AROUND THE REGION
Amazon announced the 20 finalists for their second headquarters (aka HQ2), and Richmond is not on that short list. All of the finalist cities either have existing and extensive transportation systems or are in the process of major system upgrades: Atlanta, Denver, Indianapolis, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. to name a few. So while Richmond didn’t make it to the second round, we should definitely learn from the cities that did and begin building a frequent and far-reaching regional transportation system as soon as possible.
Reminder! GRTC will hold their quarterly Pulse informational meeting this coming Tuesday, January 23rd at the Children’s Museum (2626 W. Broad Street). They’ll have two sessions, one at 9:00 AM and one at 6:00 PM. If you’ve got questions about the construction on Broad Street, how to ride the bus, or pretty much anything at all bus-related this is a great place to ask.
This piece on ThreadATL is an excellent reminder that pedestrian safety is a critical part of transit—every transit rider is, at some point, a pedestrian. It’s not enough to just plop down a bus stop near important destinations like major employers or shopping districts; the design of the roads and streets must also be safe for people. As Richmond rolls out it’s newly redesign transit network, it’ll be extremely important to think about how transit riders can safely access the new bus network. Poke around at the map of recent bike and pedestrian injuries and deaths and you’ll start to see the outline of Richmond’s new frequent bus network.
California State Senator Scott Wiener has proposed Senate Bill 827 which would prohibit density restrictions within a half mile of a major transit station or a quarter mile of a bus stop on a frequent bus line. Wiener hopes to help address California’s housing crisis by allowing for more housing near transit which makes housing more affordable in the region and helps to reduce displacement.
Toronto recently decided to get rid of the cars on its King Street mixed-traffic streetcar line, giving it a car-free path through the city. Ridership is now up 25% at peak hours, and “the city will have to run more street cars to keep up with demand.” Dedicated right-of-way for heavily used transit is almost always a good idea!