Many thanks to Bill Conoscenti with TriPower for getting the ball rolling with the mayor in the aftermath of two hit & runs. Thank you for saying “enough already!” and driving the problem toward a solution.
Also, kudos to the Shore Drive Community Coalition (SDCC) and their member civic leagues for their work on improving the safety of all users. Programs such as the Shore Drive Safety Initiative (SDSI) helped set the stage for this and many other improvements now nearing reality. Over many years and many meetings with the city SDCC has consistently pushed their resident’s vision for a safer Shore Drive for everyone. Dave, Grace, Todd, Empsy, June, Ed and Tim- thank you from all of us!
If you haven’t already, you will want to bike this wonderful improvement at the first opportunity.
See you on the road,
Public Works Completes Shoulder Widening Road Project with Bike Routes on Shore Drive
Virginia Beach Public Works has announced that the westbound road improvements project on Shore Drive has been completed, and the new bike routes are now open to bicyclists.
This completes a two-phase project that began in November 2011 with Phase I with shoulder widening and improvements on the eastbound lanes on Shore Drive from Kendall Street for about 3 ½ miles to 83rd Street. Work on the westbound side, Phase II, began in November 2012 with widening, milling and paving and other improvements from 83rd Street to Kendall Street for about 3 ½ miles. The total amount of footage that was improved was about 36,000 linear feet, or about 7 miles.
Additional safety measures were taken adding rumble strips, thermoplastic marking and reflectors on both eastbound and westbound lanes. The total cost of the westbound phase of the project was $1.8 million. Asphalt Roads & Materials was the contractor.
This project was part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Master Transportation Plan that was adopted in 2009, and the City’s Bikeways and Trails Plan that was adopted in April 2011. This project was part of the almost 30 miles of bike routes that have been added over the last year.
“The people of Virginia Beach want a healthy community,” said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. “They want less congestion on our streets and roadways. They want less dependency on vehicles and more opportunities for biking and other healthy activities. They want more bikeways and trails so they can do exactly those things. The City Council and I made a commitment to these goals, and believe this is just the next step of many in our goal of making Virginia Beach a ‘bike-friendly city.’”
“The completion of the westbound bike lane on Shore Drive is a culmination of a lot of actions by many people to address many concerns,” said Richard Hildreth, Chair, Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee. “It will unquestionably lead to more folks taking advantage of a new opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy our city.”
A number of bicycling groups throughout Virginia Beach that worked with the Bikeways and Trails Committee have applauded the completion of this project.
“What got this started was a simple concern for a fellow rider, Jim Dunham, who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in this section of Shore Drive,” said Bill Conoscenti, vice president, Tripower Cycling Club. “These new safety zones are an incredible pathway that will make traveling along Shore Drive a much safer process for all.”
“The bike-related road improvements on Shore Drive provide a bike-friendly route between two major areas of the city, bridging a gap that has existed for far too long,” said Bruce Drees, president, Tidewater Bicycle Association. “A large number of cyclists who had given up on traveling Shore Drive are coming back. Bravo to the Mayor and City Council.”
“I would like to offer our thanks and appreciation to Mayor Sessoms and the City Council for their efforts in making the Shore Drive bike lanes a reality,” said Bob Samuel, president, Tripower Cycling Club of Virginia Beach. “This has been a significant commitment from the city and will serve as a model for future road projects throughout the city.”
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Bruce Drees is President of the Tidewater Bicycle Association.