As the City continues pressing forward to make Richmond more bike friendly, several projects comprising nearly 50 miles of separated bike infrastructure have been completed:
- 2nd Street from Spring Street to US Route 1
- 17th Street - Dock Street to Franklin Street
- 29th Street – Fairfield Avenue to Libby Hill Park
- Bank Street / Franklin Street – 12th Street to 18th Street
- Broad Rock Road – South City Limits to Belt Boulevard
- Brook Road – Azalea Avenue to Charity Street
- Brookland Parkway – Arthur Ashe Boulevard to Brook Road
- Cannon Creek Greenway – Valley Road to Craigie Avenue
- Dock Street - Pear Street to Main Street
- Fairfield Way – Oliver Hill Way to Mechanicsville Turnpike
- Floyd Avenue - Thompson Street to Laurel Street
- Franklin Street - Belvidere Street to 9th Street
- German School Road – Jahnke Road to Warwick Road
- Grayland Avenue - Addison Street to Harrison Street
- Hermitage Road – North City Limits to Brookland Parkway
- Hioaks Road – Jahnke Road to Carnation Street
- Hospital Street – 5th Street to Valley Road
- Leigh Street - Dinneen Street to Myers Street
- Lombardy Street - Broad Street to Brook Road
- Main Street - Williamsburg Road to Nicholson Street
- Malvern Avenue from Fitzhugh Avenue to Cary Street
- Manchester Bridge
- MLK Bridge
- Mosby Street from MLK Bridge to Fairmount Avenue
- North Avenue - Laburnum Avenue to Chamberlayne Avenue
- Patterson Avenue – Thompson Street to Commonwealth Avenue
- Roanoke Street from Midlothian Turnpike to Forest Hill Avenue
- Semmes Avenue - Forest Hill Avenue to Cowardin Avenue
- Tyler Potterfield Bridge
- Virginia Capital Trail from Flood Wall to East City Limits
- Williamsburg Avenue from Northampton Street to Nicholson Street
- US Route 1 Bridge
- 49th Street – Westover Hills Boulevard to James River Branch Railroad
- Blanton Avenue – Park Drive to French Street
- Canal Walk Connector – Flood Wall to Brown’s Island
- Gillies Creek Greenway - Williamsburg Avenue to Jennie Scher Road
- Hull Street – Arizona Drive to Chippenham Parkway
- Leigh Street – 8th Street to MLK Bridge
- Lombardy Street Bridge
- Mosby Street – Venable Street to MLK Bridge
- Oliver Hill Way – Hospital Street to Grace Street
- Park Drive – Boulevard Bridge to Blanton Avenue
- Westover Hills Boulevard from Boulevard Bridge to Forest Hill Avenue
- 1st Street – Duval Street to Franklin Street
- 2nd Street – Spring Street to Byrd Street
- 3rd Street – Broad Street to Byrd Street
- Allen Avenue - Colorado Avenue to Leigh Street
- Belmont Avenue - Chesterfield County Line to Walmsley Boulevard
- Broad Rock Road - Belt Boulevard to Forest Hill Avenue / Bainbridge Street
- Byrd Street – 2nd Street to 3rd Street
- Carnation Street between Hioaks Road and Midlothian Turnpike
- Fairfield Avenue - N. 26th Street to Cool Lane
- Fairmount Avenue - Mosby Street to 25th Street
- Forest Hill Avenue - 41st Street to Dorchester Road
- Forest Hill Avenue - Powhite Parkway to Hathaway Road
- Government Road - Williamsburg Road to Broad Street
- Holly Springs Avenue - Hopkins Road to Broad Rock Road
- Jahnke Road - Blakemore Road to Forest Hill Avenue
- Magnolia Street - 1st Avenue to Rady Street
- Nine Mile Road - 25th Street to I-64
- Rowen Avenue from Trigg Street to 5th Street Bridge
- Williamsburg Avenue from Main Street to Nicholson Street
The City of Richmond and our consultant team from the firms Michael Baker, Jr., and Alta Planning and Design has developed the City’s first ever Bicycle Master Plan which details a proposed network of improved bike infrastructure throughout the City. This document was developed with extensive public comment and feedback and will serve as a blueprint as the City continues to build a more inclusive bike infrastructure. With nearly 3,000 responses to the online survey and several hundred comments and markups made with the online mapping tool, the City is confident that this plan moves Richmond in the right direction to improved biking convenience and safety.
Though this plan provides a degree of prioritization of projects for development of a connected network based on a range of factors, it is intended to be a living document that will evolve as the City moves forward with implementation and as new opportunities arise. Some details are more general as some projects will evolve as we move towards implementation and make determinations on the most suitable type of infrastructure and improvements along a particular street or corridor.
Note: if you are using Google Chrome as your browser, the PDF documents may initially display with an unreadable font. If this occurs, reload the page (using the circular arrow on the browser bar) and the document should display properly.
RVA Bike Share Program
Inaugural deployment of 200 bikes and docking stations took place in summer 2017.
- Additional bikes and stations are on order, as are upgrades for our existing fleet to convert them to electric assist.
- Conducting site review and pre-planning for additional stations and electrical connections
- Corps Logistics is handling the RVA Bike Share operations. Please contact them at 1-877-782-2453.
RVA Bike Share - How it Works
To download the application, get pricing, sponsorship information, checkout a bike or see a map, go to the RVABikeShare application.
“Floating Parking” will be seen more and more on streets throughout Richmond as more bike lane projects are striped. One of the first areas you’ll see it is on Franklin Street. This parking arrangement allows for bike lanes to be located along the curb, with parked cars providing a degree of separation from the moving traffic. Though it will look different, parking in a floating lane is essentially the same as a typical curbside lane. Just follow a few basic rules:
- Don’t park in the bike lane.
- Park next to the buffer, not in it. Treat the buffer like the curb. This will give you space to get in and out of your vehicle without being in the bike lane.
- Look for cyclists while crossing the bike lane when getting in or out of your vehicle.
- If a peak hour (“rush hour”) or time limit restriction is in place, it will be posted on the sidewalk, the same as traditional parking lanes.
- On Franklin Street during the morning peak (7AM-9AM) the floating parking lane next to the bike lane buffer will be open to traffic. The remainder of the day it will serve as a parking lane.
- Anticipate 2-4 weeks for new traffic patterns and for drivers to adjust to the new lane configurations.
Here is some guidance to help you better understand:
Bike Parking in Richmond
Request a rack
Citizens may request a City of Richmond bike rack to be installed where secure bike parking is needed. The City will review the site to ensure adequate space and proper location. Racks must be installed within City right of way (typically on the sidewalk) or on City of Richmond property.
Avoid common mistakes to reduce the chance that someone can steal your bike.
- Always lock to the bike frame, not just the wheel.
- Never lock around the fork leg. Someone can remove the front wheel and slide the fork out of the lock, and take your entire bike.
- Use a strong lock such as a U-lock and/or a chain or cable lock made specifically for bikes since they are hard to cut.
- Quick release wheels can be stolen in seconds. Consider locking your wheels as well as your frame.
The City is in the process of installing bike parking racks throughout Richmond, but there will always be places that lack a bike rack. Be mindful of how and where you park your bike. The City has several provisions aimed at keeping our sidewalks clear and free of clutter.
- Never lock to a tree, your bike can be impounded. Street trees are especially susceptible to damage from gouging or chaffing of the bark which can result in the tree becoming diseased or dying. Plus, our trees are for beautification, not parking.
- Bikes that are deemed inoperable due to missing parts or significant damage can be impounded after three days if locked to City property (e.g. signs, bike racks, etc).
- Bikes that are locked to city property for more than ten consecutive days (without being moved during that period) can be deemed to be abandoned and impounded.
- Impounded bikes are held for a period of at least 30 days, after which time they may be sold or donated to a non-profit organization.
Bicycling and walking are safe, efficient and healthy ways of getting around the city, but there are laws and safety tips to be mindful of. Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians have shared rights and responsibilities and a little courtesy goes a long way towards making our city safer and more pleasant to get around.
Always ride with the flow of traffic.
A front light and rear reflector are required after dark. On roads with posted speeds of 35 or greater a red taillight is also required. A taillight is strongly recommended any time after dark.
Motorists are required to allow at least three feet (3’) of clearance when passing a bicyclist, and do so at a safe speed.
Bicyclists may “take the lane” when appropriate; bicyclists are required to ride as far right as safely practicable, but there are five (5) exceptions that apply to most city streets. See the tips below for more details.
Bicyclists may ride two abreast if they are not impeding traffic.
A bicyclist should use the same lane as they would be if they were driving a motor vehicle. Use right and left turn lanes, and proceed straight through an intersection from a through lane, not a turn lane.
Riding on the sidewalk is legal, however a bicyclist must yield to pedestrians, and when crossing the street has the same rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian.
Always yield to pedestrians when you are obligated to (see the yielding laws below), and announce when you are passing from behind if on a sidewalk or shared use path.
Helmets are not required by law, but they are recommended and are cheap insurance in the event of a crash or fall.
Pedestrians are to cross, whenever possible, at intersections and crosswalks.
Unmarked crosswalks carry the same yielding requirements for motorists as do marked crosswalks.
Unmarked crosswalks exist at almost any intersection within the City. It is where sidewalks lead to the intersection, or if there are no sidewalks an unmarked crosswalk still exists at the intersection if the speed limit is not greater than 35 MPH.
Drivers must always yield to pedestrians legally crossing the street when turning (right or left).
Drivers must yield to pedestrians when entering or departing the street at alleys, driveways and commercial entrances.
Lights at night help ensure you are seen by motorists, as well as allowing you to see the roadway and any hazards.
Small LED lights can also be used during the day to make you more conspicuous.
Low light conditions (sunrise and sunset) can result in shadows and glare that obscure a cyclist from a motorist's view.
White lights on the front, red lights on the rear. Using the wrong color lights can be confusing for motorists to determine which direction you are riding.
Reflective material on your legs or feet is more noticeable since they are in motion. A pants strap with reflective material serves a dual purpose.
Always yield to pedestrians when on the sidewalk.
Ride at a slow speed and watch for pedestrians coming out of doorways or around corners of buildings.
Driveways and alleys present blind areas where vehicles can’t see fast approaching bicyclists.
Motorists often aren’t looking for, or expecting a fast moving bicyclist on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.
Biking on a sidewalk against traffic also violates expectations of where a bicyclist will be encountered.
Bicyclists along a row of parked vehicles may not be visible to turning motorists.
In an urban environment it is often legal, and actually safer to “take the lane”, positioning yourself farther into the travel lane. State law specifically notes the following conditions:
When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction
When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway
When necessary to avoid conditions including, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes
A “substandard width lane” is one which is too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to safely and legally occupy side-by-side. That includes most city streets.
You are more visible when positioned in the travel lane and not weaving in and out of traffic.
You also avoid the parked car “door zone” where an opening door can cause a crash or a swerve into traffic.
Sharrows are placed in the lane specifically to improve positioning and to communicate the understanding that bicyclists will be sharing the lane or roadway.
Walking in the street – Sometimes sidewalks are not available, making walking in the roadway necessary. Always walk facing traffic when in the roadway. It is the law and is much safer.
Communicate your intentions to cross the street. Motorists will be more likely to yield if you give them visual cues; eye contact, stepping off the curb, or even a wave or hand motion.
Lights and/or reflective material is a good idea if walking or jogging at night.
Alcohol use/impairment is a major contributor to pedestrian crashes.
Streetlights can cast shadows and glare. Don’t assume you can be easily seen at night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the bike symbols that are on some city streets?
Q: Is that a bike lane?
Q: What am I supposed to do as a driver?
A: They are not bike lanes, but rather shared lane markings, or sharrows which are used on streets with bike activity but where there is not enough roadway space for a separate bike lane. It reminds motorists that they will likely encounter bicyclists sharing the travel lane.
Q: I’ve heard I’m supposed to have a registration for my bike, is that true?
A: The City no longer requires bike registration. However, we encourage people to register their bikes with the National Bike Registry. This will aid police in identifying the owner of a bike that is recovered following a theft.
Q: Am I allowed to lock my bike to city property such as signposts and trees?
A: Please see the bike parking guide on this website for details on local regulations Bike Parking Guide. City trees are the only item that is specifically prohibited, and a bike locked to a tree can be impounded.
Q: Isn’t it safer for a bicyclist to ride facing traffic so they can see cars approaching them?
A: Riding against traffic is a leading cause of crashes between bicyclists and motorists. For this reason it is also illegal. Bicyclists should always ride in the same direction of traffic when on the roadway.
Q: Is it illegal to ride my bike on the sidewalk?
A: The City of Richmond does not have a local ordinance prohibiting bicycling on sidewalks. BUT, if riding on a sidewalk you must yield to pedestrians, and should ride slowly. Colliding with motorists at intersections is a leading cause of crashes because motorists aren’t expecting a bike entering the crosswalk at high speed, especially when travelling against traffic.