Good morning, RVA! It's 12 °F. The temperature will stay below freezing the entire day, so if you've got to go outside for any length of time make sure you bundle up. Brrr!
Henrico Police are reporting that a driver hit and killed a pedestrian on the 5200 block of W. Broad Street—that's the same block as the western-most GRTC Pulse station. That portion of Broad Street is huge and fast and inhospitable to pedestrians. Our region needs to do a better job of keeping people walking and biking safe, and they can do that by building infrastructure and slowing vehicle traffic down.
Ali Rockett at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has profiles of all 67 people murdered in Richmond in 2017. Some of the profiles are several paragraphs long with quotes from surviving members of the victim's family, some are just a couple of sentences. I appreciate this work that helps me remember that murder victims are people and not just an increment to a counter we're trying to keep below a certain number.
Ned Oliver at the RTD looks at 18 promises Mayor Stoney made on the campaign trail and whether he kept or broke these promises. Oliver reports three definitely broken promises and a handful that are to be determined.
This piece by Halle Parker in the paper about the "rapid rehousing" program for folks who are homeless is fascinating. Parker points out a ton of obstacles facing people attempting to move out of homelessness and into stable housing, but I'd like to highlight one in particular: Public transportation does not connect the region's affordable housing to the region's available jobs. Parker provides the perfect example in Cierra Jarvis. Jarvis, a homeless woman working two jobs, had an opportunity to live out near Chippenham Hospital but couldn't take it because that area is not served by public transportation and she had no way to get to her job. I'm not just making this stuff up just because I'm a public transportation guy, either! Here's an entire study by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU that says the exact same thing (PDF). Housing, public transportation, education—all of these things are connected together and we've got to work on all of them simultaneously if we want to make the region a better place.
Ah dangit. Richmond Magazine has rerun predictions readers had way back in 2012. The first one: "I would like to see a fully functioning mass-transit regional bus system that really works. It would be great to be able to get from Chesterfield to Henrico easily on a bus." Aside from the depressing public transportation bits (a lot of folks were really stoked on light rail back in 2012), there are a bunch of other interesting predictions and hopes. Special shoutout to Joan Sherwood who hoped that "a really nice bike/walking trail is completed from Shockoe Bottom to Williamsburg along Route 5." Your wish has been granted, Joan!
Please don't shoot your gun off into the air to celebrate the coming of the new year—or anything else. Maybe, just get rid of your gun entirely?
The Valentine continues their Controversy/History series tonight at 6:00 PM with a discussion on immigration. Start 2018 off right by learning stuff and having scintillating conversation with fellow Richmonders.
This morning's longread
I really enjoy this list of 11 things journalists / newspapers can (and should) do to earn their audience's trust in a world where direct reader support seems to be one of the few viable paths forward. I hope you see a few of these things in Good Morning, RVA—not that this is necessarily journalism, but it is reader-supported!
Even more than “show your work,” this phrase captures what’s different about the manufacture of trust by means of transparency. Instead of an assertion of authority (trust us, we’re pros at this) an invitation to inspect the evidence. Here’s how I described it in 2015: A news organization renders a judgment, and then provides the users with the tools and information to “check” that judgment by conducting essentially the same operation themselves. If I summarize what Senator Rand Paul said on ‘Face the Nation’ this week, and then link to the transcript so you can assess for yourself whether my summary is fair and accurate, I’m not asking you to take my word for it. I’m allowing you to discover on your own how faithful my summary is to the original. If my paraphrase is tendentious, you have everything you need to find me out and dock me points for distorting what Senator Paul said. But if my description is confirmed by the transcript I showed you, that’s points for me.
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