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

Good morning, RVA: Park(ing) Day, and a bunch of other stories I make relate to transportation

Good morning, RVA! It's 70 °F, and it looks like another day with another set of good weather ahead of us. Do expect a few more clouds than yesterday, though.

Water cooler

Yesterday, the Mayor announced he’d submit an ordinance to City Council proposing free rides on GRTC on Election Day. Reducing the friction that people experience when trying to voting (or you could call it systemic disenfranchisement if you’re feeling even just a little cynical this morning) is excellent. But I’m still kind of blown away that our elected leaders continue to remember that the bus is a thing that exists and a legitimate transportation tool folks across the region can and should use.

Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch says Planned Parenthood will open a second Richmond location in the East End mostly due to how long it takes to get to their West End location for people who don’t have or cannot drive a car. Weird! It’s almost like transportation undergirds every single thing in our lives—from voting to healthcare, and education to jobs. I am, of course, biased and intensely interested in the subject, but still!

Oh now this is interesting: Henrico will look at a plan to update the zoning and infrastructure of the “Westwood area” says Jonathan Spiers at Richmond BizSense. This is the generally industrial wasteland just west of Scott’s Addition—in fact, County Manager John Vithoulkas says they’re thinking of the area as “Scott’s Addition 2.0.” I said hmmmmm to the whole thing because the entire area is inhospitable and impossible to get around in, but then I read this bit: “Silber said efforts also would include adding streets and sidewalks to give the corridor more of a grid block pattern, with smaller blocks and pedestrian connectivity to the bus lines.” Alright, now I’m listening!

The RTD paid to syndicate an article in the Washington Post about a fatal scooter crash in Dallas. I don’t even want to link to it, but will do so with the smallest of possible links. For context, the CDC says 33,700 people died in car crashes in 2015, and, in Richmond, 22 people died last year in car crash.

Today is Park(ing) Day! Drop by the Suntrust building on Main Street and hangout in a reclaimed parking space for a minute. Afterwards, spend some time thinking about where else in the City we can permanently reclaim space from dedicated car storage.

You’ve got two opportunities to attend Richmond 300 open houses in the next couple of days: today in the City Hall lobby from 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM and tomorrow at the Southside Community Services Center (4100 Hull Street Road) from 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM. More info and maps and PDFs and all sorts of things over on the Richmond 300 website.

The folks behind STAY RVA will host a block party at Brewer’s Cafe (1125 Bainbridge) on Saturday from 4:00–7:00 PM. Come for the beer and food trucks, stay to hear what both Superintendent Kamras and Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson have to say.

Northside residents! This is your twice-yearly reminder that NASCAR returns to the Richmond Raceway tonight and tomorrow. If you hear loud, angry, mechanical sounds it’s not an approaching invasion force, just people driving super fast cars for sport.

Remember yesterday’s longread about how humans aren’t ready for Mars and how our entire spacefaring vibe embodies the terrible colonialism that set up parts of Earth to be so broken? Keep that in mind—especially the bits about the words we use to describe space exploration and the unquestioned right we have to strip new worlds of their resources—and watch this short video about building a moon base.

This morning's longread

Boys Aren't Taught To Care About Girls' Suffering

Excellent writing by Shannon Keating in BuzzFeed.

Perhaps some #MeToo’d men and their defenders also believe that their alleged crimes were minor too, if they were crimes at all. At least, they were too minor to warrant anything so severe as an admission of guilt, or an apology, or a proposed commitment to self-betterment — let alone professional or criminal consequences. They’ve pitted their pain from being accused directly against the pain of the women accusing them, and it’s clear whose pain we’re expected to care about more. “I feel sorry for a lot of these men,” wrote Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times, “but I don’t think they feel sorry for women, or think about women’s experience much at all.” Put another way, by writer Heather Havrilesky: “[C]ruel men believe they deserve redemption and eventual exaltation simply because they've suffered. Imagine if women believed that. Imagine if a woman's suffering were even a passing concern.”

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Good morning, RVA: City Council, the Land Trust, and Westhampton School

Good morning, RVA: Lawyers, scooters, and Richmond 300