A prototypical American cycle path – the Cannon Creek Greenway

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On Wednesday I vented about the questionable use of shared lane markings on North Boulevard in Richmond, Virginia.  Although Richmond is full of people-repelling streets – not unlike most American cities – it is chalk full of vibrancy, inherent advantages, and a few gems of bike infrastructure.

I hope to present a more comprehensive treatment of my Richmond experience, but today I’ll highlight one glistening example- the Cannon Creek Greenway.

Bikeable Richmond recommended seeing the trail segment in North Richmond (see map below).  My photos are also below.  My favorite shot is of the greenway paralleling Henrico Drive, reminiscent of Dutch-style cycle paths.

In its isolated condition, the greenway probably doesn’t enjoy much bike traffic, but given a state-of-the-art (for America) design, it is valuable as a demonstration piece, a prototypical off-street cycle path to be emulated across the country.

Richmond is by no means awash in bike infrastructure, but there are a couple impressive examples.  Of significant note is the Belle Island pedestrian marsupial bridge, a series of precast concrete planks suspended by cables from the US1 highway bridge (the solid green line crossing the James River).

Richmond Virginia (credit Google Maps)

Richmond Virginia – Bottoms Up Pizza in Shockoe Bottom – awesome food, beer, live music, and historic building. (credit Google Maps)

A pristine curb cut, signage, and steel bollard give the sense of newly minted greenway.

A pristine curb cut, signage, and steel bollard give the sense of newly minted infrastructure – uncommon in the US.

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Part of the greenway runs in front of houses, closely paralleling Henrico Drive – reminiscent of Dutch-style cycle paths.

Two segments of trail are connected by a very appropriate use of shared lane makrings, on a low-traffic, low-speed neighborhood street.

Two segments of the trail are connected by a very appropriate use of shared lane makrings, on a low-speed, low-traffic neighborhood street.

The trail is complete with bicyclists-oriented way-finding signage.

The greenway is complete with bicyclist-oriented way-finding signage.  Imagine a network of similar greenways throughout every region of the country!

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