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: http://www.oregonhill.net/2014/07/11/train-derailment-explosion-risk/
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.
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.
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: http://www.richmondtransitnetwork.com
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:
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.)
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 RPDCares@richmondgov.com 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!