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Meeting Aug.15 on Brook Road bike lane plans

Jeremy Lazarus | 8/9/2018, 6 a.m.

Civic leaders in North Side will get their first look at an updated City Hall plan to install bike lanes on Brook Road and reduce space for traffic to one lane in each direction.

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Kim Gray

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Chris Hilbert

Two City Council members, Kim B. Gray, 2nd District, and Chris A. Hilbert, 3rd District, have arranged the Wednesday, Aug. 15, meeting to allow the presidents of civic associations to see the plans and get responses to their concerns.

“I’m trying to get all their questions answered,” Ms. Gray said.

The meeting is to be held at the Richmond Public Library’s Ginter Park Branch, 1200 Westbrook Ave.

This is just a first step to provide information on the plan to affected neighborhoods, Ms. Gray said. She and Mr. Hilbert, City Council president, plan to host a public meeting on the $1.3 million bike lane plan in September, though a date and location are still to be determined, she said.

She said she welcomes this first meeting because she has not had any information she could share in response to questions from constituents.

She said the city has largely stonewalled in providing information or responding to questions she and Mr. Hilbert have posed, one reason she and Mr. Hilbert have introduced legislation seeking to kill the plan.

Both have promised to hold the public meeting before the legislation is brought up for a council vote.

Ms. Gray said the project plans posted on the city’s website are difficult to understand and she has been told they do not resemble the Department of Public Works’ proposed project.

Jakob Helmbolt, who heads development of Richmond’s bike lanes as the city’s pedestrian, bicycle and trails coordinator, declined to respond to Free Press questions about the project.

The proposal would reduce traffic lanes on Brook Road between Azalea Avenue in North Side and Charity Street in Gilpin Court. The idea would be to use one lane in both directions for parking and bike travel, with one lane reserved for vehicle traffic.