AROUND THE REGION
With the end of the 2019 General Assembly session, Richmond is now Virginia’s only major metro area without dedicated transportation funding, says Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury. Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and, now, Southwest Virginia have regional funding sources available for transportation projects—with Northern Virginia using some of that to build and pay for public transportation. Oliver gets into a bit of the history behind why the Richmond region lacks a similar bucket of funding and how we can get it. Senator McClellan underscores the importance of if/when Richmond has a similar funding mechanism that we use a portion of it to start building a truly regional public transportation system.
Richmond Magazine’s Sarah King has a small update on bringing public transportation to Route 1 in Chesterfield County. The County has applied for a state grant that could pay for some sort of transportation service for up to three years. They’ll find out the status of their application later this spring.
A constant question: How can we use the tools and resources we have on hand to improve bus service now without spending a ton of money? The answer is usually surprisingly simple: Bus lanes, transit signal priority, and other small changes to infrastructure that prioritize giving street space to buses. It’s not always about building a huge new transportation project, but, sometimes, it’s just about small, quick, and cheap improvements.
Chicago has elected a new mayor, and her transportation platform has a bunch of smart ideas that we should steal in Richmond. This one in particular is big and something to strive for: “Work to ensure every Chicagoan lives within a 15 minute walk of reliable 24-hour transit service.”
Now this is neat and depressing: The Guardian has some maps of public transit systems in different cities comparing the street-car era to present day. Spoiler: We used to have lots more public transportation before the car ate America.