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Re: “Opinion: Why Richmond Needs to Save Larus Park

Charles, an excellent article. This is a project that needs to be paused until we can figure out a more fair way of paying for our water. Even then, Larus Park may not be appropriate for this project.

This is a big test for Mayor Stoney, who could be running for president in less than 20 years if he is able to figure a way around this that benefits everyone in the city.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 08/06/2017 at 11:19 AM

Re: “A Documentary About the Richmond Judge Who Helped Enforce School Desegregation Gets Support From Big Local Names

I'll elaborate. I am part of a group looking to develop a self-governing neighborhood designed to foster social interaction and sharing of resources. We want a neighborhood that is walkable and bikeable to jobs and cultural events in the city, and has schools that aren't struggling against impossible odds. The overturning of those decisions has left us, 45 years later, having to choose between non-negotiable desires. In other places and in other countries we could have it all. It is unlikely that we can here.

Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 08/06/2017 at 11:15 AM

Re: “A Documentary About the Richmond Judge Who Helped Enforce School Desegregation Gets Support From Big Local Names

Richmond would be a much better place today if just one set of Judge Merhige's rulings, dealing with school desegregation, busing, and mergers of school systems, had not been reversed.

Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 08/06/2017 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Richmond wants to double its miles of bike lanes this year. Is that enough to keep cyclists safe?

I am one of those cyclists who proceeds through red lights (though I always stop) and blows through stop signs (though I slow down to ensure no one is approaching at other angles). It's safer for me to proceed through a red light and be in open roadway. If I follow the laws scrupulously I go at the same time as the cars around me, and it is when I'm in the middle of bubbles of cars that the riskiest situations happen.

I would obey traffic signals directed at bicycle lanes.

14 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 05/18/2017 at 12:43 PM

Re: “Jackson Ward Residents Debate Bike Lane Proposal

Bobbert- I certainly agree with you about equivalent ratios of idiots on all forms of transportation - one of the most vexing issues I've faced over the years is wrong way cyclists coming straight at me with traffic whizzing by to the left. Which points up the need for separated lanes on business oriented streets like Broad, 2nd, and Franklin. And they're needed in the suburbs too. If anyone has been to Montreal or Ottawa, those are two cities that do bike lanes right.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 03/25/2017 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Jackson Ward Residents Debate Bike Lane Proposal

I am quoted well in this article. This meeting was hard to sit through, and my feelings are complicated. A sampling:

1. I heard a number of Jackson Ward residents and business owners say they would like for me to die.

2. That is not what they said, and almost certainly is not what they want. But as long as there are no bike lanes somewhere (2nd is best, 1st is next best, 3rd I might be able to get used to), this is functionally what will happen. US cyclists have something like an eight fold greater risk of death or injury as Dutch cyclists. A lack of bike lanes and infrastructure is a big reason for that. US cyclists are more likely to wear helmets. Admittedly I probably have a 99% chance of emerging from the 2 street and Jackson Ward wars unscathed, but why would someone want to increase my risk when there is an easy way to make it safer, that is a win for them too?

3. The win: in 17 of 18 cities studied in this article from The Atlantic Monthly, with links to the studies, bike lanes had no impact or increased spending, sometimes dramatically, without increasing vehicular traffic.…

4. Being from Oregon Hill I understand anger at outsiders like VCU, Venture Richmond, and developers running us over and trying to do things without consulting the neighborhood. One of those developers even lives in his project here - we eventually reached an understanding which concerned us but which has turned out OK.

5. If the bike lanes have to be delayed a few months to make sure most of the parking will stay in place, delivery trucks don't glob up the works, etc, that's fine. If these concerns spike the project, I will be thinking less of Jackson Ward and looking toward neighborhoods that have bike lanes or less congested residential streets. It will be disappointing to not be able to support the businesses of my black brothers and sisters there the way I would like (I'm white).

Like the gentleman from the Fan with his three year old who spoke, I park my car and try to have me or my wife not move it a minute sooner than we have to. Riding our bicycles is one way we do this. In this we are similar to Angela Brame of Jackson Ward. Truthfully I don't know if parking is worse in Jackson Ward than in other places, but a bit of parking difficulty is something we all sign on for in Richmond. Like Jackson Ward, Oregon Hill is haltingly stumbling toward a parking permit process.

6. If the lanes don't happen, I will also think less of Kim Gray, toward whom I have previously had highly positive feelings.

7. Even if the Floyd bikeway was watered down by similar concerns to those expressed last night, it has ended up with many folks there feeling that Floyd is more pleasant, as reported by one of the gentleman at the hearing.

8. I do not want Jackson Ward to become more white, have less affordable housing, or to gentrify in any way due to the bike lanes, or at least in any way most of the residents don't want. I suppose some things like more eyes on the street, less crime, increaed safety, etc. are desirable, but Jackson Ward already seems to be doing pretty well on these metrics relative to 10, 20, 30 years ago. As for the rest of it, notice is given to Mayor Stoney, Jon Baliles, and my own councilman Parker Agelasto to do their part in protecting the unique character of the area.

9. I left at the point that someone said Richmond is a vehicular city. That was finally too much to listen to. Richmond is not inherently a vehicular city. It is possible to live here without a car, at least as an able-bodied adult. The reason Richmond is more spread out than it used to be relates to transportation and planning decisions made decades ago that ran over places like Jackson Ward, Randolph, and Oregon Hill. These decisions were made mostly by white people who couldn't see anything else through their lenses of money and power (financial and racial). We have a chance now to take another step towards reversing the damage of those decisions, and bike lanes are a crucial piece that.

I know this is long, but my feelings are complicated. Truly, while I understand a fear of change and being done to, I'm tired of seeing bicyclists treated like second class citizens, especially when making the choice of cycling safer is almost certain to help everyone else too. These lanes have been part of the public discussion for two years. It was very difficult to listen to how people wanted to remain wedded to their cars, and how much they seemed not to want bicycles around, even though they clearly had no animosity toward bicycles and me.

30 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 03/21/2017 at 8:47 PM

Re: “Five Takeaways From Mayor Stoney's $681 Million Richmond Budget

Each $55,000 cut from Vulture Richmond and SMG can hire a teacher, police officer, or firefighter.

Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 03/21/2017 at 7:56 PM

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