July 17, 2018
Mobility and Safety is one of the six major themes of the ONE VCU Master Plan. While issues related to mobility and safety exist at multiple scales, campus master plans primarily focus on space outside of the building – the public realm. In every phase of the planning process to date we have heard concerns from students, alumni, neighbors, faculty, staff and senior administrators regarding mobility and safety issues on our campuses and in the City. Throughout the Design Phase, the planning team has been exploring solutions to address this theme’s Guiding Principle: Promote a walkable, accessible, safe campus which is easy to navigate for the entire VCU community.
Improving the arrival experience was the focus of the Front Doors work. Understanding when you are on campus and ensuring visitor and patient destinations are easily accessible and identifiable is a key component to creating a campus that is easy to navigate. The planning team is also focusing on opportunities to improve bus, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation on and between campuses. VCU is exploring ways to work with the city to expand the bike share system and bicycle infrastructure on and between campuses. Dedicated bike lanes provide clear routes for cyclists and reduce the amount of conflicts between bikes, pedestrians, and cars.
Open space and streetscapes also play a role in promoting a walkable, accessible, and safe campus. Improved streetscapes and intersections not only play a big role in pedestrian mobility, but increase pedestrian safety. The Planning Team has identified streets on campus that would benefit from expanded sidewalks and additional trees, creating a more consistent and generous pedestrian realm.
Map indicating areas where expanded sidewalks and trees could create a more consistent and generous pedestrian experience [View Image]
Key intersections are also identified for pedestrian bump outs which increase pedestrian visibility and reduce the travel distance to cross the street.
Map indicating locations at key pedestrian intersections to improve pedestrian safety. [View Image]
Material selection is also important to make sure that surfaces are safe and accessible for people with mobility challenges. The Master Plan will also identify streets between campuses that would benefit from a more consistent streetscape. Recommendations between the campuses present partnership opportunities with the city and other entities to enhance the quality and safety of streets and sidewalks throughout Richmond. All modes of circulation will require some coordination with the city to make improvements to the bus network, bike infrastructure, sidewalks and intersections.