U of R, Huguenot, and River Rd. Bike Path Connector
What it is
A couple of crosswalks and about 50 yards of sidewalks were added near the corner of Huguenot and River Rd. in the fall of 2016. These crosswalks and sidewalks connect the path that runs along the boundary of the University of Richmond (U of R) and Country Club of Virginia with the Huguenot Bridge.
Previously, people leaving U of R via that path arrived at a patch of dirt not quite at the intersection. Even after walking to the intersection, there was no clear way to get across the street to get to the bridge or to the shops on River Rd.. The sidewalk and crosswalks create a clear pathway of where to go and the means to do so on a road bicycle.
Why it matters
River Rd. is a major connector between the City of Richmond and U of R. Walking or cycling along River Road, however, is scary. The road has heavy traffic, about twenty-five thousand motor vehicles per day. East of Huguenot, it narrows to just two lanes, and it lacks a sidewalk. An experienced cyclist, with lights and a helmet was killed there.
Widening the road or adding a sidewalk is unlikely because residents have the financial and political resources to block that encroachment on their properties. The path provides an alternative route east by allowing walkers and cyclists to go through streets with less traffic to get to Grove Avenue, where they can continue east with the benefit of sidewalks. Those hilly, poorly lit streets with sharp curves are nevertheless safer than River Rd. because they have much less traffic, and the traffic in them generally goes slowly.
In addition, path along the east edge of U of R is the shortest route between the U of R student center and the Starbucks, restaurants, and shops on River and on Huguenot.