Voting open now for bike advocacy organization of the year award
RICHMOND, VA – Bike Walk RVA, a program of Sports Backers, is one of nine finalists for Bicycling Magazine’s People’s Choice Awards for Bike Advocacy Organization of the Year, and voting is now open at bicycling.com. Voting for the award runs until 5:00 pm Friday, February 20.
The Bicycling Magazine People’s Choice Advocacy Award recognizes those who have taken to their handlebars to make positive social and healthful changes, while inspiring others to do the same. The winner will be announced at the Alliance for Biking & Walking Advocacy Awards in Washington, D.C. on March 10 at 8:30pm.
2014 was a highly successful year for Bike Walk RVA and its projects around the Richmond region. The year started with the launch of Connect RVA, a campaign coordinated with other local advocacy organizations and Richmond residents to secure funding for more bikeways and trails in the city of Richmond. Connect RVA included working closely with the Mayor’s Administration, City Council, and the Richmond community to secure a combined $4.5 million in the City Budget for new bikeway and trails projects.
The second half of 2014 saw the installation of several of the city’s first buffered bike lanes, as well as the adoption of the city’s first Complete Streets policy. Bike Walk RVA helped drive the vision behind the city’s first Bicycle Master Plan, which should be released in final draft form to the public in the coming weeks. The city is also moving towards implementing a bike-share system.
In the fall of 2014, the Bike Walk RVA Academy was launched in order to develop passionate residents into effective, empowered advocates for comfortable and connected walking and biking infrastructure in their communities. The first Academy class graduated in December and the second crop of advocates has already been selected for the winter/spring 2015 session, which starts later this month.
In Chesterfield County, Bike Walk RVA has been working on a project team with County staff to draft the Chesterfield County Bikeways and Trails plan, which lays the groundwork for a network of 350 miles of paved shared-use paths and on-road bikeways. Public comment is underway and the plan could be up for adoption later this year.
“2014 was an incredibly powerful year for bike advocacy in greater Richmond,” said Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Bike Walk RVA for Sports Backers. “We have a great Bike Walk RVA team, an amazing community of supporters and partner organizations, and a whole lot of momentum. And the best part is, we’re just getting started.”
2015 will be another exciting year for Bike Walk RVA and will bring the graduation of more participants in the Bike Walk RVA Academy, as well as the continuation of the Connect RVA campaign. Connect RVA is an official legacy project of the UCI World Road Cycling Championships, aimed at creating a more bike-friendly city and region leading up to and long after the September 2015 event.