The City of Danville has made strides in recent years with regard to alternative transportation in the city, particularly by continually expanding its Riverwalk Trail. The City has made streetscape improvements – including enhancements to sidewalks – throughout the River District, and has worked with the Danville Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and EPR consultants of Charlottesville, to craft a downtown bike and pedestrian study. Now, the City is working with EPR consultants to render the Westover Drive corridor more bikeable.
Westover Drive is an east-west arterial roadway serving western Danville, which is laid out parallel to Riverside Drive (U.S. Route 58 Business). This road extends about six miles from the Danville western corporate limit with Pittsylvania County east Riverside Drive in the vicinity of Piedmont Drive. Bi-directional bike lanes are currently integrated into about one mile of Westover Drive from Piedmont Drive west to Capri Court; the road consists of two vehicular travel lanes along with the bike lanes. Westover comprises four vehicular travel lanes west of Capri Court to the city limit.
The study, conducted by EPR on behalf of the City of Danville, proposes a road diet on this four-lane segment of road to convert it to two-lane traffic, as well as a continuation of the bi-directional bike lanes to the city limit. The consulting firm had previously considered a cycle track, which consists of two adjacent bike lanes on one side of a road which typically includes a buffer mechanism to effectively delineate and separate cyclists from vehicular traffic. It was determined, however, that such a configuration would present too many conflicts with driveways along the corridor. Therefore, the preferred configuration is the bi-directional bike lanes, which will be buffered from the travel lane, using road markings, for the safety and comfort of bicyclists.
An example of a separated bike lane in New York City.
The new roadway configuration will render Westover Drive into a much more multi-modal corridor for efficient use by vehicles and bicycles. With the addition of the bike lanes, cyclists will have access to more than five miles (one way) to ride for either leisure or for commuting in a much more comfortable and safe environment than currently exists on the corridor. Please see the study in its entirety at http://www.danville-va.gov/DocumentCenter/View/24777/Westover-Drive-Lane-Study-Final-Report. Additionally, if you had considered commuting via bicycle to save gas and wear-and-tear on your car, improve or maintain your health, or reduce your environmental/climate impact, don’t forget to download the RIDE Solutions app, which will enable you to earn rewards for your commute; you can download it at www.ridesolutions.org.