Enforcement could target drivers who block sidewalks

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Police will need to crack down on drivers who block Richmond’s sidewalks, according to city officials, in order to encourage more bicycling and walking in Richmond.

A progress report on Richmond’s Bicycle Master Plan is scheduled to be delivered at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. In city documents prepared for the meeting, officials said the plan, along with Richmond’s Pedestrian Master Plan, “identify a need for increased enforcement to facilitate removal of sidewalk obstructions such as blockage by motor vehicles.”

“Obstructions such as this prohibit pedestrians, specifically disabled persons and parents with strollers, from using the sidewalk and reaching their destination safely,” the documents said.

Meanwhile, officials say they are indeed making progress on the Bicycle Master Plan, which aims to increase the number of bikeway miles by 75-percent, fill all gaps in the Bay Trail and double the number of bicycle parking spaces. The plan also includes making the streets safer for bicyclists, thus encouraging more cycling within city limits.

In 2011, more than 4,500 feet of bike lanes were added in Richmond, city documents showed. Nearly 17,000 feet were implemented the following year, and more than 10,000 feet last year.

“The engineering department has added bicycle improvements to most street resurfacing projects,” city staff said.

One completed project that reportedly increased safety and access to Nystrom Elementary School was referred to as a model for the “feasibility and success of a project.”

The project reduced vehicle lanes, an effort to make the roadway safer for children, pedestrians and bicyclists.


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