Max brings his Seattle experiences to the East Coast

He’s barely been gone a month but Max Hepp-Buchanan is already gracing the pages of the newspaper in his new town, Richmond, VA.

In February, Max announced that he’d be leaving Seattle and Cascade Bicycle Club to lead a grassroots bike walk initiative on the East Coast. Max is Sports Backers’ first director of Bike Walk RVA, a new regional program to support bike- and pedestrian-friendly policies, programs and infrastructure projects in Central Virginia.

The Richmond Times Dispatch caught up with Max to talk about the new job, the experience he brings from Seattle, greenways and what making Richmond a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly city would mean for its citizens.

“Richmond is smaller than Seattle, but there are bike infrastructure things they can do. They can learn from Seattle. Seattle learned a lot from Portland.

So, there’s this sort of evolution of learning and best practices that I think Richmond can benefit from quite a bit.

…Seattle is starting to build a network of what’s called “neighborhood greenways.” Put simply, they’re residential streets that are engineered for low vehicle speeds and low vehicle volumes — just kind of envision your quiet neighborhood street. Portland has a whole citywide network of those from one end of the city to the other.

…I think that Richmond would benefit from a high-impact, high-visibility urban protected bikeway.

It’s an on-street bikeway that’s physically protected from cars. I wouldn’t say that’s low-hanging fruit because that’s going to take a lot of political will to get built, but it’s something that would be very beneficial to the city.

…What’s really appealing about this job is there’s some stuff out there, there’s some infrastructure on the ground, but it’s much more of a blank canvas. I know it’s going to take a lot of time, but it’s going to be really exciting to see that network develop over time.

I’m really excited about working with other advocates in the communities to create a shared vision for what that should look like."

We’re excited to see that Max has hit the (East Coast) ground running. Good luck, Max!

Read the full story, here.

Anne-Marije Rook
Anne-Marije Rook's picture