Norfolk bicyclists gain room on city streets

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(Courtesy of norfolk.gov)

(Courtesy of norfolk.gov)

Norfolk bikers will ride some city streets more easily this winter.

The City has begun construction of a pilot bike loop along portions of Olney Road, Llewellyn Avenue, Colley Avenue and 35th Street. The four-mile loop, which has a budget of $700,000, will include separated and buffered bike lanes, a two-way cycle track and bike lane signs. Construction will cause intermittent lane closures along the affected streets during the day, a City announcement said.

“I think it’s a good step for any city to look at transportation and infrastructure,” Paul Flannigan, owner of Norfolk Bicycle Works on West 21st Street, said in a phone interview. The back of the shop sits on Llewelyn Road and construction has already begun on the street, he said.

“I think awareness is good – the more people we have using it (bicycling) as transportation and recreation, the better experience people will have.”

(Courtesy of norfolk.gov)

(Courtesy of norfolk.gov)

Flannigan said his customers’ use of bicycling often falls into three categories: distance riders who cycle outside the city, commuters who bike within the city, and recreational bikers who ride to Norfolk parks and scenic areas.  

The project is intended to promote “safe, healthy and inclusive neighborhoods,” according to a City project description. The pilot loop is located in the Ghent District. Construction is set to be completed by “winter 2016,”according to the plan.

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Norfolk bicyclists gain room on city streets