As the City of Virginia Beach puts the finishing touches on improvements to the eastbound shoulder of Shore Drive (US-60) it is open and bikeable along a 4 mile stretch from Kendall St to Atlantic Ave. The west bound shoulder will be reworked next year. Approximately $1M of local tax revenue was spent on the project.
The transformation of this stretch of highway into a more bike friendly one can be summed up in one word- Wow! Given all of the interest from the cycling community and Shore Drive/Bayfront area residents over the past decade this is a day that has been a long time coming. It can truly be said that Virginia Beach's planners and engineers hit the ball out of the park with this project. Just take a look at what they achieved (click each image for a larger view):
Please help spread the word on how this new facility should be used:
- always ride with traffic, never against
- there will be times when debris blocks the shoulder, especially following storms; expect the unexpected.
- the shoulder is sufficiently wide to pass a slower cyclist under most common conditions. Call out "on your left."
- standard road rules: slower riders stay to the right, faster pass on the left.
- the rumbles have smoothed out sections which allow you to execute a safe merge with traffic to avoid an obstacle and then return back to the shoulder without having to cross the rumbles.
- always look behind for approaching traffic before merging into the travel lane.
- when there is debris, please consider stopping and moving it out of the way as a courtesy for others. At best, the shoulder will be cleaned by the city on a monthly basis. Let's do our part to help maintain it in between.
Save the date: the city is tentatively planning a ribbon cutting with Mayor Sessoms on Saturday, March 24th at 10:00 am; gather at the First Landing State Park entrance. Watch for an announcement posted at http://www.tbarides.org/.
On behalf of TBA, I'd like to thank Mayor Sessoms and the Virginia Beach City Council, City Manager Jim Spore, Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen, Project Manager Heather Ham, Bike Planner Wayne Wilcox and many others for this major leap forward for better bicycling in our city. And for all of our cyclists and Shore Drive Community Coalition members who turned out for the Comprehensive Plan, bike plan, Shore Drive CIP, and a myriad of other meetings in support of better bicycling in this part of the city - give yourself a pat - and then hop on your bike!!!