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

Good morning, RVA: Scooter ordinance, Monroe Park returns, and ZZQ

Good morning, RVA! It's 73 °F, and today you should expect highs in the mid 80s with a chance of storms this evening.

Water cooler

The Mayor introduced his first take at an ordinance regulating dockless, shareable vehicles (aka scooters and bikes) on Monday, and it finally made its way to legistar for you to download and read (PDF). The regulations require companies to acquire a permit that lasts for one year; set an annual fee of $40,000 for under 100 vehicles; define where users can and cannot park a scooter (17 sub bullets(!) found on p. 6); request applicants to provide a pricing structure for low-income users and a way for bankless customers to use the system; and demand data sharing with the City. I’m pretty pleased with this ordinance and application, and I think its got all the pieces I was after. One weirdness/quibble: The text of the ordinance seems to only allow for 100 vehicles per vendor, while the text of the application allows for tiers of up to 500. 100 is far to few—we’ve probably got more Birds than that on the ground now—and I expect that number to go up as the ordinance winds its way through the legislative process. ORD. 2018-262 will head to the Land Use, Housing and Transportation committee on October 16th.

Hey! Monroe park is now kind of open! I rolled by on a bus yesterday and saw folks tentatively checking it out, and then, by evening, it was full of life again. Welcome back, Park!

Earlier this week, I saw a tweet from Delegate Mullins saying he’d investigate a policy from the state Department of Corrections that prohibited women from using tampons and menstrual cups during visitations. That, of course, is incredibly bad and offensive policy, and it didn’t take long for Secretary of Health and Human Services Brian Moran to order its immediate suspension. I don’t know who all thought this whole thing would be a good idea, but, were there any women involved? It really seems like a policy crafted in an environment completely devoid of empathy.

A couple days ago, Richmond BizSense had some interesting news about Henrico possibly redeveloping the area directly west of Scott’s Addition. There was even mention of transit and creating a more straightforward street grid—I mean, look at the current state of affairs, it’s not great. But then, today, I read this from C. Suarez Rojas in the Richmond Times-Dispatch 💸 and its all parking lots, parking decks, and developers asking to keep the existing, nonsensical street layout. Boooo!

There’s a really uninformed and condescending editorial in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about bike lanes that’s made me real mad. I’m not going to link to it, but just know it’s out there, and they’re out there influencing thousands of people with their uninformed garbagewords.

The 2018 Richmond Folk Festival schedule is live! Check it out, and start planning your October 12th through 14th.

We already knew this, but the Washington Post realized that the brisket from ZZQ is transcendent.

P.S. Tonight’s Richmond 300 meeting takes place at the Hotchkiss Community Center on the Northside (701 E. Brookland Park Boulevard) from 6:00–8:30 PM.

This morning's longread

The Most Promising Migraine Drug in Years Is Being Held Hostage by Our Healthcare Dystopia

I get migraines only very rarely and cannot imagine a life—with no real treatment—filled with the daily threat of debilitating pain.

Our healthcare system throws up barrier after barrier at migraine patients, most of all the low-income ones. Migraines are already widely misunderstood, discouraging people, especially women, from seeking care. If you have insurance, you have to jump through hoops to get the drugs you need, and if your insurance company doesn’t cover them, you’ll have to pay the sticker price. You might have to pay high co-pays to see a specialist and meet high deductibles to pay for tests. If you don’t have insurance, you might not be able to afford to see a primary care doctor. You also might live far away from a neurologist and, being poor, be less likely to have access to a car, or time to to go and see one. There are so many things that make it harder when your life is already dominated by these violent headaches.

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Good morning, RVA: Goodbye museum, Chamberlayne apartments, and beards

Good morning, RVA: Public art, new apartments, and Bob Woodward