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

Good morning, RVA: More apartments, an idea about parking, and headline semantics

Good morning, RVA! It's 63 °F, and today you can expect another round of excellent temperatures in the low 80s. Sounds great!

Water cooler

A group of Richmond Times-Dispatch reporters has a long piece on the background of the man who drove the tank through town. My favorite part of the article is when they explain who the Wu-Tang Clan is.

I’m calling both of these new residential projects Transit-Oriented Development. The first, at 3022 W. Broad Street, sits adjacent to the Pulse and will bring 166 more units to Scott’s Addition. They’re planning on providing slightly more than one parking space per unit (but the parking is hidden and underground!), which I think they could drop even further and everyone would still somehow survive. The second, in Manchester right off of the new #1 route (PDF), will add 151 apartments plus “13,270 square feet of retail and restaurant space.” Also, it sounds like they’re looking to bring a grocery store to the area? It’s almost like Manchester is it’s own dang town over there!

If you’ll allow me, I want to go on a slight parking tangent. Scott’s Addition and Manchester are both fairly industrial areas that are adding tons of humans, retail, and commercial space but still lack some of the basic things that make a good neighborhood—like sidewalks and street lights. What if—and believe me, this is a big what if—we created Parking Benefit Districts (PDF) in these areas? Basically, we charge enough for parking so that there’s always a couple of spaces open (aka way more than what we’re charging now so folks choose to walk, bike, or bus instead) and use the resulting revenue to pay for things like sidewalks and streetlights. It’s a market-driven approach that scratches a lot of my transit itches while also generating revenue for important neighborhood projects. Let me know your thoughts and feelings!

From WTVR, “Drive strikes pedestrian on Mechanicsville Turnpike.” These are exactly the right words to use when describing something like this—they avoided both the word “accident” and anthropomorphizing the car as something that can steer itself into a person. For an unfortunate counter example of the latter, WRIC says “Juvenile struck by vehicle while biking outside of Midlothian High School.”

RVAHub has this year’s Movies in the Park calendar and, whoadang, that’s quite a list of films!


  • Squirrels beat Trenton, 5-1, and finish up that series tonight at 7:00 PM. They’ll return home to the Diamond tomorrow.
  • Nats dropped 11 on Tampa Bay in an 11-2 win.
  • Caps head into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight at 8:00 PM. Washington leads the series against Las Vegas, 3-1.

This morning's patron longread

The City of Coordinated Leisure

From Patron Sam comes this lovely science fiction short story by Cory Doctorow. I’m into folks imagining how technology is not the worst thing to ever happen to humanity.

When the parrots of Burbank, California, started screaming before the sun rose, you knew it was gonna be a hot one. Today was Wednesday, and for three mornings in a row, the parrots had roosted in the giant Australian eucalyptus outside Arturo’s bedroom window, screaming the sun into the sky at 5:00 a.m., a flock of green Amazonian complainers voicing their discontent with the world and the foolish, blazing orb it insisted on orbiting. It was only March, but Burbank was baking: Three days in a row it had hit 120 degrees by noon, and Roosevelt Elementary kept its kids indoors—even fifth-graders like Arturo. Blinds drawn, the teachers reminded you and reminded you to drink water and slather on sunscreen, squawking like parrots. Parents met their kids at the school gate with parasols and solar-powered mister fans filled with ice water that they spritzed themselves with while slow-walking home, not tempting sunstroke. “Day three,” Arturo whispered, and bounded out of bed.

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Good morning, RVA: Unsolved murders, scooters, and GO CAPS!

Good morning, RVA: A tank, some testing irregularities, and a land purchase