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I hate to say it as I love trolleys but trolleys at this point a trolley-system would be a waste of money without any benefit beyond a tourist attraction. Wheeled-buses do everything a trolley can do with more flexibility and less cost (plus they are already implemented). I do believe we need at least the BRT running prior to 2015 (with hope for later Light-rail as proposed) but will not hold my breath.

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Amtrak just launched Northeast Regional Route 51 operating during commuting hours from Main Street Station to DC's Union Station and onward to Boston.  This route does not continue on to Williamsburg/

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Almost hourly service daily between Richmond and Washington is coming, including to Main Street Station. This is such a HUGE deal for our local economy!!! https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/p

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Trust me, I widely confused and ashamed as the next person. It's easier to tell this city (city council and some citizens) "CATCH A BRICK". Instead, I would like to find a way to bring all these issues to the forefront in the city council public meeting with class and intellect. Currently, I'm doing research from our geographically boundaries, history, failed development plans and much more, so I can summarize it into a essay of some kind. Or it's best if I could just present this information to any of the public figures who works in City Hall so they can possibly handle it ways where I possibly couldn't (though it may take a while because it's a struggle doing this and attending college :yawn: ). I'm not doing a regular study or analysis, but I will gather facts to expose the current situation where dealing with.

I've been interested in Richmond's complicated situation as I grew older. Even though there's TONS more that I can learn about this city, I'm doing baby steps right now.

Here's the thing that bothers me about this region...

1.) Many say that city council is what holds our city from progressing at a faster rate. While I think we should be faster, it's better than nothing at all. At least we know that we are growing.

2.) What kills me it that most of the blame goes to the governments of Henrico, Richmond,and Chesterfield, but forget that OUR OWN CITIZENS hold us back as well because they want to maintain the way of living that Richmond resides in currently ("they" as in whoever considered the stereotype of "old money"), and there is a A LOT in this region that need to be both ADDRESSED and CHANGED.

3.) Many fear economic change because it will destroy the historic fabric of the city. There's a way we can grow visually and conceptually without sacrificing our historical background (if it's pride residing in racial divide to preserve the middle class just to group the poor, the flight to counties and considering ourselves still as the "Capital of the Confederacy", that we can do way with because that's part of our problem).

3.) Lack of social concerns considering poverty, segregated divide between certain areas, lack of transportation alternatives, corrupted school system in the ENTIRE region, lack of ethnic and minority input, lack of progress in underdeveloped areas that needs the most attention than other areas *East End, Highland Park, Southside, Manchester, Church Hill, Jackson Ward AND GILPIN COURT comes to mind* ignorance of leadership in all areas of the region and last but not least...Independent City-County Structure.

4.)Yet. Why is it that many of our economic situations comes to do this independent city-county structure? Actually, has this even been addressed in public meetings? It's one of the many reason why we can't get many of our projects (including transportation) completed is because the lack of regional cooperation. This needs to be addressed NOW.

There's more that I can say, but I getting off topic about what this thread is about. This my two-cent rant, I apologize. THANKS for welcoming me. For over a year (in a half, I believe), I've read this board as was inspired. It made me have a reason for my input on what this city should bring because our standards are LOW. Anyway, I still feel we need a trolley system and other form of rapid transit system since we have minimal evidence of becoming a "global city" and if Mayor Jones wants us to become a "tier one" city. If we are going to broadcast our city in 2015, then we need to do some tier one thinking then. No "IF's, AND's or BUT'S".

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Trust me, I widely confused and ashamed as the next person. It's easier to tell this city (city council and some citizens) "CATCH A BRICK". Instead, I would like to find a way to bring all these issues to the forefront in the city council public meeting with class and intellect. Currently, I'm doing research from our geographically boundaries, history, failed development plans and much more, so I can summarize it into a essay of some kind. Or it's best if I could just present this information to any of the public figures who works in City Hall so they can possibly handle it ways where I possibly couldn't (though it may take a while because it's a struggle doing this and attending college :yawn: ). I'm not doing a regular study or analysis, but I will gather facts to expose the current situation where dealing with.

I've been interested in Richmond's complicated situation as I grew older. Even though there's TONS more that I can learn about this city, I'm doing baby steps right now.

Here's the thing that bothers me about this region...

1.) Many say that city council is what holds our city from progressing at a faster rate. While I think we should be faster, it's better than nothing at all. At least we know that we are growing.

2.) What kills me it that most of the blame goes to the governments of Henrico, Richmond,and Chesterfield, but forget that OUR OWN CITIZENS hold us back as well because they want to maintain the way of living that Richmond resides in currently ("they" as in whoever considered the stereotype of "old money"), and there is a A LOT in this region that need to be both ADDRESSED and CHANGED.

3.) Many fear economic change because it will destroy the historic fabric of the city. There's a way we can grow visually and conceptually without sacrificing our historical background (if it's pride residing in racial divide to preserve the middle class just to group the poor, the flight to counties and considering ourselves still as the "Capital of the Confederacy", that we can do way with because that's part of our problem).

3.) Lack of social concerns considering poverty, segregated divide between certain areas, lack of transportation alternatives, corrupted school system in the ENTIRE region, lack of ethnic and minority input, lack of progress in underdeveloped areas that needs the most attention than other areas *East End, Highland Park, Southside, Manchester, Church Hill, Jackson Ward AND GILPIN COURT comes to mind* ignorance of leadership in all areas of the region and last but not least...Independent City-County Structure.

4.)Yet. Why is it that many of our economic situations comes to do this independent city-county structure? Actually, has this even been addressed in public meetings? It's one of the many reason why we can't get many of our projects (including transportation) completed is because the lack of regional cooperation. This needs to be addressed NOW.

There's more that I can say, but I getting off topic about what this thread is about. This my two-cent rant, I apologize. THANKS for welcoming me. For over a year (in a half, I believe), I've read this board as was inspired. It made me have a reason for my input on what this city should bring because our standards are LOW. Anyway, I still feel we need a trolley system and other form of rapid transit system since we have minimal evidence of becoming a "global city" and if Mayor Jones wants us to become a "tier one" city. If we are going to broadcast our city in 2015, then we need to do some tier one thinking then. No "IF's, AND's or BUT'S".

Agreed with everything you said except the minimal evidence of global city.

As of now, we are a "Gamma -" world city. Along with Austin, Milwaukee, and Orlando, we make up the only U.S. cities of the gamma minus level, the smallest level of a global city, but it is important that we are even on that exclusive list. We are on the bottom most level, but now, we can build on it. We are right there with cities like Durban, Wellington, Colombo and Marseille. This is the most recent list from GaWC, the "global cities" list coordinator. If you look at the Gamma- level and search a little, you'll find Richmond's name in between Tegucigalpa and Islamabad. But what may shock you is that some of the more deserving cities didn't make the cut, but rather onto the High sufficiency or Low sufficiency levels. There you'll find Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Memphis, San Antonio, and even New Orleans. Still don't believe we are "world class"? Wikipedia has us right there, too. Remember, Gamma- is the bottom most level on this list. But if we can quickly get a move on and build at least a BRT line, and makeover some of the horrid streetscapes that seem neglected or run-down, by the time the 2015 biking races come, we'll be hopefully at "Gamma+" or even "Beta-"....

Here's that official list: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/world2010t.html

And here's Wikipedia's helping hand in proving it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

Now remember, anyone can edit Wikipedia, and it can contain wrong information, but really, if it's anywhere else that no one can edit, especially like the GaWC website, then who's to say we aren't world class? Just remember, we may seem sluggish now, but we will do SOMETHING that will greatly benefit RVA, and in time for the 2015 champs! :D

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" but it is important that we are even on that exclusive list . We are on the bottom most level, but now, we can build on it ". Exactly, we just need to believe in that potential ourselves and don't let others tell us different (whether it be external or internal influences). Others believe that too. Check this out:

http://www.blogger.c...814585601639361

http://www.city-data...d-you-like.html

http://www.city-data...ase-city-4.html

I still say we need to stick with Main Street Station as the multi-modal transportation center for GRTC. But that's just me.

http://www.ridegrtc...._2015/index.asp

Edited by DalWill
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" but it is important that we are even on that exclusive list . We are on the bottom most level, but now, we can build on it ". Exactly, we just need to believe in that potential ourselves and don't let others tell us different (whether it be external or internal influences). Others believe that too. Check this out:

http://www.blogger.c...814585601639361

http://www.city-data...d-you-like.html

http://www.city-data...ase-city-4.html

I still say we need to stick with Main Street Station as the multi-modal transportation center for GRTC. But that's just me.

http://www.ridegrtc...._2015/index.asp

Sadly, the plan will probably be scrapped for the new Shockoe Revitalization Study, which plans on turning that glass and steel shed into a major hub for tourism and visitors center, to be illuminated at night as you pass by it on 95. But that plan is actually a pretty good one, but the main problem is retail with that. Ifwe can rope in Macy's or something, it would be ten times better than a bus transfer center..... but still at this point, and especially for high speed rail or light rail in the future, a transfer center seems like an excellent idea. Here's that new Shockoe study from the city:

http://www.venturerichmond.com/pdfs/Shockoe%20revitalization%20Strategy.pdf

I remember visiting that site you posted from ridegrtc.com almost 2 years ago.... the plans for "2015 & Beyond" seem really exciting, especially the "Vision Rail" part. But we're going to need to see a lot more REGIONAL COOPERATION if we want that to happen. REGIONAL COOPERATION is probably the only thing holding Richmond back from moving forward. (and some of the ancient citizens who still want us to preserve our crumbling, blighted buildings)..... :dontknow:

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" but it is important that we are even on that exclusive list . We are on the bottom most level, but now, we can build on it ". Exactly, we just need to believe in that potential ourselves and don't let others tell us different (whether it be external or internal influences). Others believe that too. Check this out:

http://www.blogger.c...814585601639361

http://www.city-data...d-you-like.html

http://www.city-data...ase-city-4.html

I still say we need to stick with Main Street Station as the multi-modal transportation center for GRTC. But that's just me.

http://www.ridegrtc...._2015/index.asp

Also, speaking of that "My Richmond" blog, I never knew THAT many people believed in RVA and loved it so much! Richmond residents sure have more representation spirit than I thought :thumbsup: I think I'll post my thoughts on that "My Richmond" site :) I'm pretty sure there's more than 500 individual posts for that site. It warms my heart to see that :blush::D

Edit: okay....so there are only 202 posts on there (203 when I post there).... I guess I got a little carried away.... hehe..... :blush: ....

Edited by RVA-Is-The-Best
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  • 2 weeks later...

The train to and from Norfolk is expected to begin running earlier than originally thought. Service may begin by December 31st of 2012.

Since a few minutes have been shaved from the Staples Mill/Main Street Station run it's disappointing that some of the state funds to improve N/S and CSX tracks will not be spent for upgrades south of Main Street Station so that it could be a downtown stop for the new service.

From Peter Bacque in today's RTD:

http://www2.timesdis...ear-ar-1620780/

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The train to and from Norfolk is expected to begin running earlier than originally thought. Service may begin by December 31st of 2012.

Since a few minutes have been shaved from the Staples Mill/Main Street Station run it's disappointing that some of the state funds to improve N/S and CSX tracks will not be spent for upgrades south of Main Street Station so that it could be a downtown stop for the new service.

From Peter Bacque in today's RTD:

http://www2.timesdis...ear-ar-1620780/

Here is a rendering of the Amtrak station now under construction at Harbor Park in Norfolk:

http://www.norfolk.g...ail/default.asp

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  • 4 weeks later...

Recent reports are that some trains on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor in Virginia have moved into the profit column. The round-trip Lynchburg/Charlottesville/DC trains are among them as are the Newport News/DC round-trips (via Main Street Station in downtown Richmond.) It is expected that the Norfolk/DC train (via Staples Mill Station in Richmond) which starts in December of 2012 will also prove to be a profitable run for Amtrak.

Meanwhile, the February 1st, 2012 report on Southeast High Speed Rail between Main Street Station in Richmond and downtown Raleigh has been released.

Warning: It is a long PDF document, but worth the effort and time required to access it.

Scroll down about half way to see maps in Section AA beginning with Exhibit 3.

http://www.sehsr.org/pdf/Report_020712.pdf

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  • 1 month later...

When I boarded northbound train #194 last Sunday in Ashland at 10:10AM, someone who looked like he knew what he was talking about gave me some information:

He said that the new Norfolk to Boston train that will begin by the end of the year will NOT mean an extra departure at Richmond. It will be what is now train #174 leaving Staples Mill at 7AM (7:30AM on weekends.) Its point of origin will be moved from Richmond to Norfolk and its departure from Richmond (Staples Mill) will be 7:35AM (or thereabouts.)

Pity it won't be able to use Main Street Station, but the track south from MSS has not been brought up to passenger train status.

PS: My last two trips to RVA from New York have been to MSS (scheduled arrival 5:12PM -- on time on both trips) and while the trip between Staples Mill and the downtown station is still slow and tedious, it's has improved somewhat. Travel time between the two Richmond stations is 23 minutes for the 10-mile trip.

About 25 riders got off at MSS, and several got on for Williamsburg and Newport News. Also, there was a sizeable number waiting at MSS for northbound departure of train #66 at 6:05PM

PPS: The parking situation at Staples Mill Station is beyond drastic. I drove there in midweek to change my departure in Ashland from Monday to Sunday (which cost me an additional $67) and there was not a single spot available. I had to leave and return in early evening, and it was still packed, but I did manage to find a parking slot.

Like at the airport, people leave their cars in the small-ish lot while traveling.

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Powhite is one step closer to seeing its grand plan of being extended all the way to Hull Street.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/may/27/tdmet01-road-project-to-widen-powhite-parkway-old--ar-1945615/

Old Hundred will be widened from the Powhite terminus at Charter Colony near 288, to Watermill Parkway.

Traffic has been lately congested apparently over there.....

The project will cost $8 million (as said in the article)

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At a meeting in Norfolk yesterday, there were plaintive queries from some Richmonders in attendance over the lack of improvements to Main Street Station rail approaches.

$32 million is budgeted for a new station at Parham Road to replace the one at Staples Mill.

Virginia's spokesperson,Thelma Drake, is quoted in today's Newport News Daily Press as saying "...a high speed rail line from Raleigh to Richmond (and on to DC) could be ready for construction in about a year if money is available."

Suzette Denslow, chief of staff to Mayor Jones asked: "How can you have a capital city to capital city plan that doesn't include the capital city?"

This story is from today's Richmond Times Dispatch:

http://www2.timesdis...spe-ar-1961668/

Edited by burt
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  • 1 month later...

The North Gayton road extension and bridge over Interstate 64 is planned to become a game-changer for the Short Pump area and how it travels.

It is expected to ease traffic at Pouncey Tract & Broad, one of the region's busiest intersections, and one of the car-crash hot spots.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/jul/08/tdmain01-north-gayton-extension-to-transform-short-ar-2041061/

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  • 5 weeks later...

CItizens of Richmond - PLEASE write to your councilpersons demanding more funding be used for street repair. I have traveled to many great cities. And cities our size in particular seem to be investing a great deal in roads and sidewalks. Why can't Richmond? ANd I don't mean the patchwork jobs that I have been seeing ever so often. The ride through Shocoe Bottom and especially down Hull Street is gross.

I will say though, the mixture of people has been outstanding. The city has become much more diverse.

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I posted news about 2BNB (To The Bottom and Back) in another thread.

RVANews has details on the financial plight of the provider. One of the commenters reveals that city regulations prohibit collection of fares by GRTC competitors. Ergo, 2BNB must depend on donations.

I was particularly impressed by another comment under the story by Scott Burger who is a volunteer on City Council's GRTC Task Force. It's long but well worth the read.

From today's RVANews:

http://rvanews.com/n...k-service/64000

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  • 3 weeks later...

An assessment of high-speed rail (90 to 110 mph) has been released for the Richmond/Hampton Roads corridor.

Lord knows if and when high speed will ever happen, but we do know that Norfolk will get one-seat service to Boston (via Petersburg and Richmond) beginning with once-a-day round trip trains (at top speed of 79 mph within Virginia) beginning in December.

Meanwhile, twice-a-day service to and from Newport News will continue.

From today's RTD:

http://www2.timesdis...sed-ar-2170868/

NOTE: The new train service from Norfolk beginning in December does not mean that there will be an additional train at Richmond. The new service is actually the 7AM train currently originating at Richmond's Staples Mill Station. In mid December, it will originate and terminate at Harbor Point Station in Norfolk.

Edited by burt
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An assessment of high-speed rail (90 to 110 mph) has been released for the Richmond/Hampton Roads corridor.

Lord knows if and when high speed will ever happen, but we do know that Norfolk will get one-seat service to Boston (via Petersburg and Richmond) beginning with once-a-day round trip trains (at top speed of 79 mph within Virginia) beginning in December.

Meanwhile, twice-a-day service to and from Newport News will continue.

From today's RTD:

http://www2.timesdis...sed-ar-2170868/

NOTE: The new train service from Norfolk beginning in December does not mean that there will be an additional train at Richmond. The new service is actually the 7AM train currently originating at Richmond's Staples Mill Station. In mid December, it will originate and terminate at Harbor Point Station in Norfolk.

Thats great news for Norfolk and all of Hampton Roads! Now if we can route all the traffic through Downtown Main St Station instead of the Suburban Staples Mill Station.

Edited by calwinston
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This story shows departure and arrival times at Norfolk when service begins in December. Unless Amtrak changes the schedule between now and December, the train will arrive in Richmond Mondays thru Fridays at about 6:50AM and depart Staples Mill at 7AM. Weekend arrivals and departures at Richmond may change slightly.

There are currently 18 weekday arrivals and departures at Richmond -- 4 of which are round-trips to and from Newport News/Williamsburg via Main Street Station.

Six of the 18 total trains are to and from Florida destinations, two serve Carolina and the remaining ten are called Northeast Regionals.

From WVEC in Norfolk:

http://www.wvec.com/news/local/Amtrak-service-to-Norfolk-to-begin-Dec-12-167982246.html

Rail work is still awaiting approval from the busy rail yard near Staples Mill to Main Street Station in Richmond, although travel time on that section has improved by about 5 minutes. The CSX tracks south of MSS for about 10 miles to a junction at Centralia are not up to passenger train standards. That's why the Norfolk train will not serve MSS.

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Rail work is still awaiting approval from the busy rail yard near Staples Mill to Main Street Station in Richmond, although travel time on that section has improved by about 5 minutes. The CSX tracks south of MSS for about 10 miles to a junction at Centralia are not up to passenger train standards. That's why the Norfolk train will not serve MSS.

Didn't a state representative from that district a couple of years ago beg the general assembly for money to improve that segment of railway?

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Didn't a state representative from that district a couple of years ago beg the general assembly for money to improve that segment of railway?

Never mind found the answer to my own question.

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/missing-the-train/Content?oid=1364024

The cost is anywhere in between $122 million and $600 million. Thats a big gap.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2006-02-03/html/E6-1500.htm

Also if it was moved downtown many business travelers going south will use the train.

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Never mind found the answer to my own question.

http://www.styleweek...ent?oid=1364024

The cost is anywhere in between $122 million and $600 million. Thats a big gap.

http://www.gpo.gov/f...tml/E6-1500.htm

Also if it was moved downtown many business travelers going south will use the train.

Another BIG supporter of Main Street Station and high speed rail, until he flipped, was the Congressional Minority Leader of The House. He appeared with local officials, CEO's and other supporters at the station and extolled its beauty and relavence for downtown Richmond.

The $600 Million figure is for the entire upgrading to high(er) speed level from Washington's Union Station to Collier Yard in Petersburg via MSS -- just about all of which would have come from the Feds. Rebuilding the S Line south from Petersburg all the way to Raleigh would be paid through North Carolina's stimulous allotment.

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