Thursday, July 23, 2015

City’s Public Works Prepares for Two-Way Conversions in Shockoe Bottom

Several streets in Shockoe Bottom are being converted from one-way to two-way streets. The planned street conversions are part of the City’s Downtown Master Plan, and were also recommended in the Shockoe Bottom Transportation Study. Phased in conversions have been taking place since 2010.

Beginning Saturday, July 25, 18th Street between Grace and Broad will be two-way. Work crews have marked pavement, modified traffic signals and will integrate angled parking within areas of the project limits. Work on 17th Street continues, and conversion to two-way on 17th is expected to follow in the next several weeks.

Converting streets from one-way to two-way has been indicated to help businesses thrive, improve walkability, and balance traffic movements with livability. Studies have shown that two-way streets are healthier for on-street retail businesses and expanding visibility. All of the changes support improved vehicular circulation in Shockoe Bottom.

 These traffic flow improvements include:

·         Converting 17th Street to two-way traffic from Broad Street to Franklin Street
·         Converting 18th Street to two-way traffic from Grace Street to Broad Street
·         Converting Franklin Street to two-way traffic from 17th Street to 19th Street
·         Converting 19th Street to two-way traffic from Grace Street to Main Street

The project also includes the uncovering and restoration of the existing cobblestone surface on Franklin Street from 18th to 19th streets.

This project is funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Improvement Program under the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Youth Summer League Basketball Championship Games to be Held at VCU Siegel Center

The City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will hold its 9th Annual CarMax Summer Basketball League championship games on Tuesday, July 28, at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Stuart C. Siegel Center, 1200 West Broad Street.

The league, funded with a $85,000 grant from the CarMax Foundation this year, gives hundreds of city children from ages 10 to 17 the opportunity to play organized basketball throughout the summer.

The final championship games at the Siegel Center will be free to the public and events will tip off at 6 p.m. with a basketball skills challenge for league players only. U-10, U-12, U-14, U-17 division games will begin shortly thereafter.

A brief ceremony will be held before the start of the games to recognize the CarMax Foundation and media sponsor 106.5 The Beat. Lane Casadonte, sports anchor with WTVR Ch. 6, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the program, and Tom Folliard, President/CEO of CarMax will provide remarks.

Since 2007, the CarMax Foundation has given more than $840,000 to restore and expand the department’s basketball courts at Pine Camp, renovate a building on the site for use as a concession facility, and expand league play to include more youth and a wheelchair league.

Minority Business Development 2015 Summer Course Series

The City of Richmond Office of Minority Business Development offers free courses in business start-up and management.  These courses are designed to prepare you to not only start your own business, but learn how to make your start up in the City of Richmond a successful business. Take the first step today and sign-up for our Summer Series of electives and prepare to enter our Richmond Emerging Small Business Series this Fall.  Best of all, its absolutely free!

The Power of Advertising: Affordable Ways to Market Your Business
July 23, 2015
Center for Workforce Innovation
900 East Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Take your business to the next level.  
By attending this workshop you will several strategies on how to market your small business, in a cost effective manner.

Money Talks: The Bottom Line on Business Communication & Proposal Writing
July 30, 2015
Center for Workforce Innovation
900 East Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23219

This workshop will consist of the keys to building rapport with decision makers, how to negotiate effectively and developing and writing a business proposal. 

To learn more about the Office of Minority Business Development please email or call 804-646-5947

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

City to Open 23rd Street & Mark Completion of Cobblestone Restoration Project

WHO:             Honorable Mayor Dwight C. Jones
                        Thomas Wilds, President, Church Hill Association
                        City Officials
                        Richmond Cycling Corps

WHAT:           Opening of 23rd Street between Grace and Franklin streets as the 23rd Street cobblestone renovation project is complete.

WHEN:           Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at 2:45 p.m. 

WHERE:        Intersection of 23rd Street and Franklin Street
Richmond, VA


Mayor Dwight Jones and Thomas Wilds, President of the Church Hill Association will join in opening 23rd Street between Grace and Franklin streets and to mark the completion of the 23rd Street cobblestone restoration project.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

RPD Reminds Residents to Celebrate Safely on Independence Day

Food, family, friends, and fun are all part of an Independence Day celebration. As many people are pulling out the grill to celebrate, some are thinking about shooting fireworks or firearms into the air – Both are illegal in the city.

In 2014, Brendon’s Law (§ 18.2-56.1) was enacted to implement harsher penalties for reckless handling of a firearm, including celebratory gunfire, resulting in serious injury. 

The Richmond Police Department would like to remind citizens of the following:

Randomly firing a weapon in the city is illegal.

Firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles are prohibited.  

Legal fireworks displays planned at Brown’s Island on Friday, July 3 and Dogwood Dell on Saturday, July 4. On Friday, legal parking is available for a fee at 5th and Byrd streets in the parking deck. Illegal parking will be strictly enforced. 

Do not impede the flow of traffic to view fireworks if you are in a vehicle. Please pull over to a safe location. 

Road Closures
The Lee Bridge on Belvidere Street will be closed to north- and southbound traffic to provide a viewing area for the VA Fireworks on the James show on the evening of Friday, July 3. Police ask citizens planning to view fireworks from the bridge to avoid parking on the Lee Bridge or within the Oregon Hill neighborhood.  Residential traffic only is permitted. 

The Manchester Bridge will remain open as an alternate route for drivers. 

No parking on either bridge. 

Specific road closures are listed below. 

5 P.M.  –  Laurel Street & Idlewood Avenue; Belvidere Street & Holly Street; Laurel Street & Holly Street; Pine Street & Holly Street; 900 block of Idlewood Avenue at South Cherry Street

7 P.M. –  Belvidere Street and Spring Street

The Department plans to have a strong police presence this weekend to ensure safe celebrations. To report random gunfire or illegal fireworks, call the Richmond Police Department’s non-emergency number at 804-646-5100

RFD Fireworks Safety Advisory

The 4th of July is a holiday that includes fireworks as a central part of the celebration. The Richmond Fire Department hopes you and your family have a safe Independence Day holiday and that you enjoy fireworks safely. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – fires, devastating burns, severe injuries, and even death. Below are statistics and tips of how to enjoy fireworks safely.

In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. 

In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head. 

The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0 - 4, followed by children 10 - 14.

On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. 

Leave fireworks to the professionals, do not use consumer fireworks. 

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained licensed professionals. The City is sponsoring; VA Fireworks on the James on Friday, July 3; and Dogwood Dell of July Celebration on Saturday, July 4.

After the firework display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active. 

As a reminder, fireworks are illegal in the Metro Richmond Area. Illegally discharging fireworks may subject the responsible party to legal action. Violation of the Fire Code is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, subject to penalties of up to $2,500 for each offense and/or up to a year in jail.