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Charlottesville Safe Streets Pilot Initiative to resume on Belmont Bridge

safe streets pilot project
Photo courtesy City of Charlottesville.

Charlottesville will continue its pilot project utilizing the existing bicycle lane on the Belmont Bridge as a shared space for both bicycles and pedestrians to facilitate improved physical distancing.

The pilot will restart on Tuesday, with the placement of traffic barrels to keep vehicles off the shared use area on the Belmont Bridge. The safety measures will be in place until the COVID-19 emergency is lifted, or until the construction of the replacement bridge commences.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many communities are taking advantage of the reduced traffic volumes in order to reallocate the roadways to give citizens more space to walk, bike and exercise while still maintaining recommended physical distancing guidelines.

The Belmont Bridge has a sidewalk only on one side of the road. People walking on the bridge are not able to pass each other safely without stepping off a high curb into the roadway. Due to the vertical curve of the bridge, it is difficult to see oncoming traffic. People walking on the bridge will be able to use this additional space for walking and those biking will have additional separation from vehicle traffic.

Implementation details

  • Southbound bicycles are only permitted on the asphalt section of the path.
  • Northbound bicycles shall use the northbound vehicular travel lane.
  • The additional space in the roadway is being provided so pedestrians can safely pass with 6 feet of distance, bicycles shall yield to pedestrians on the path.
  • When passing others, please pass on the left and give an audible signal.
  • The ADA accessible route will be maintained along the existing sidewalk.

Feedback on the pilot can be submitted to bikeped@charlottesville.gov.


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