Good morning, RVA! It's 45 °F and rainy. The rain should clear up this afternoon, and temperatures should nudge upward a bit. Tomorrow, the sun returns!
Jeff Schapiro's column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch has some interesting post-election facts and opinions—if you're not already well past your electoral info quota. Virginia's unspoken policy of using the lieutenant governor spot as a pipeline for the governorship makes me feel weird, and Schapiro bringing it up to create a rivalry between newly-elected Justin Fairfax and Mayor Stoney makes me feel even weirder. No offense to Fairfax or Stoney, but there are legislators serving right this very second—and have been serving for a while now—that I would love, love, love to cast a gubernatorial vote for. I'm not going to spend a bunch of time thinking through the positives and negatives of this aspect of The Virginia Way, though. It's still way too early (at least for me) to put serious thought into the next set of elections.
Tammie Smith, also at the RTD, has an update on the Whole Foods coming to the former Pleasants Hardware spot: The City has issued demolition permits! No mention of an opening date, but you'd think sooner rather than later, right? I'm still miffed that we're taking up ultra-valuable space literally across the street from a BRT station with a surface-level parking lot. But, Sauer's owns all the land around there, so maybe it'll get in-filled as they continue to develop the area. I'll keep my Transit-Oriented Development fingers crossed.
While we're talking Pulse, WTVR has a story about how Richmond invented the first electric street car system (wooo!) and then, later, literally burnt that system to the ground (booo!). Ostensibly, this piece is supposed to answer the question, "Wait, the bus is in the middle of Broad Street? How do I...get on the thing?" This is a question I get from a zillion people, so feel no shame if you've secretly wondered the same thing. Two facts: First, you'll cross the street to wait at one of the very fancy and comfortable stations; Second, the pair of bus lanes—one running in each direction separated by a small median—will weave slightly so passengers can always board/alight on the right side of the bus. This overheard diagram of how the stations and lanes will work down by VCU does a great job of illustrating it. A super-important part of a center-running system like this is safe pedestrian crossings to the stations—which we know the Mayor also thinks critical since he just kicked the City's Vision Zero process into high gear a couple weeks back.
Richmond Police will sweep through the City collecting dead bikes today. You can lock your bike to any city-owned thing that is not a tree (personally, I enjoy the small irony of parking my bike on a No Parking sign), but if you leave it there for 10 days police can impound it. After that, you've got 60 days to contact them to try and un-impound your metal steed. We'll see if my favorite dead bike gets carted away or not.
Style Weekly celebrates 35 years with this really neat collection of covers from the past three decades. Check out the picture of young Joe Morrissey from 1989!
This morning's longread
Another Kathryn Schulz charmer.
If that’s the case, our friend the yeti should rank very high on the believability scale. So, too, should giants, elves, unicorns, ogres, imps, sea monsters, and pixies. By the same token, this biological theory would deal a credibility blow to angels, demons, fairies, vampires, and werewolves, plus all those creatures assembled, as by an insane taxidermist, from the separate parts of real species: mermaids, griffins, centaurs, chimeras, sphinxes. It would also undermine the plausibility of fire-breathing dragons, there being no analogue in nature to a Zippo. In fact, biological limitations cast doubt on dragons in another way as well, since four legs plus two wings is not a naturally occurring configuration—a bummer also for harpies, griffins, gargoyles, and Pegasus.