AROUND THE REGION
If you missed this past week’s Mayorathon, you can check out all of the policy reviews and policy suggestions in the four different topic areas—including, of course, transportation (PDF). To spoil the PDF a bit, the transportation policy suggestions were: Commit to $1 million per year of City funding for pedestrian and bicycle improvements, implement the Vision Zero Action Plan, and establish a Richmond Department of Transportation.
Something to keep an eye on: According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a local activist has “called for the Federal Transit Administration’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate GRTC’s redesign that took effect in June.” If you want to dig in for yourself, you can read GRTC’s Title VI Program Update from February 13th, 2017 (PDF), the Title VI Major Change and Service Equity Analysis relating to the June redesign, and, as a bonus, read through this report from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration about our regional transportation planning body (PDF).
A couple week ago, a transit expert in town to check out the Pulse remarked how lucky Richmond was to have put it’s best piece of transit infrastructure where the most people use transit. While it seems obvious, many cities (like Charlotte) do exactly the opposite hoping to encourage development. TransitCenter puts it succinctly: “Put Charlotte’s New Rail Line Where People Will Use It, Not in the Middle of a Freeway.”
It is still a bummer that our bus-only lanes didn’t get the red-carpet treatment. It would, however, be nice to get some strict parking enforcement in those lanes, regardless of the color, between 3rd and 9th Streets.
New York City’s mayor is now onboard with congestion pricing, implemented by 2020. There’s also talk of using a tax on legal marijuana to fund transit, which is interesting.
Next City has a review of a new book, Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State that sounds worth checking out. From the review: “Planners themselves didn’t devise the idea to segregate U.S. cities by race. And they couldn’t by themselves fuel the mass displacement of neighborhoods of color for the sake of highways out to the suburbs or other grandiose public projects. But, as Stein argues in the book, by the nature of their profession, planners have played key roles in all of these historical narratives, proposing and implementing zoning ordinances and land use policies in service of the larger political and economic forces that did demand those things.”