VCU Announces “No Car Protocol” For First-Year Students

BEGINNING WITH THE FALL SEMESTER 2017, Virginia Commonwealth University will employ a “No Car Protocol Protocol” for first-year residential students.

You can go to this linked website for more details, but here are some summary statements:

The university encourages the involvement of students in the first year on-campus experience, supports a pedestrian-friendly, residential campus, supports a reduction in the campus carbon footprint, and encourages use of alternate transportation.

Parking decals cannot be purchased by other students for first year residential students. Violations of the protocol are pursued through student codes of conduct and/or revocation of future parking privileges.

Across schools that do not allow first year students to have cars there are certain exceptions. These exceptions include medical conditions, disabilities, employment, over 21 years of age, military reservists and other extenuating situations.

Students who can demonstrate a compelling need or who would suffer undue hardship due to this Protocol can petition for a waiver. Waivers are reviewed by a committee of staff and students and will be kept to an absolute minimum.

Freshman Residents have several options to get around without a car: VCU RamRide, VCU Ramsafe, VCU Ramcharter, VCU Ramaway, VCU Rambikes, Transit Passes, Go Green.

2000 Volvo – $1000

From Craigslist ad:

Needs transmission work to get going but could be a simple fix that I can’t afford to even check in to. It was inspected a month ago and had all necessary work done, new windshield, tune-up etc and is working great other than the transmission not engaging. 200k miles but it’s a volvo, it’ll run forever if ya do the work. Call/text/or email is fine. Thanks

Precautionary Closing Of Lee Bridge

Heard the sirens this morning, but did not see anything mentioned in the news until later…

From Times Dispatch:

The Lee Bridge is closed to traffic this morning as fire and rail officials investigate if a train in close proximity to the bridge is leaking fuel.

Lt. Chris Armstrong with the Richmond Fire Department said train officials are on the scene. Authorities are investigating whether a car carrying petroleum is leaking or simply venting, which is a normal procedure when there is excess product inside, Armstrong said.

Related, older post:

Update: I am hearing the bridge is open again.

Update 2: “Loose valve on rail car carrying propane caused Lee Bridge shutdown


The unseasonably warm weather this past weekend made it seem more like May than February. Visitors flocked to river (and hopefully gained some appreciation for the need to protect it). While it was wonderful to see people getting outdoors and enjoying the riverfront, the crowds also illustrated overcrowding at the Belle Island parking lot. Streets in Oregon Hill were also overflowing with visitors’ vehicles.

This is a worsening problem that needs attention. Some have suggested building more parking lots, but more parking lots will not come close to addressing the existing pent-up demand for easier access to the riverfront. Besides, Dominion Energy and other entities already have parking lots that could possibly be made accessible to the public during weekend hours. The Virginia War Memorial is supposed to be building a large underground parking deck. Even including these, they are not enough for all the park visitors and they come with their sets of problems, such as more stormwater runoff and eradication of more natural habitat and features.

The Sierra Club Falls of the James group and the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association have repeatedly suggested that mass transit be connected more to the river park system. In the City’s Riverfront Plan, plans for a newly renovated Shiplock Park and’Sugar Pad’ landing in the East End will benefit from a planned, nearby Bus Rapid Transit stop, but still nothing for Tredegar Street and Belle Island. Perhaps a seasonal van shuttle can be created as a public amenity. As GRTC meets and plans for its new route structure, there needs to be more consideration of this issue.

‘Critical Mass’ Bicycle Ride On Friday

From the FaceBook event page:

Meet at 6, ride at 6:30.

Rain, fascism, or shine.

Our usual meeting spot in Monroe Park has been fenced off for renovations for the next year or more… For now we will meet at the same intersection, just across the street on the sidewalk in front of Altria Theater, to avoid too much confusion. A different meeting place may be chosen in future months, so keep an eye on the location!

What is this event?!

Last Friday evening of every month! Come out on your bikes and ride en masse through the city, for any number of reasons: just for fun, to celebrate bicycles as an alternative to cars, to spread awareness that bicycles share the road, or as a form of political protest. Wear costumes, bring music, noisemakers, flags, ribbons, etc. Ride a skateboard, roller blades, unicycle or some other human-powered bike alternative. Make it a parade!

Many interesting routes (and stops) are planned in advance, but some are unplanned and can simply be determined spontaneously by whoever is riding in the front. Ride SLOWLY so we can all stay together, enjoy the ride, talk along the way, and encourage people to join us.

New Transit Plan Meeting Tomorrow At Main Library And DMV

The planners working on the Richmond Transit Network Plan have released their Draft Recommended Network. This is your first look at what the future of Richmond’s public transportation system will look like.
Public meetings will be held throughout the second half of January. Each meeting will begin with a presentation followed by a question answer period and open house.
January 18th, 12:00–2:00 PM, Main Public Library (101 E. Franklin Street)
January 18th, 6:00–8:00 PM, DMV Central Office (2300 W. Broad Street)

Click here for planner’s website:
After studying the proposals, you can provide feedback and comments on the Recommended Network by taking their survey.

There’s also a quick review on the RVA Rapid Transit group’s website:

Bicycling Meeting On Tuesday At Main Library

From announcement:

BIKE + WALK PUBLIC MEETING When: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Where: Main Library, 101 E Franklin Street Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The Department of Public Works is seeking your feedback on the design of bicycle infrastructure along 10 corridors across the City, totaling 25 miles, to implement the vision and goals of the City’s Bicycle Master Plan. Join us to ask questions and get up-to-date information on the proposed recommendations and typical roadway sections for the following important corridors. Your feedback is encouraged! S 17th Street (from the Capital Trail to the Farmer’s Market) Brook Road (from Charity to Azalea) Franklin Street (from Laurel to 9th) Government Road (from 36th to Williamsburg) Grayland Avenue (from Robinson to Harrison) Malvern Avenue (from Cary to Cutshaw) Patterson Avenue (from Commonwealth to Thompson) Semmes Avenue (from Forest Hill to Cowardin) Westover Hills Boulevard (from Forest Hill to Nickel Bridge) Williamsburg Avenue/Road (from Main Street to Government Road) For more information, contact Jakob Helmboldt at (804) 646-7141 or
Location: 101 E Franklin Street

Laurel and Broad


This photo shows the RF&P RR train tracks on Broad Street in the first quarter of the 20th century. This view (maybe 1915?) is westward, with the Elba train station at the rear of the view. This playground was arranged through the R.F. & P. RR by “Mrs. Bolling, of the Richmond Playgrounds Association”. It harkens to a time when Oregon Hill could sort of claim to extend to Broad Street.


Here is part of the 1889 Baist map, which shows how the train turns from W. Broad to Belvidere then heads down past the penitentiary. The train tracks turned at Pine, thence south on Belvidere, and turned east along Byrd street, entered level, through a tunnel, to continue downtown to the old Byrd street depot.

(Special thanks to Richard Lee Bland and Fred Rodgers for the images and history notes, as seen on the Fans of Monroe Park FaceBook page.)

RPD Collecting Bicycles for Community Ride

From Richmond Police Department:

The Richmond Police Department is collecting bicycles for our 1st annual Community Bike Ride on the Southside of Richmond.
Please donate your gently used (or new) bicycles, of any size, to us by emailing us at or call us at 646-0407. We are willing to pick up the bicycles.
Deadline for donation is September 16, 2016.
In advance, thank you!