Member since Mar 1, 2012



  • No friends yet.
Become My Friend Find friends »

Recent Comments

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.

29 likes, 3 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

Re: “Wage Wedge: Good Intentions Yield Unintended Consequences When Supply Meets Demand

I'm trying to write a comment here that doesn't contain the words f..., you, Mr., and Katz simultaneously. He says he is trying to be respectful in his language toward fast food workers, but his is not being so. In Denmark, fast food workers earn $20 per hour. Denmark is doing just fine. A fast food CEO or VP would be doing just fine if they earned $1 million instead of $2 million, or $10 million instead of $20 million. The US won't collapse if a worker at a fast food place can earn enough to pay their bills, or perhaps pay for community college so they can gain skills they allegedly don't have. As for the salt, if you can't understand them over the drive thru speaker, why would you expect them to understand you over the same sound system.

4 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 05/21/2016 at 9:00 PM

Re: “LETTER: Latino Students Spark Discussion

For Mary's letter - I too am hopeful for something like even the small bit of regional cooperation you suggest.

For Tracye's - Oh, please. The Hispanic population already works way harder as a group than, say, American born people of European descent. The resources you suggest are inexact translations at best. It takes years for a person to learn any language well. And, as you know, the reasons why people from northern Central America come to our city to be our brothers, sisters, and colleagues range from simple greed and gang violence through military and state persecution to the historic and current US foreign policy meddling that lays the substrate for all of it. I apologize to my Latino and Latina neighbors that they even have to face attitudes such as those expressed by you. It certainly won't help them, and it doesn't help our fellow humans.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 10/01/2014 at 10:19 PM

Re: “Shockoe Standoff

With all due respect to Mr. Bates, great cities do great build good (or at least safe) public schools, build great bike paths and multimodal transport, and have lots of nice festivals, to name three things. Right now I'm in Montreal, which has great bike paths, is easy to get around, and has festivals galore, to pick three things. A stadium is not one of those things. It was pointed out that Montreal paid off the debt on its stadium, built for the 1976 Olympics, in 2007. That stadium now sits empty 365 days per yer, its only activity being paid trips up its uniquely inclined tower. Even the Montreal Alouettes CFL team plays at a new stadium about eight miles away. This is the fate that awaits Richmond if we follow the vision of Mr. Bates and Mr. Jones. We cannot afford a stadium anywhere; we especially cannot afford one in the Bottom.

Montreal is reminiscent of Richmond, if a bit bigger.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 07/27/2014 at 6:44 PM

All Comments »

Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.

Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation