Stop Sign Proposal Revealed

This past summer there was a lot of discussion about Oregon Hill’s traffic flow. The Idlewood roundabout is still coming, and more construction near Monroe Park added fuel to the fire, but the real sparks have been several highly visible accidents at key intersections in the neighborhood. A few neighbors have had their corner properties hit multiple times by vehicles over the years. Thankfully, somehow, there has not been any related fatalities.

The Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association originally, as of a few years ago, voted and asked for a few additional stop signs at these key intersections, namely Spring and Laurel, and Spring and Pine, in order to create what are essentially all way stops. City traffic engineers have rejected them (though other neighborhoods have been able to prevail in their requests). At one point engineers came back with a small roundabout proposal, but neighbors voted that down, in part because of concerns about parking impacts.

Over the last 6 to 8 months, the conversation changed, along with the construction scene, and more elaborate proposals have been brought forward for overall traffic flow and with what is called ‘basketweaving‘.

Jokes aside, the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association did seriously consider options and ultimately came up its own ‘custom’ proposal.

While nothing has been decided or implemented yet, here it is:

The red circles are where existing stop signs would be changed so that they are ‘flipped’, directing traffic to stop in the opposite directions from the current situations. For example, currently, if you are going north on Pine Street on the 500 block, you do not have to stop, but people approaching on Spring Street do have to stop. In the new scenario, if you were going north on Pine Street on the 500 block, you would stop at the intersection with Spring, and people going west or east on Spring would not have to stop.

Mrs. F.W. Stevenson

Mrs. F.W. Stevenson, a new emigrate here circa 1855. Her husband later built in the neighborhood called Oregon Hill or Belvidere Hill twenty years later.

His request is complied by the Richmond council committee on July 17, 1876

Images and descriptions courtesy of Richard Lee Bland.

eBay Auction Prompts Historic Interest In Steinmann Storefront

The Shockoe Examiner blog has picked up on an eBay auction of some old Oregon Hill photos and ephemera.

It’s a wonderful image of the Laurel Street Market located at 349 S. Laurel St., corner of Laurel and Albemarle Streets in Richmond’s Oregon Hill neighborhood

  • (Editor’s note: Where Rest In Pieces store is now)
  • . The seller shows the back of this photograph where it’s written: “Taken Feb 27 – 17” – so I assume it was taken on Feb. 27, 1917. The store was owned by John Frederick Ernest Steinmann (1871-1934).

    Steinmann’s 1911 will, which is listed for sale in the same eBay auction, notes 346 Laurel St. with “house and lot” was bequeathed to his son Henry, and 344 Laurel with “house and lot” was bequeathed to his son Charles.

    The building permit is for “store and dwelling.” So the brick building was brand new when the photo was taken that is on sale on ebay.

    Neighbor Charles Pool found a notice of the building permit in the July 1, 1911 Times Dispatch and it supports the current owner’s research that the family lived upstairs.

    Option 1 or Option 2 or…

    So one thing that happened at the last Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association meeting (2/28) was a presentation on possibilities for new stop signs at intersections for neighborhood traffic.

    This sort of thing has been requested multiple times before in regard to speeding and dangerous collisions, but for different reasons has never been acted on.

    At the meeting, a City traffic engineer presented two options for stops. The proposed options are for a flipping of the stop signs at the circled intersections to give the east-west streets right of way and have the north-south streets stop. This way, no one direction always has right of way, and would need to stop at roughly every other intersection. This traffic pattern is called basket weaving, and has been used successfully in Maymont. These options are in no way set in stone, and are up for discussion and suggested alternatives. ‘Option 1’ suggests new stop signs at the intersections of Albemarle and S. Laurel, Spring and S. Pine, China and S. Laurel, and Holly and S. Pine. ‘Option 2’ suggests new stop signs at Albemarle and S. Cherry, Albemarle and S. Pine, Spring and S. Laurel, China and S. Pine, and Holly and S. Laurel.

    Neighbors are asked to let the neighborhood association know which option they think is best as well as any other input. The plan is to discuss this more at the next OHNA meeting and then get back to the City traffic engineer and Councilperson Agelasto’s office with some thoughts and decisions.

    Article On Shop Switchover

    Writer Nick Michon has an article on the website Richmond2Day.com about the changes on the corner of Laurel Street and Albemarle Street- here are the opening paragraphs:

    Death has paid Oregon Hill a visit. Gone are the frilly flowers that once graced the now defunct Bunnyhop Bike Shop on the corner of Albemarle in exchange for the towering scythe wielded by the Reaper himself. The entire building has transformed to black, and Justin Torone and Alaina Gearhart are to blame.

    While the new mural in progress by Sure Hand Signs may paint a grim scene, Torone and Gearhart’s business Rest In Pieces is taking on a newfound life of its own. The couple entered the world of oddities through Gearhart’s preexisting love for strange artifacts like skulls and preserved creatures.

    Click here to read the rest of the article.