wrldcoupe4

Richmond Region Transportation

893 posts in this topic

As a Metro area of over 1 million, this is a forum dedicated to Richmond's transporation network, current issues, and its future.

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As a Metro area of over 1 million, this is a forum dedicated to Richmond's transporation network, current issues, and its future.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Good idea wrldcoupe. This is a big issue in any major city. How is traffic in Richmond btw? I don't think i've ever been there when theres a major traffic jam.

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Good idea wrldcoupe. This is a big issue in any major city. How is traffic in Richmond btw? I don't think i've ever been there when theres a major traffic jam.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Traffic in Richmond is absolutely wonderful compared to what you guys have to put up with down in HR. Only real problems are on the Powhite crossing the James River Bridge approaching the Toll Plaza (all the Chesterfield suburbanites entering/leaving downtown) or out on I-95 N at the Atlee/Elmont Interchange when 95 and 295 merge. Outside of highways, Broad St near Short Pump can be a pain at times and so can Midlothian Tpke and Hull St out near the Rt 288 interchange on the southside. The overall road infrastructure in the area is very accomodating though.

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Oh yea... on the southside (Chesterfield), Courthouse Rd at the intersections of Midlothian and Hull is ridiculous.

There may be other areas in the west end like the intersection of parham and patterson. Downtown is usually pretty good though Cary St through Carytown keeps you alert.

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Is there any fixed rail transit (LRT, street cars, trolleys) in Richmond or plans to build one?

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Is there any fixed rail transit (LRT, street cars, trolleys) in Richmond or plans to build one?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Last i heard GRT was looking at implementing a street car system through downtown richmond. I believe they have a little information on their website for the studies that were done and some renderings of the street situations and buildings associated with the project.

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Last i heard GRT was looking at implementing a street car system through downtown richmond.  I believe they have a little information on their website for the studies that were done and some renderings of the street situations and buildings associated with the project.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Richmond was the first city in the world to have an electric streetcar system which it accomplished in 1888. By 1949 though, the city decided to convert everything over to buses. Now there is a resurgence in the call to once again have real streetcars traveling down Richmond's streets. Studies are currently underway as to the feasibility and specific routes that the first new streetcars will have. The plan was to have a circuit up and running by 2007, though I'm not sure it is still on track. They want to first link the CBD, Main st Station, the Convention Center, the Capitol and the VCU area together. The plan would be to eventually expand from there. The terminus of the streetcar system would be main st station which is to becomes Richmond's multimodal transportation center.

Studies have also been done for a regional LRT but I don't think that will happen for another 10 years or so. However, if gas prices continue to climb, it might become a different story. The first step in Regional transportation alternatives was the reopening of Main St. Station. As service expands there, the Bus Stations currently on the Boulevard near the Diamond will be relocated to next to MSS. There also talk of linking MSS with the Richmond International Airport with a high speed rail link.

I'll try to post some images of the proposed new streetcar routes.

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Given Richmond's strong amount of history and historic sites, I think a streetcar would be perfect for it. And since Richmond was where the first electric streetcar operated in regular service, it could have some real historical significance. I really hope it happens. With all that's going on there now, this could be one more project in Richmond's renewal.

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I agree, given Richmond's history, a streetcar system running through town would be very popular. Would the city have to reconstruct most of the tracks from scratch? I heard a while back that Birmingham, AL is going to dig up theres, since they just paved over them and never tore them up.

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Most of Richmond's have just been paved over too...in fact when Gaston came through and a road near Oregon hill was washed out, the tracks became visible...not sure exactly what the studies will decide though. The new routes might differ from the old ones. It would be nice to restore portions of the original grid if only for the historical aspect.

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Speaking of a streetcar system, this was in the Richmond Times-Dispatch from a while back. This is only one possibility and the actual plans may differ from this. Apparently the routes have changed kind of frequently.

152e72f1.gif

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I hope it happens. Richmond would benefit from an historic streetcar system. They got companies out there like Gomaco that have building historic streetcars for places like Charlotte, Memphis, Little Rock AR, Lowell MA and Denver. It worked there. It can work in Richmond too.

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I also think a non-electric light rail system - like the River Line from Trenton to Camden, NJ - would work in Richmond. The good thing about it is that you don't have to splurge for overhead electric wires and power substations.

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Out of curiosity, is VDOT ever planning of extending the Powhite west of Old Hundred Road? If so, would it terminate at US 360?

Ive used US 360 between Richmond and Greensboro and i find it to be an excellent alternative over I-85.

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Out of curiosity, is VDOT ever planning of extending the Powhite west of Old Hundred Road? If so, would it terminate at US 360?

Ive used US 360 between Richmond and Greensboro and i find it to be an excellent alternative over I-85.

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The next phase calls for extending it to US360/ Hull St. Two groups submitted proposals this past year to win contracts to begin work on the extension, however, VDOT said the proposals were inadequate and that they needed to reapply. The extension will not be done by VDOT it will be outsourced. Another toll will be added to the extension as well. The developers of Magnolia Green want the extension to move forward soon to help accomodate the population increases associated with their 5000 home development. When Magnolia Green is built out, it will be the largest planned community in Virginia. The long term plan for Powhite is for it to extend all the way to I-95.

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Something I didnt know...there is a planned Airport connector that will link the new Pocahontas Parkway I-895 (which links Chesterfield County with Eastern Henrico County From Chippenham Parkway to I-295) with the Airport...

The Pocahontas Parkway has now been open to traffic for almost a year and thousands of motorists are discovering the eight-mile and 12-minute time savings offered by a one-way trip on the new river crossing.  Meanwhile, efforts to save motorists additional time are progressing in earnest.  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has given the green light - and the greenbacks - for the next step of the parkway's evolution, the final design and the purchase of right of way for the Airport Connector.

The Airport Connector is a 1.6-mile roadway that will connect Route 895 one-third of a mile west of Monahan Road to Airport Drive near its intersection with Charles City Road in Henrico County.  The four-lane, limited access roadway will provide a direct connection from Route 895 to Richmond International Airport.  This will significantly reduce the amount of time motorists need to get to the airport when traveling from Chesterfield County and the Petersburg area.  It will also relieve congestion on Laburnum Avenue and enhance economic development in Eastern Henrico.

The Pocahontas Parkway Association and VDOT are working together to identify funding alternatives to finance the completion of the Connector.  Meanwhile, VDOT has entered into an agreement with FD/MK to complete certain preliminary engineering portions of the Airport Connector.  Completion of these steps is necessary before any construction on the highway can begin.

VDOT has provided $6.3 million for the completed design and acquisition of right of way for the Airport Connector.  This includes the purchase of five residencies and one business.  VDOT is also providing other funding for a project to reopen Britton Road to through traffic.

This link contains this as well as a map of the proposed connector.

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Powhite Parkway thread has been merged with Richmond Region Transportation.

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What do you guys think.... Could Richmond support a regional light rail system within the next 5-10 years?

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What do you guys think.... Could Richmond support a regional light rail system within the next 5-10 years?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think Richmond can. It just that we need either a private company come in and do it (or GRTC receive some money to do it) or the local governments will have to come together and do it. I especially think that LR routes from Short Pump to downtown to the airport and from Hull St./Midloathian area to downtown would be the best routes that would be the most successful. Still, we have to convience the average Richmonder that it is better to take public transportation as opposed to driving their cars everywhere.

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I think Richmond can.  It just that we need either a private company come in and do it (or GRTC receive some money to do it) or the local governments will have to come together and do it.  I especially think that LR routes from Short Pump to downtown to the airport and from Hull St./Midloathian area to downtown would be the best routes that would be the most successful.  Still, we have to convience the average Richmonder that it is better to take public transportation as opposed to driving their cars everywhere.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here is a great map for trying to look at the region as a whole: TD Preps Map

I'd like to see somewhere near Main St station if not Main St Station be the Main "central" Station. What do you think would be some viable routes? What about river crossings?

Should it be a separate system from the downtown streetcar system?

Edited by wrldcoupe4

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Here is a great map for trying to look at the region as a whole: TD Preps Map

I'd like to see somewhere near Main St station if not Main St Station be the Main "central" Station. What do you think would be some viable routes? What about river crossings?

Should it be a separate system from the downtown streetcar system?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I do think that there should be a separate LR system from the streetcar system. I think that that streetcar system should be independent and used for traversing just the downtown area with connections to a station or stations with the light rail system. I would love to see a river crossing (coming from the Hull St./Midloathian area) at one of the old Civil War river crossings (you know, one that is modern, but designed after one of the old river crossings that served Richmond back in the day). Main Street Station would be an excellent place to have both the street car system and the light rail system connected. Maybe even have the light rail station underneath the ground (even under MSS itself) so that one could connect to either the streetcar system (above ground), a bus (whenever the buses start operating from there), or continue on the light rail system to the airport where one can catch a flight to anywhere in the world. That would be the ideal situation I think, but gee, that is going to take a lot to get done considering where Richmond sits right now as far as a comprehensive regional public transportation city. I think it might be a very long time before we see something like this, but I hope it's not too far in the distant future.

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That is why the streetcar should come first. Perhaps it can be several lines that converge in downtown Richmond. You can then build on the additional ridership that would come from the streetcars.

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That is why the streetcar should come first. Perhaps it can be several lines that converge in downtown Richmond. You can then build on the additional ridership that would come from the streetcars.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

here is the streetcar plan so far which was posted earlier in the thread...

152e72f1.gif It calls for two lines to service the area. Plans would be to expand it after the initial phase. I'll try to get more info.

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Well I hope it happens - it looks like it would be very useful for tourists and people living downtown. Memphis and New Orleans have sucessful streetcar lines and I think Richmond will benefit from the streetcar too.

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