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Mayor commits to finishing Richmond’s ‘Missing Link’ trail

RICHMOND, Va. -- On National Bike to Work Day, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney committed to finishing a trail that would connect several Southside neighborhoods to the James River.

Bike Walk RVA hosted about a hundred bicyclists in Kanawha Plaza to bike to Brown's Island, across the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, and then to City Hall Friday morning.

The group paused south of the river where Stoney announced his commitment to complete the "Missing Link" trail.

The trail is aimed to connect Southside neighborhoods to the James River as part of the Richmond Riverfront Plan. The trail would connect the south end of the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge to the south side of Belle Isle and on to the Forest Hill Park area.

Stoney added a study must be completed to determine the exact scope of the trail before construction can begin, but he committed to having the study wrapped up quickly. No timetable for the study was announced.

"Biking is not just about recreation, its about a mode of transportation as well," Stoney said. "There are a number of people who live in the city who do not own any cars or vehicles. Finding a way to actually allow them to use their bikes to get to work to get to their jobs or school are options I think we should all explore."

The Riverfront Plan was adopted in 2012 during former Mayor Dwight Jones' Administration which provided initial funding in the Fiscal Year 2013 Capital Improvements budget.

Stoney committed to completing the new trail before the end of his first term. The mayor was officially sworn into office December 31 during a private ceremony for friends and family.