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

Good morning, RVA: Bolts, too much parking, and a side hustle opportunity

Good morning, RVA! It's 70 °F, and, dang, yesterday was sweaty. Today, however, you should expect highs in the mid 70s—which is plenty less sweaty. To make up for any potential lack of body moisture, there’s an ever-increasing chance of rain until this evening.

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting a murder that occurred on Wednesday night. Officers arrived at the 3200 block of Stockton Street and found Leroy Williams, III, 26, shot to death.

It is official! Bolt scooters are on the ground in Richmond at this very moment. You could be riding one right now—maybe you are. You can also find video of yesterday’s short media event over on Streets Cred in addition to a gif I made of the Mayor riding a scooter for the first time in his life. I’ve advocated for Richmond to allow scooters for almost an entire year at this point, and it’s kind of wild to see them finally on the streets. Part of the reason I think cities investing in micomobility is so important, is that devices like scooters and e-bikes can connect folks to places that are hard or unpleasant to transit, bike, and walk. But, in order to do that, scooters need to end up in those places and can’t just be clustered in Carytown, the Fan, Scott’s Addition, and Downtown. Bolt said outloud at yesterday’s event that they have comitted to deploying 35% of its 500-vehicle fleet into lower-income neighborhoods. I’m not sure how they decide what that means or where those scooters should go, but it’s something I’m definitely going to keep an eye on.

What the heck is this all about: J. Elias O’Neal at Richmond BizSense says the Sauers are swapping out plans for a 10-story apartment building and six-level parking garage for a four-story office building and five-level parking deck? First, way, way too much parking at a site that was literally gifted a Pulse station. Second, we need MORE places for folks to live near transit not FEWER. Third, 800 parking spaces?? Disappointed.

Greater Greater Washington—a blog that covers urban issues like transportation, land use, sustainability, and housing in D.C.—wants to find and pay a Richmond correspondent. I’m definitely of the opinion that it can and should be a sidehustle for some reader of Good Morning, RVA. I’m also so fascinated with the GGWash model: A 501(c)(4) nonprofit news organization that does advocacy work plus endorses candidates in local and state-level races.

This thread on /r/rva got me thinking: What are your favorite Brutalist buildings in Richmond? Last winter, I fell in love with Boston’s brütal City Hall, and I’d love to hear about some of your favorites in our own town. The Monroe Building is probably the most visible, but what are some hidden gems?

I saw lots of internet folks complaining about the mysterious and incessant train horning in the middle of the night on Tuesday. Scott Wise at WTVR did some sleuthing and has the unfortunately-mundane answer: “The horn noise was the result of a train horn valve that was malfunctioning and has been fixed so that it is now operating properly.” Booooooring.

I...do not know what is happening in this piece from Karri Peifer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch about what I think is a new bar? Here’s a short excerpt: “The first concepts are: Switch Pop-Up Bar presents: The Rabbit Glass, an Alice in Wonderland-themed bar upstairs, and then visitors can go ‘down the rabbit hole’ to Switch Pop-Up Bar presents: Back In '93, a 1993-themed concept with period music to match.” The co-owner says they “wanted to create an ultra romp.” I am an old person and clearly not the target demographic for an ultra romp, but, since it sounds like the themes will change pretty regularly, someone let me know whenever they decided to do Back In ‘94—which is unarguably the best year in American music.

Tonight, from 4:00–9:00 PM, Art 180 will host their 15th annual Really Big Show. They’re shutting down parts of Brook Road and Marshall Street in Jackson Ward to drivers so folks can celebrate and share art made by some of Richmond’s amazing youth. Streets are for people! You can check out the full schedule here.

This morning's longread

Dear map people

Not a very long longread, but one I agree with a ton!

But the end result is the same: bicycle and multimodal routing continues to be a toy, and driving directions keep getting better. We have nearly real-time reports of car crashes so that drivers can shave a few minutes off their commute. Blocked bike lanes are invisible to the system. Even lanes that are redirected into street traffic because of construction that lasts for months – they’re all the same. Google Maps lets you avoid tolls and highways in your car. It sees no difference between a sharrow, a protected bicycle lane, or a so-called bicycle-friendly road.

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Good morning, RVA: Get ready for voting, gun violence laws, and billboards

Good morning, RVA: Scooter day!, Shockoe Valley, and some public meetings