Chris Banks 
Member since Apr 13, 2018



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Recent Comments

Re: “Commentary: Go Slowly, Here Comes the Pulse

@GG The new BRT stations are designed specifically to make life easier for kid toting parents and alternate mobility.

Station access:
All BRT stops feature gentle, low angle ramps and ADA curb treatment to allow all types of strollers, walkers, and bikes easy access.

Fare Collection:
All BRT stations have kiosks for off bus fare collection in addition to the phone apps mentioned above. Buy tickets at your pace instead of feeling rushed as you get on the bus. You don't have to stop and show it to the driver or attendant unless specifically asked. If you are going to take other buses that day, keep it simple and get a day pass.

All BRT stations have rub rails and level boarding, so buses get as close as possible for quick roll on access. Even our regular buses are kneeling for wheelchair and stroller ease.

I can't think of anything easier than a few clicks on your phone, stroller under one arm, bag in the other and telling kids to grab a seat without breaking stride. I remember being a kid on the bus in DC in the 80s, pre-SUV/minivan era, with none of these conveniences and rarely the issues some fear. Just give it a few tries, you'll see.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Banks on 06/25/2018 at 1:16 PM

Re: “Parker Agelasto Makes a Plea for Reconsidering the Cigarette Tax

Were spending more today because of what the city did in the past. Its not some teachers union conspiracy. When you skip a few oil changes, or 40 years worth in our case, theres going to be more cost involved to fix the damage.

Posted by Chris Banks on 04/14/2018 at 1:11 AM

Re: “Dear Richmond

All opinions and no sources make jack a dull boy. In the words of Levar Burton, You dont have to take my word for it.

Posted by Chris Banks on 04/14/2018 at 12:42 AM

Re: “Countdown to Launch

Great Article! Cant wait until it opens. VCU, as s premier art school has made due with older and limited spaces. This new venue will both build on the sculpture VCU made its reputation on and highlight the new media that is/has been the primary area of growth in more recent years.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Banks on 04/14/2018 at 12:22 AM

Re: “OPINION: The History Behind Terminal Warehouse No. 3 and Why It Shouldn’t Be Destroyed

The question is whether or not anyone can or should preserve or reuse the sugar warehouse. Fun fact, the Germans perfected concrete reinforced rebar in preparing nearly indestructible bunkers for ww2, which means most buildings of any historical significance in Richmond are doing just fine without it. The comment about statues is completely off base when you consider that this building was built on stilts, but the surrounding neighborhoods were repeatedly flooded and ignored for decades because we valued sugar over life based on complexion.

The city of Richmond offered the space as an opportunity, but should not offer the land as a condolence. It is no secret that Stone was A) a less than stellar deal for Richmond, B) not appropriate considering our home grown craft beer industry, and C) not all that great for Stone itself. Are you aware that Stone laid off many middle income positions created during the transfer? Do you understand that the newly proposed beer garden is a fraction of the original size? We were promised 200 jobs in exchange for that site. If the building has intrinsic value and can be used by a different party, we should not let Richmond settle for a plan that tears it down as a consolation prize. So far, all we have is hearsay from a company with conflicting interests and a less than convincing YouTube video.

My take is to try being part of the solution and fight for a better outcome rather than tear down someones journalistic work just cause you dont like taxes and the necessary relinquishment of absolute self determinace in exchange for some semblance of society.

12 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chris Banks on 04/14/2018 at 12:14 AM

Re: “RVA Bike Share Offers Free month to Riders Who Support Businesses on Broad During Pulse Construction

There are no bike rental places in richmond that compete with bike share by coincidence, not government control. We have adventure themed bikes near specific points of interest, casual bike rental out of maybe 2-3 store fronts and we have limited free bikes at hotels. Ram bikes and the UofR equivalent are extremely small footprints and limited to students. Completely apples to oranges and they can and should coexist, but no one is preventing it.

The Bike rack locations are primarily on public property because that is easiest. Getting permission from private owners takes more time, but i can absolutely say the city would appreciate the opportunity to partner with private entities. Some of the current issues with ridership stem from the fact that private entities haven't yet partnered.

To my knowledge, there is nothing stopping a private bike rental company or a non kiosk based rental company from also setting up in Richmond. Many cities, typically larger, have competing or complimentary, but overlapping systems. What you don't want is a disjointed grid of fiefdoms as that helps no one.

There seems to be some confusion of who is responsible for what. Bewegen makes bikes and stations, full stop. Bewegen subcontracts operations to Corps Logistics, a US vet hiring company that out of VA beach that supports both Baltimore and RVA bike shares. Richmond selects locations and expansion. There are certainly issues with ridership, but they are not Bewegen's fault, they are not Corps Logistics fault, and they are not the result of malfeasance from the city.

On the second point, mass rebalancing is necessary and a completely false argument to make. Cars don't carry their own parking spaces with them and we don't charge a fair market rate for parking as it is. So we have tons of parking garages that are full of cars doing nothing for 8 hours a day and we have tons of street and private home parking spaces that are full of cars doing nothing over night. Bikes, unlike buses, don't have drivers to recirculate them for commuters vs errand runners so we have to rebalance. Like taxis and ubers, the nice thing is that people can and do use bikes all day to criss-cross the city, providing some amount of rebalancing, but not all.

If you try to zero sum each system in an isolated environment you will not get any of our public or private transportation methods to equate. The closest is planes, and they survive off tons of fees and filling up the cargo hold with shipping components. Unless you're in a third world country, your private car or bus doesn't typically carry packages and livestock to more efficiently use the space. If anything, we do not properly price the cost of private vehicles and are too scared to correct it. So public transportation systems as a part of much larger social structures are a net gain to communities when structured with the best tools available. They yield longer term benefits like lower infrastructure costs for private vehicles, reduced aggregate pollution, safer streets, connected communities, and surprisingly some studies suggest mental health benefits.

As for all the GRTC pulse talk, seriously, we aren't a tiny town with a fragile ecosystem. We are quite possibly the last city of our size to fix our public transit. The old system was set up like a highschool where everybody comes from their neighborhood, block by block, to one central location in the morning, turns around, and goes home in the evening. I can't even begin to talk about the reasons why we got here, but something had to change. So we grew a spine, literally. The Pulse is a backbone that requires transfers but creates efficiencies and connects more homes, businesses, attractions and services. Or more appropriately to the name Pulse, it is an artery and all of the other lines become supportive capillaries. Like our bodies, in time we'll have a few more arteries. Transportation is more than building roads, it's learning about systems and human behavior. Our methods from the 50s had consequences and quite frankly failed just like every theory that has been replaced by a new one. More than most people, I too am not a fan of needlessly prolonged construction, but that is a function of how the contract is written and how approvals take place. If you want it faster, work on it from the start. If you don't want it at all, well, come to a few meetings, talk to the experts, read the books, actually ride the bus, listen to the people who are different from you and then we can talk about it without words like "lattes" and analogies about drowning.

I'm not saying don't own or use a car, I'm saying appreciate what buses and bikes are.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris Banks on 04/13/2018 at 5:02 PM

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