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

Good morning, RVA: Brook Road bike lane, school funds, and Jeff Davis Highway

Good morning, RVA! It's 74 °F, and today looks pretty dreamy. Expect highs near 90 °F and some sun shining down on you as you move about the City. Don’t forget: Free buses for the rest of this week!

Water cooler

Well, this incredibly disappointing: Councilmembers Kim Gray and Chris Hilbert have introduced legislation (ORD. 2018-194) to prevent the construction of the Brook Road bike lane due to unsupported claims of “traffic congestion” and a worshipful deference to “the efficient movement of motor vehicle traffic.” This project is one of the highest priorities listed in Richmond’s Bicycle Master Plan (PDF), would provide a much needed north-south connection from the City’s Northside to Downtown, and has already been designed to accommodate the amount of traffic on Brook Road (spoiler: there’s not a ton). This ordinance runs counter to Richmond’s adopted Complete Streets and Vision Zero resolutions. This ordinance prioritizes people driving cars over the safety of folks riding bikes. This ordinance reads like it was drafted by an evil, car-obsessed Buddy Garrity. I am against this ordinance, you should be against this ordinance, and even Councilmember Gray should be against this ordinance as she’s the one that said, referring to Scott’s Addition, “The number one goal is to have a walkable, bikeable space.” But, here we are. It just so happens that Councilmember Hilbert will host his regularly-scheduled district meeting tonight from 6:00–7:30 PM at the North Avenue Library (2901 North Avenue). If executing the City’s longstanding plan to build a safe network of bike lanes for people to get around town is important to you, I’d encourage you to show up at this meeting and let Councilmember Hilbert know that this ordinance is unacceptable and moves Richmond in the wrong direction.

Michael O’Connor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has an early look at some of the candidates who could replace Henrico’s soon-to-be-ex Supervisor Courtney Lynch. Remember that if the County decides to go with a special election this November, whoever wins will have to run again next November as well. Sounds exhausting.

I love when elected officials write up the thoughts behind some of their policy decisions, and it seems like both the Councilmember and Schoolboard Rep from the 1st District are pretty good at doing so. Here’s Councilman Addison on how we can find the money needed for school facilities and maintenance without raising taxes. While I don’t agree that we can do this thing (or public housing, transportation, etc) without raising the property tax, I’m not going to stand in the way of a guy who wants to increase the PILOT the City charges VCU or wants to go after the millions of dollars in back taxes sitting out there. Let’s do all the things—plus raise the property tax and start getting some of these things done! One note: Councilmember Addison mentions cutting some of the non-departmental budget which vibes with the stricter guidelines (RES. 2017-R076 (PDF)) Councilmember Larson proposed the other day. If you’re a small non-profit who relies on the City for a big chunk for your funding, I’d expect some changes in how that whole process works.

This piece by Jonathan Spiers in Richmond BizSense on the possible expansion of the Manchester Historic District is super interesting. I learned a ton of new details, but it still sounds like things sit in limbo until September when the State will decide what they’ll do.

Moving further south, Wyatt Gordon writing for Richmond Magazine, has a great look at what’s going on in Chesterfield County along Jeff Davis Highway. You’ve heard me talk about the lack of public transportation along that corridor before, but, like Gordon says, there’s really a lack of all sorts of infrastructure. The County’s recently adopted Northern Jefferson Davis Special Area Plan hopes to address some of those issues (although is mostly silent on public transportation).

If you’re not at the bike lane meeting tonight, consider joining the ACLU of Virginia and the Islamic Center of Virginia for a public forum on Trump’s recently upheld Muslim ban. That event takes place at the Islamic Center of Virginia (1241 Buford Road) at 6:00 PM.

There’s a new episode of the Sam and Ross Like Things podcast to which you can listen! On this episode we get into podcasts (how meta) and coffee (how delicious). Download and subscribe!


  • Squirrels leashed the Yard Goats, 5-4, and close out that series tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Nats fight the Phils tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's patron longread

Targeted: A Family and the Quest to Stop the Next School Shooter

From Patron Caitlyn. This is awful. You know what works better than trying to Minority Report our children? Getting rid of guns.

In the Portland area alone, more than 300 students underwent formal threat assessments this school year. Oregon’s largest school district, Portland Public Schools, recently hired a threat assessment coordinator. The protocols were created to intercept school shooters before they act, but school officials can use assessments to intervene whenever they suspect a student may harm someone.

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

Good morning, RVA: Brook Road bike lane thoughts, a meeting for justice, and the end of RVA Transit Week

Good morning, RVA: Redistricting, HIV testing, and public bus art