Once upon a time I ran a news site, now I just have opinions on the news. 

Good morning, RVA: Vision Zero, Brookland Park Boulevard, and coffee chats

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and we've got temperatures in the mid 80s on deck. Clouds will probably blot out the sun, and we may see some rain (and maybe even a thunderstorm) this evening.

Water cooler

Police are reporting that a man crossing Hopkins Road on his bicycle was struck by a car and killed this past Friday night. WTVR spoke to the victim's family. The City of Richmond has passed a resolution in support of a Vision Zero program (PDF), but, as of yet, has not done much in the way of implementation.

Tammie Smith at the RTD joins the conversation about Brookland Park Boulevard. I'm biased, but I don't think you can talk about the future of that commercial district and not talk about the totally new planned bus route that stretches from Six Points around the entire City and ends at Southside Plaza. Smith mentions vehicle access from the city as one of the neighborhood's benefits but also says a lack of parking is one of the area's problems. This new bus line wins on both of these fronts. Not only does the new route give folks access into the neighborhood, but it connects people living there to currently inaccessible resources—like banks and grocery stores. Check out a map of the proposed line and stops, in pink, here (PDF).

The RTD's editorial board says we definitely need to build the Grace Street Parking Tower. The accompanying photo of a million cars downtown is definitely not a super convincing argument for building a massive number of parking spaces a single block from the region's only rapid transit system—especially since the photo was taken in the middle of the 20th century. Here's my counter editorial on the project: Richmond, and humans in general, have changed a lot since the 1960s, and we shouldn't use city land to a build project design for the needs of the past.

Ned Oliver has the budget recap you'll need to read before City Council's budget work session today. Council hopes to sort out their budget amendments in time for introduction at their formal meeting on May 8th, which then leads to a possible final vote on May 15th. There's not a ton of time for dilly dallying either, as Richmond Public Schools must have their budget locked in by May 15th and the City must have adopted its budget by the 31st.

I really enjoyed Jackie Kruszewski's interview with the Wilder School's new dean. Lots of stuff to like in that conversation: density, community involvement in the planning process, history, public meeting jokes.

Guys, I was on Coffee with Strangers! Now you too can see what it's like to have a conversation with me after I've had a huge cup of coffee. Kelli and I talk about food, family, Richmond, and, obviously, buses!


  • Squirrels won two of three against Hartford over the weekend and begin a series with Altoona tonight at 6:00 PM.
  • Kickers fell to Tampa Bay, 0-1.
  • Nats went 1-2 over the series with the Mets and have the day off today.

This morning's longread

Disaster In The Time Of Trump

A lot of these disasters are so incredibly unlikely that they're not even worth thinking about. But! I love apocalyptic stuff, and the illustrations are wonderful.

At the heart of this question is an unprecedented crisis of credibility. At the 100-day mark, Trump is viewed as “honest and trustworthy” by only 36% of the public — the lowest number ever recorded this early in a presidency — raising questions about his effectiveness in a crisis. And given his history of dubious statements on climate change and vaccines, this mistrust might be especially dangerous in a catastrophe rooted in science — like an asteroid, nuclear spill, tsunami, volcanic eruption, or the next Ebola. “It’s very hard to have a functional democracy if people don’t trust the government,” Matthew Baum, a public opinion scholar at Harvard, told BuzzFeed News. “And we’ve never had the leader sitting there before who has decried the government as rigged or crooked.”

Good morning, RVA: Council all-nighter, #Beddexit, and ospreys

Good morning, RVA: Goldfish, Henrico County, and RVA Bike Month