“The City has not yet been awarded the grant, which is why the community engagement process hasn’t started. We should find out about the grant this spring. In the meantime, Bike Walk RVA and neighborhood advocates of the project are committed to working with residents of N 29th St, the Church Hill Association, and other stakeholders to make sure we get a project that works for everybody.”
Hepp-Buchanan also explained that the North 29th Bike-Walk Street would not have a monolithic design imposed from top to bottom.
“How this “neighborhood byway” functions to make the area safer for walking, biking, and driving could vary block-to-block,” he explained, “But since nothing has yet been designed and community engagement hasn’t officially kicked off, this is a perfect opportunity to start talking openly about what residents want out of this project, as well as what they don’t want.”
He sent the above photo of a raised intersection, as an example of potential traffic calming options that are available.
“It calms two streets at once,” says Hepp-Buchanan, “so might be a good application for the intersection of 29th and Franklin [where speeding up from Sugar Bottom is a concern – JM].”