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

Good morning, RVA: Blackwell Historic District, he’s running, and the 34th best bike city

Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and today you should expect rain, wind, and thunderstorms as whatever’s left of Hurricane Michael moves through the area. Current forecasts say you’ve got until about 12:00 PM before things start to get wet and wild. Be safe, stay dry, and please pay attention to the weather warnings!

Megan Wise, Andrew Frieden, and Jim Duncan at NBC12 have a bunch of graphics laying out today’s potential weather threats.

Water cooler

Jonathan Spiers at Richmond BizSense reports that the Virginia Department of Historic Resources has finally decided to OK the Blackwell Historic District. This brings to a close a long-running story about the future of development in Manchester and Blackwell that the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Mark Robinson sums up nicely in this thread on Twitter. It’ll be real interesting to see what the developers who kicked off this whole process do now—remember, they said any delay would screw up their plans for the area, and they eventually put a bunch of properties they own in the neighborhood on the market. However, now that they’ve got access to those sweet, sweet tax credits, I wonder if we’ll hear their tune change.

I saw this letter to the editor from Joe Morrissey in the Richmond Free Press a couple days ago and didn’t know what to make of it. Morrissey complains about schools and the proposed Coliseum redevelopment and ends by answering a question about what he can do as a citizen, saying he should “Consider moving into a City Council district where my supporters live and run against an incumbent who backs the Stoney-Farrell anti-education Coliseum boondoggle.” I didn’t link to it right away because...what does it even mean? Mark Robinson got ahold of Morrissey, though, and confirmed that he’s considering moving somewhere and running for some City Council seat in 2020. If you want to dig a bit, you can look through the precinct-level data on the Department of Elections website and see where Morrissey best fared.html) in his unsuccessful run for mayor in 2016. Note: Precincts in the 100s are in the 1st District, 200s the 2nd District, and so on. Morrissey did well in parts of the 3rd (where he currently lives) and 7th, plus the 6th, 8th, the 9th. Stay tuned, I guess?

Earlier this week, I said a small part of me turns to dust when the State builds parking decks that are off limits to the public. House Speaker Kirk Cox has thankfully reconstituted that small part of me with a promise to add public parking to the new General Assembly parking structure they’re building on 9th and Broad. Michael Martz at the RTD has the details 💸. I do think this whole process is illustrative of how the State generally does not spend two winks thinking about how their actions—as guests in our city for a couple months each year—impact the place we live. I’m still salty about how they closed off Bank Street with that weird blockade made of concrete spheres.

Katie O’Connor at the Virginia Mercury says Richmond’s Health Brigade will open the state’s second needle exchange program. Unlike Roanoke, whose police chief has a wild comment that you should tap through to read, Richmond’s needle exchange program has the support of our local police department.

I don’t know how they decide these sorts of things, but Bicycling Magazine has named Richmond the 34th best bike city in America—right between St. Petersburg, Florida and Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s the first time we’ve made the top 50. Hooray! Now let’s build more bike lanes!

This morning's longread

How New Urban Mobility Technologies Can Help Developing Countries Leapfrog Legacy Urban Mobility And Help Developed Ones Cut The Cord

Scooters and similar vehicles have the potential to change everything, y’all.

[Lightweight Electric Vehicles] are good for people, cities, and the planet as a whole. They cut carbon emissions, cut pollution, reduce car crash injuries and deaths, help eliminate traffic, drastically cut energy use, free up wasted urban space and wasted capital on oil, encourage active mobility which is great for health, increase quality of life, create more desirable neighborhoods and streets, and on and on. So LEVs can help rapidly accelerate the decrease of car dependence, offering a far more affordable urban mobility alternative to the car without sacrificing the ease and speed that biking/walking often suffer from thanks to advanced motors and battery technologies.

If you’d like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

Good morning, RVA: Creighton Court, a cool rezoning, and local grains

Good morning, RVA: The Boulevard, a new mural, and the Folk Festival