I have some out-of-the-box ideas that tie in with Edwin Slipek’s “Now Developing” article. This encompasses slave history, GRTC, Greyhound, Air and local rail rapid transit and The Diamond. Mine is a different approach.
Recently, much has been printed regarding high-speed rail, ball fields, slave museums, commuter rail, GRTC bus routes, etc. The recent bicycle racing event proves that Richmond can do big things well. Richmond is uniquely positioned to become an intermodal transportation hub as main rail lines, highways and airlines all intersect here. Now is the time to take on this badly needed project with an existing organization superbly qualified to do it, the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The nexus of this project would be a multilevel short- and long-term parking garage and transportation hub building. (Instead of a new ballpark, develop The Diamond it its current location!) The hub should be located close to Main Street Station. It should be the main terminal for interstate and local bus transport, commuting rail, high-speed rail, with ticketing and baggage handling for all modes. A GRTC terminal should be in the space on the ground level. Drive-through passenger and baggage drop-off space should also be on ground level.
Weather-protected pedestrian walkways to weather-protected tracks now at the Main Street Station should be constructed from the hub’s second level. Waiting areas, eateries and retail should also be on the second level. Shifting the Greyhound terminal to this Main Street hub location frees up developable space on the Boulevard. Shifting ticketing and baggage handling from old Main Street Station would allow conversion of the old Main Street Station building — an antique in itself — into Richmond’s much-needed and anticipated slave museum.
The Norfolk Southern Railway is at ground level on Dock Street. A weather-protected commuter rail passenger terminal on Dock Street, with shuttle service to the hub building, would provide variable local commuting services to and from West Point (east) to Keysville (west) with terminals at Airport Drive connecting to Richmond International Airport and Bottoms Bridge, plus terminals at Bon Air and Midlothian. High-speed (190 mph) rail should come into Main Street Station generally via the old C&O passenger route on all newly engineered tracks — never via CSX anywhere, especially Acca Yards.
Calvin T. Lucy Jr.