The organizer of the annual Celebration of Life bicycle ride in Virginia Beach says he's cancelling the event next year because the city's streets are getting too congested for the 1,000-or so participants.
What's ironic is that Virginia Beach received an “honorable mention” on the list of Bicycle Friendly communities by the League of American Bicyclists.
While the “honorable mention” doesn't put it in the league with Davis, Boulder, Portland or the 55 other platinum, gold, silver or bronze members, it does show the city is heading in the right direction.
No so, says bike ride organizer Tom Coghill. The city doesn't have enough wide, paved shoulders for cyclists to safely ride the options of 25 to 75 miles. What's more, a $20 million bike trail improvement plan approved years ago has never been funded.
A city official said a bike and pedestrian trail advisory committee supports spending scant funds to patch and connect sidewalks. Plans to improve shoulders will be accomplished when roads are widened. That may take some time, due to a lack of state money.
Meanwhile, the city has set aside $230,000 to design a 5-kilometer bike loop, which is estimated to cost $3.4 million, according to the Virginia Beach Pilot.