In June 2014, the Virginia Bicycling Federation enlisted the help of the New River Valley Planning District Commission (NRVPDC) to evaluate existing conditions along a regional stretch of US Bike Route 76. With an emphasis on accessibility and safety, the study was designed to to ensure that there were clear signs to help guide cyclists, that the existing route signage matched the latest Adventure Cycling map, and that the conditions and route selection were safe and sensible.
To complete this study, NRVPDC staff worked closely with a team of cyclists who volunteered to assist with data collection along the route. Since the trail had never been evaluated from a cyclist’s perspective, establishing a common set of criteria and aggregating observations was a new role for NRVPDC to undertake. As the data came in and the report began to take shape, the NRVPDC was able to identify how they could best complement existing information for cyclists with on-the-ground resources.
The final assessment found that only 62 percent of the regional assets measured were in good condition. However, within a few months, NRVPDC and other regional partners had come together to identify a number of achievable, short-term goals that could increase the overall condition to 80 percent. NRVPDC expects these improvements to be realized in the next 1-3 years with the help of the Virginia Department of Transportation and local counties and towns throughout the New River Valley.
The Bike Route 76 Report was awarded a 2014 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award. View descriptions of other award winning projects here.