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wrldcoupe4

Richmond Region Transportation

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Needs to be taller, but I think that something should go there in place of the gas station too.  These things will happen as the excitement for the mass transit line builds.  In the RTD today, it said that construction on the line could begin as early as April...that's only 2 months away!  Once dirt starts moving, I think the economic benefits become more apparent.  Here's to hopefully seeing more build-up along this corridor!

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4 minutes ago, hikendesign said:

Had mentioned this in an earlier post when the BRT was being discussed.  I look forward to parking near Willow Lawn and grabbing the line and heading into the city instead of driving and parking downtown.  I see using this for home games at the Siegel Center and avoiding the added leg of the drive trying to park.  Has extra parking been planned near Willow Lawn for this purpose or will people be parking at Willow Lawn and jumping on?

I believe there is currently no extra parking planned.  The lack of a "park and ride" lot was one of the criticisms I heard against the proposal.

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15 hours ago, RVA-Is-The-Best said:

PASSED.

7-1, 1 abstention. The line of speakers in support apparently extended out of the building. Well done, RVA.

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CityLogoTwitter_bigger.jpgCity of Richmond, VA@CityRichmondVA

Richmond City Council just passed BRT project 7-1, with 1 abstention. #RVACouncil @GrtcPulse #RVABRT

 
8:11 PM - 8 Feb 2016
 
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Yay!! Finally out first rapid transit system. Hopefully this leads to commuter rail branching out to short pump, midlothian, the airport and Petersburg.

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13 minutes ago, blopp1234 said:

Yay!! Finally out first rapid transit system. Hopefully this leads to commuter rail branching out to short pump, midlothian, the airport and Petersburg.

To me, this is the crucial point. One line is good as a starter (testing the waters, per se, think Tide in Norfolk), but a truly regional system should eventually be considered if we want to wean our dependency off of cars and encourage alternate modes of transportation. Any major area would usually have an airport link on its network, so I think that should be prioritized in Phase 2. 

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I think extending the line southbound down 301 and Jeff Davis highway to reach people who actually NEED reliable transportation should be a much higher priority than the airport.  Most folks don't arrive in a new city and look to hop on a bus, no matter how nice it is.  

 

10 minutes ago, RVA-Is-The-Best said:

To me, this is the crucial point. One line is good as a starter (testing the waters, per se, think Tide in Norfolk), but a truly regional system should eventually be considered if we want to wean our dependency off of cars and encourage alternate modes of transportation. Any major area would usually have an airport link on its network, so I think that should be prioritized in Phase 2. 

 

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49 minutes ago, jbjust said:

I think extending the line southbound down 301 and Jeff Davis highway to reach people who actually NEED reliable transportation should be a much higher priority than the airport.  Most folks don't arrive in a new city and look to hop on a bus, no matter how nice it is.  

I agree, however the capital required to extend to Jefferson Davis is going to be significant.  I don't know how long it will be before we can get another grant to initiate that drive.

A transit to the airport would help connect more people to jobs and is a viable option for regional cooperation.

Unless the demographics of the suburbs change because of gentrification in Richmond, they're going to continue to fight tooth and nail against any regional transit.

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I just looked at some stats and realized if the pulse is a success, we could see serious commuter rail proposals in less than 15 years. Richmond could start a commuter rail trend in midsized US cities. When looking online, I found at that alberquerque,NM has commuter rail. How, I don't even know but if they can have it and it is somewhat successful(which some how it is!), then why shouldn't RVA and Hampton have it? If the city and surrounding counties cooperated(probably will never happen:( ) then we could se successful commuter rail lines throughout the metro region and the Hampton roads metro?

here is the link to the NM commuter rail site

http://www.nmrailrunner.com

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Approval of this is good news, while not perfect it should be a good first step! Eventual conversion to a light rail system would be great - could even be designed as a throwback to Richmond's history as the worlds first electric trolley system (I still cant believe they burned all the original trolleys). I do think step two of this is a redesign of the rest of the routes to maximize efficiency and connectivity to this new "spine". I definitely see this thing generating new ridership (and development all along the corrider). Then build from there -would be great to see something running out to the airport! (as well as the counties). Meanwhile, there's still lots of room for development around Rocketts Landing (and the greater Fulton area), still buildings going up in the bottom, new vitality (and room to grow) along Broad from 5th west to VCU (both on the Grace Street side and Jackson Ward), an amazing redo of Broad and Belvidere, Still parcels available west of there, the big mixed-use Sauers development, then Scotts Addition, then even more dev opportunities before getting to Willow Lawn and the huge Libbie Place mixed use development. This can only help the momentum. I thought for a minute there that they were going to delay/kill the project, glad they pulled it off!

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Since the Pulse demonstrates that Richmond is finally looking towards transportation alternatives, I am curious as to what the board thinks of banning private cars from a few city streets.  Grace from the capitol to Belvidere seems like an interesting option (especially with the Pulse a block away), as well as Cary from Nansemond to Boulevard.  Many cities globally have down this with great results.  Oslo is even phasing out cars by 2019.  While going that far is probably not in RVA's foreseeable future, I would like to see a Richmond that emphasizes alternative modes of transportation.

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As much as I want Carytown to be carless, it won't happen until we have better transit, some gentrification, and a larger population that can support carytown without people from the counties.  

If we wanted to close a street down, I think we should do it downtown and on a large hill that we can provide a escalator of sorts to help people getting up the hill on bikes.  When cycling for fun, I love climbing hills.  When cycling to meet a date or go to the bar, I don't want to be out of breath and sweaty.  I think something like that would really help with casual cycling downtown.

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Cary Street is a critical throughfare, I just don't see it being practical on a street that is so busy. I'm not opposed to trying something like Cville has somewhere like a few blocks of Grace Street downtown, keeping cross streets open. Global cities have different mindsets to Americans about city centres. Nordic countries are wayyyy more progressive on most issues than the US. I think mindsets have to evolve further about the relationship to the automobile for mobility further before it's viable. Plus, apparently the transportation funding the city receives is based upon the number of lane miles. If you close streets you remove lane miles, which could reduce funding (this came up in the conversations about eliminating travel lanes for creating dedicated bike lanes). Given the condition of the roads, I don't really want to imagine that situation. .

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Disappointingly I do not see a way to redirect Eastbound traffic from Cary St. in order to pull that off where Grace St. has other options.  I would love to see the Carytown street parking relocated to larger parking decks and the sidewalks widened + bike lanes to replace.  This would create a better and safer flow for car, bike and pedestrian traffic while including some of the advantages to a full pedestrian-oriented area. 

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All this talk of closing roads had me thinking......(this may sound insane)what if the city closed canal st from 2nd to 10th? This may seem crazy but hear me out. Downtown RVA around kanawha is notorious for being a poor zone for pedestrians and has hardly my street activity. A solution I found was to close canal from 2nd to 10th and cap the downtown expressway up to 2nd. The current canal street would be turned into a pedestrian walkway(maybe with a streetcar) Linking the CBD to the kanawha greenway(located over downtown expressway) increasing walk ability throughout the CBD and it would make kanawha plaza and the greenway a major gathering place in the city. In order to achieve this, the city would need to make Cary and Byrd st into 2 way streets, also there would need to be modifications to the CBD interchange and the Manchester bridge, however, in my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons because it would finally make the CBD walkable. just an idea I had to help make the CBD more walkable and increase activity in kanawha plaza.

Edited by blopp1234

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If you close Canal from 10th to 2nd, you eliminate a major entry point to the downtown expressway. 2-way Byrd is problematic again because of the downtown expressway off and on ramps.

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27 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

If you close Canal from 10th to 2nd, you eliminate a major entry point to the downtown expressway. 2-way Byrd is problematic again because of the downtown expressway off and on ramps.

I realize this so I drew up some plans...

image.thumb.jpg.c4bdb88db6a789420de042c7

This shows the Manchester bridge entrance to the CBD. The entrance would be similar to the traffic pattern that the Manchester bridge used to be when it hit downtown. 8th street would become the southbound lanes of the bridge and the current northbound lanes would stay the same.

image.thumb.jpg.46e1380b622eeb4cd49c7a1a

As for access to downtown, the on and off ramps would be moved back to the VCU/Monroe ward interchange and the 2 way street issue wouldn't affect it because the traffic heading west would cross over to where canal would pick up again. This would still allow for easy access to downtown.

image.thumb.jpg.d92cd570cebfab1871c3728e

Byrd would be designed similar to an avenue, with 3 lanes of traffic on each side with a 3-5 foot median and turn lanes. At 3rd street, the traffic heading west will branch off and rejoin what is now canal street at what is now the intersection of 2nd and canal. This will solve the interchange problem. 

sorry about the low quality images.

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23 hours ago, Steve_ said:

Approval of this is good news, while not perfect it should be a good first step! Eventual conversion to a light rail system would be great - could even be designed as a throwback to Richmond's history as the worlds first electric trolley system (I still cant believe they burned all the original trolleys).

I think the best thing to do in Richmond's case will be to stick to BRT rather than trying to build a light rail system.  The reason is that you could probably build a BRT system that encompasses the entire region for roughly the same price tag as a light rail line between Short Pump and Downtown.  That is what this region should strive for-reliable rapid transit reaching nearly all major destinations in the region (Short Pump, Stony Point, Midlothian, VCU, Downtown, Rocketts Landing, Airport, etc) such that one could feasibly live carless in RVA. 

One thing I do hate about Pulse is the fact that along much of its route it really won't be BRT at all, but rather just a differently branded standard bus service.  I think if the city is going to commit to this, they should go all-in to create a system that predominately adheres to Gold Standard design principles set forth by the IDTP such as dedicated bus lanes everywhere but downtown and signal preemption.  Additionally, I think they should use hybrid articulated buses like some of the DC metro buses.  In short, I think the Pulse should be so unique, that it shares almost nothing in common with GRTC buses.

On 2/9/2016 at 5:33 PM, blopp1234 said:

I just looked at some stats and realized if the pulse is a success, we could see serious commuter rail proposals in less than 15 years. Richmond could start a commuter rail trend in midsized US cities. When looking online, I found at that alberquerque,NM has commuter rail. How, I don't even know but if they can have it and it is somewhat successful(which some how it is!), then why shouldn't RVA and Hampton have it? If the city and surrounding counties cooperated(probably will never happen:( ) then we could se successful commuter rail lines throughout the metro region and the Hampton roads metro?

here is the link to the NM commuter rail site

http://www.nmrailrunner.com

I think commuter rail is a great idea for this region, especially if the final decision on HSR determines Main Street Station to be the primary stop for intercity rail.  If MSS becomes the primary stop for HSR, then the entire route from Ashland to Downtown (and all the way south to 288 I believe) will be triple tracked.  If CSX, the city, and Amtrak could work out a deal in which Amtrak and Commuter Rail trains would have priority use for the S-Line  (from 288 to Acca Yard) in exchange for removing Amtrak trains from the A-Line (from 288-Acca Yard) and the entire route was triple-tracked from Ashland to 288 and then double-tracked south to Petersburg, Richmond would be in a prime position to launch rush hour one-way commuter rail service from Ashland to MSS and Petersburg to MSS. 

Additionally, I think the city should pursue a high-speed rush hour commuter rail link between Washington and Downtown Richmond.  I understand to some extent this will be covered by the HSR service provided by Amtrak once the line is built, but I am thinking more along the lines of a 90+ MPH hourly transit service connecting the two cities with limited stops (say Ashland, Fredericksburg, Stafford/Quantico, Alexandria) rather than the typical infrequent intercity travel service that Amtrak provides.  That way people could feasibly live in Richmond and commute to DC for work or vice versa.

On a separate note, I would really like to see the Chicago to Charlottesville Amtrak route extended to Hampton Roads via Richmond.

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7 hours ago, cltbwimob said:

I think the best thing to do in Richmond's case will be to stick to BRT rather than trying to build a light rail system.  The reason is that you could probably build a BRT system that encompasses the entire region for roughly the same price tag as a light rail line between Short Pump and Downtown.  That is what this region should strive for-reliable rapid transit reaching nearly all major destinations in the region (Short Pump, Stony Point, Midlothian, VCU, Downtown, Rocketts Landing, Airport, etc) such that one could feasibly live carless in RVA. 

One thing I do hate about Pulse is the fact that along much of its route it really won't be BRT at all, but rather just a differently branded standard bus service.  I think if the city is going to commit to this, they should go all-in to create a system that predominately adheres to Gold Standard design principles set forth by the IDTP such as dedicated bus lanes everywhere but downtown and signal preemption.  Additionally, I think they should use hybrid articulated buses like some of the DC metro buses.  In short, I think the Pulse should be so unique, that it shares almost nothing in common with GRTC buses.

I think commuter rail is a great idea for this region, especially if the final decision on HSR determines Main Street Station to be the primary stop for intercity rail.  If MSS becomes the primary stop for HSR, then the entire route from Ashland to Downtown (and all the way south to 288 I believe) will be triple tracked.  If CSX, the city, and Amtrak could work out a deal in which Amtrak and Commuter Rail trains would have priority use for the S-Line  (from 288 to Acca Yard) in exchange for removing Amtrak trains from the A-Line (from 288-Acca Yard) and the entire route was triple-tracked from Ashland to 288 and then double-tracked south to Petersburg, Richmond would be in a prime position to launch rush hour one-way commuter rail service from Ashland to MSS and Petersburg to MSS. 

Additionally, I think the city should pursue a high-speed rush hour commuter rail link between Washington and Downtown Richmond.  I understand to some extent this will be covered by the HSR service provided by Amtrak once the line is built, but I am thinking more along the lines of a 90+ MPH hourly transit service connecting the two cities with limited stops (say Ashland, Fredericksburg, Stafford/Quantico, Alexandria) rather than the typical infrequent intercity travel service that Amtrak provides.  That way people could feasibly live in Richmond and commute to DC for work or vice versa.

On a separate note, I would really like to see the Chicago to Charlottesville Amtrak route extended to Hampton Roads via Richmond.

I think that the commuter rail from Petersburg to Ashland would be a very good idea. There is also the Norfolk southern line on the south side that leads to midlothian. That line would probably be the most successful if they do it right. The city would have to jack up the tolls on the powhite and make trains go up to 70mph. However, with all the people in midlothian and the inevitable overcrowding of the powhite, commuter rail could be very successful. Also, I like the idea of linking DC to RVA with a high speed rail line. It would be nice if it would allow travel from downtown to DC in less than 1hour.

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Found this nice profile of one of the hidden gems in Richmond - the Cannon Creek Greenway (with pictures) Planning is underway for a similar scheme along Reedy Creek on the southside. The City wants to eventually connect these off-street cycling/pedestrian paths to the James River Park System.

http://rebuildingtherustbelt.org/2015/06/12/a-protptypical-american-cycle-path-the-cannon-creek-greenway/

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14 hours ago, vaceltic said:

Found this nice profile of one of the hidden gems in Richmond - the Cannon Creek Greenway (with pictures) Planning is underway for a similar scheme along Reedy Creek on the southside. The City wants to eventually connect these off-street cycling/pedestrian paths to the James River Park System.

http://rebuildingtherustbelt.org/2015/06/12/a-protptypical-american-cycle-path-the-cannon-creek-greenway/

That's a great project.  Hopefully, the metro area will build more of these.  A metro-wide integrated greenway network would be a major quality of life/city increase that binds together previously separate neighborhoods.  Henrico needs to get on board.

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It would be so easy for Chesterfield to do a dedicated/protected bike lane all the way down Robious Road from Bon Air, which would really inject some life into the neighborhood.  Chesterfieldians seem to be anti-anything except a car, though. 

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I came across RVA Transit Vision today, which I thought other people on here might enjoy.


They have a good video


It's pretty encouraging to see RVA's views shifting, if you're like me and hoping that the city will become less car-centric.

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1 hour ago, RiverYuppy said:

I came across RVA Transit Vision today, which I thought other people on here might enjoy.


They have a good video


It's pretty encouraging to see RVA's views shifting, if you're like me and hoping that the city will become less car-centric.

Just watched the video and was shocked by the projected population by 2030. 1.5 million!! That's crazy for just 15 years. While I wish they would have gone over more transit options than just buses, at least city officials agree that something needs to be done to improve transit throughout the region.

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5 hours ago, blopp1234 said:

Just watched the video and was shocked by the projected population by 2030. 1.5 million!! That's crazy for just 15 years. While I wish they would have gone over more transit options than just buses, at least city officials agree that something needs to be done to improve transit throughout the region.

I wonder what they consider "Richmond area."  I would like to see Richmond move to over 350k people by 2030.

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