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.

Water Matters

Councilperson Parker Agelasto is rightfully following up on citizens’ concerns about water utility billing. The Finance & Economic Development Standing Committee is meeting Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 5pm in the Council Chamber.

On the agenda, this paper:

RES. 2017-R049 To request that the Chief Administrative Officer cause the Department of Public Utilities to prepare and submit to the Council a plan to phase out Payments in Lieu of Taxes from the Department of Public Utilities over a ten year period.

Click here, here, here, here, here, and here for some background.

On anther matter, a proposed County of Chesterfield water facility in a Richmond City park, Councilperson Kristen N. Larsen supplied this update:

Update on Larus Park/Water tank issue: At my last district meeting on 6/29 I gave an update on this forthcoming legislation originally scheduled for the City Council Land Use meeting on 7/18. Because of ongoing discussions with the city administration on community concerns and the exploration of options, this legislation is being continued until the 9/19 Land Use meeting. I am still committed to holding another community meeting regarding this issue prior to it being considered by city council and will get back to the community with that information once I have updated information. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me regarding this issue.

Citizens may want to join the FaceBook group “Protect Larus Park! and all of the other city parks, for that matter” to keep abreast on this issue.

Lane Closure – 2nd Street

From City DPW press release:

Lane Closure – 2nd Street
WHO: City of Richmond Department of Public Works

WHAT: Lane Closure

WHEN: Starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 13 through 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2019

WHERE: 2nd Street between Spring Street and Brown’s Island Way

BACKGROUND: The parking lanes on 2nd Street between Spring Street and Brown’s Island Way will be closed to re-stripe lanes to accommodate upcoming work at the Virginia War Memorial. Parking will be eliminated in that segment of the road for the duration of the project and traffic lanes will be shifted to provide construction staging space. Please use caution and follow the road signs.


More High Speed Dreams And #Rally4Trains

It seems like I wrote this decades ago, but it was years- The Dream of High Speed Rail.

Still, recent headlines promise and disappoint in a bewildering order.

High-speed rail meetings chugging along in Hanover

84 Amtrak passengers stranded five hours after train gets stuck on tracks in Charles City

As often as my hopes are dashed, I hope they can stay alive. To that end, join Mayor Stoney and others at the RVA #Rally4Trains this evening:

President Trump’s FY 2018 budget eliminates 48% of Virginia’s passenger rail service and we are rallying in support of improving our passenger rail network, not cutting it!

Join Virginians for High Speed Rail, Southern Environmental Law Center, and National Association of Railroad Passengers for RVA’s Rally for Trains at Main Street Station on June 28th at 5:15pm with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

(You can then join Mayor Stoney at his 5th District Community Community Meeting at the Randolph Community center at 1415 Grayland Avenue at 6:30 pm (and ask him what really comes first, schools, or stadiums?).

Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association Meeting Tomorrow

From email announcement:

Hello all

OHNA will be meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 27th, at 7 pm, at St. Andrew’s (In either the Parish House or the Little Chapel. Need to find out.).

And on Wednesday, June 28th, Mayor Levar Stoney, will be holding the 5th District Community Community Meeting at the Randolph Community center at 1415 Grayland Avenue.


Put Schools First, Breaking Records and the Status Quo

While some Richmonders discuss how to deal wth the past, others are acting on its future.

The Richmond Crusade for Voters (a historic black civil rights group) gathered over 6,000 signatures on primary election day, which may be a new record for petitioning on one day! The signatures are for, a petition for a future voter referendum to make school modernization first priority in the City budget planning. It’s important to note that this is revenue-neutral and allows for proper adjustment with City Council’s input. For the petition language, please visit the website.

In addition, The Sierra Club Falls of the James, an (almost all white) environmental group, is supporting the petition/referendum campaign, adding that school modernization should include green building and solar energy (other Virginia localities like Charlottesville and Arlington are doing it, why not Richmond?).

Despite some of the projections in the local corporate media, this school modernization effort is not ‘against’ anyone, not Mayor Stoney, not his ‘Education Compact’. It is neutral other than stating that the status quo is unacceptable.
It’s worth noting the grassroots aspect of this and it comes after many previous grassroots movements, including from Oregon Hill’s Open High School.

Right now, the Richmond Crusade for Voters is reaching out to black churches across the City, and the Sierra Club is reaching out to like minded environmental organizations. Hopefully more progressive groups will reach across racial lines and join this very important school modernization effort. To paraphrase Dr. King again, If not now, when?

Utility Message On Gas Safety

From Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities (one of our great advertisers!):

The Natural Gas Safety Awareness Program of the city of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities is here to educate our customers and non-customers – all those who live, work, shop, worship or play near natural gas pipelines – about natural gas safety.

Please watch this brief 17 minute video that will offer a brief history of the natural gas distribution system, and a detailed overview of the public awareness component of our overall safety program.