Good morning, RVA! It's 53 °F, and highs in the 80s mean another beautiful day ahead of you.
Yesterday, I wrote about Councilwoman Grey’s proposed Scott’s Addition bike and pedestrian path and how, in her own words, the “number one goal is to have a walkable, bikeable space.” Today, unfortunately, there’s this piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch by Mark Robinson about a press conference she held in opposition to a bus stop and part of the new bus network redesign. The redesign, which you can check out on this sweet-looking new system map (PDF), sends two hourly routes and one 30-minute route past a single block of Grace Street. Setting aside all the classic reasons folks use to argue for removing bus stops and service from their neighborhoods (my favorite is that 60 buses per day is a lot of buses—I live in a spot that sees 70 buses per day and when you miss your bus it is an interminable amount of time until the next one shows up), I do think it’s important to remember, in bold lettering, that City Council does not have the authority to alter bus stops or routes. This has been true since July 22nd, 2013 when Council adopted ORD. 2013-144 (PDF). You can imagine a million and one scenarios where having Council in charge of bus stops is bad news bears, but, specifically, allowing folks with access, privilege, and political power to circumvent good transit policy for what usually boils down to NIMBY concerns is really, really dangerous. GRTC can’t design a useful, city-wide public transportation system—something critical to the life of our city—if a single block of homeowners can disrupt the entire thing. Anyway, as for this particular situation, it sounds like GRTC has a couple of tweaks they’re looking at and will pass them through their regular, non-political process at some point after the launch of the new system on June 24th.
Patron Matthew alerted me to this list of public outreach opportunities Richmond Public Schools has posted as part of their process to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School. In addition to some public meetings, the first of which is tonight at J.E.B. Stuart Elementary from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, there’s a form for you to suggest new names for the school. Like...just a wide-open box into which you can type whatever you want, anything at all. I feel bad for the person who’s responsibility it will be to cull and collate those responses. P.S. Patron Matthew posted this in the Good Morning, RVA Slack, which is open to all patrons!
Here’s a neat request for proposals that found its way into my inbox: The Monroe Park Conservancy is looking for a vendor to manage the concessions (PDF) for the Checkers House within the newly renovated Monroe Park. This is an interesting RFP! The Conservancy wants to see healthy food options for park visitors—no less than 25% of the total menu, which does however still leave room for a significant number of hot dog options. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in—and I can think of a bunch of folks I’d love to see run a park concession stand—you’ve got until May 18th to send in your letter of intent.
The 2018 Cap2Cap bike ride takes place this coming Saturday, which means you have just a couple more days to register. I know, I know, the idea of riding a bicycle all the way from Richmond to Williamsburg feels daunting, but don’t worry! There are options as short as a 15-mile fun ride—no excuses!
Also on the bike tip: Across the City today it is Bike to School Day. If, this morning, you choose to transport yourself in a motor vehicle please, please, please pay extra attention as there may be a bunch of additional kids in the neighborhood riding their bikes to school. Then, next time you drive around, remember how much attention you paid this morning and always do that.
Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal. What do those words even mean, and what’s next? Vox will tell you exactly that!
- Squirrels lost to Akron, 5-6, and will try to avoid getting shut out of the series today at 12:05 PM.
- Nats blanked San Diego last night, 4-0, and will look for the sweep tonight at 9:10 PM.
This morning's longread
The National Lynching Memorial sounds incredible, and this telling of its opening by Jamil Smith is worth your time.
Dusk had fallen in Montgomery by the time the music started last Friday night, but the Alabama River still shone brightly behind the stage. The former superhighway for the slave trade, snaking its way through downtown, was now little more than an artificially illuminated backdrop for black excellence. It barely seemed to flow at all, as if the ghosts of slavers who once captained its waters were now trapped there by their sins, lying there tonight unmoved by the beats, flows and exclamations of the thousands along the riverbank. Or perhaps, I'd like to think, the other apparitions residing in the great Alabama – the ones who might look more like me, if we could see them – were simply holding the river still, themselves arrested by the joyful noises. For once, the literal spotlight was on them and their descendants. Alongside a river where black people were once sold as property, there was now a revel in our names.
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