Richmond, VA: Traffic ‘hit and runs’ along Franklin Street bike lane stretch up by nearly 78 percent

It’s been nine months since the protected bike lanes along Franklin Street in downtown Richmond were installed.

The two-way bike lanes are protected by a row of floating parked cars along Franklin Street, extending from from Monroe Park to the Capitol. Franklin Street is reduced to one lane most of the day, aside from rush hour.

Hit and run traffic incidents are up nearly 78 percent, according to online data from Richmond Police. There have been 16 hit and runs along Franklin Street since the lanes were installed from June 2018 through February 2019. During the same time period a year before, that number was nine.

Calls to 911 reporting traffic accidents along the stretch are also up by 45 percent. According to data from the Richmond Department of Emergency Communications, 45 calls were placed after the bike lanes were installed. Thirty-one were placed during the same time the year before.

Several neighbors say they’ve also seen more parked cars get swiped or ‘near misses’ as drivers pull into traffic.