Beyond the Region is a sporadically-published edition of MTR, which will document the transportation-related components of TSTC staff members’ travels. Over Memorial Day weekend, TSTC South Jersey Coordinator Dana Dobson headed south to check out Washington D.C., Winston-Salem and Greensboro, NC, and Virginia Beach and Richmond, VA.
This past Memorial Day weekend, we headed south on Interstate 95, stopping first in Washington, D.C. During this first stopover, we checked out Brookland, a neighborhood adjacent to the Catholic University of America and served by the Brookland-CUA Metro station. This station is part of transit-oriented district and also serves as a trailhead for the eight-mile Metropolitan Branch Trail.
After spending the day in D.C., we moved on to Virginia Beach. We biked along the Oceanfront Bike Path, which runs parallel to the boardwalk, a popular place for beach-goers to stroll.
Following Virginia, we made our way to Winston-Salem in North Carolina. Downtown Winston-Salem is quite walkable and has a thriving arts district. The city doesn’t see very many everyday bicycling commuters, although it is actively working to improve its bicycle facilities, greenway and trail systems. While we were there, however, the city was full of cyclists who were in town for the Winston Salem Cycling Classic.
From Winston-Salem, we headed east to Greensboro, where we spent time downtown, walked along the Elm Street corridor and enjoyed Center City Park. Elm Street, located in Greensboro’s historical downtown core, is a great place to walk around and is near the Greensboro Amtrak station and Greyhound Bus Depot.
Finally, we ended in Richmond, Virginia. We checked out Carytown, our favorite neighborhood downtown. Cary Street, a main corridor in the district, was recently upgraded with many pedestrian improvements, like brick crosswalks and landscaped curb extensions.
By creating spaces that are appealing and safe to walk or bike, these cities have made it easier for residents and visitors to park the car and opt for more active means. And their main streets appear to be reaping the benefits associated with multimodal streets. Even some of the minor enhancements we saw, like creative street paintings, pedestrian and green spaces, improved lighting and dedicated bike amenities, can create places where people bike, walk and explore. These ideas are easily replicable, and similar projects have already appeared in places like Collingswood and Hoboken.