Monday, June 25, 2018

Richmond 300: Parking Study Materials


At a recent  meeting, DESMAN and VHB (the parking consultants) presented the parking existing conditions, which include an inventory of parking (number of spots) and an occupancy analysis (number of cars in the spots). Some of the most interesting maps they showed are the "utilization maps" which show the parking hot spots in the neighborhoods - see the links below to view the utilization maps for each neighborhood.

Please review the meeting materials and provide your comments in this survey by July 8, 2018. (If you attended one of the meetings and filled out the printed version of this form, you do not need to fill this out again.) All the meeting materials can be found on the Richmond 300 website and by clicking on the links below:

Brookland Park Blvd/Six Points
Key takeaways: public assets have additional capacity to support non-public uses, standardization of curbside stalls would make utilization more efficient, large scale development of multi-unit housing could overwhelm supply 
  1. Brookland Park Blvd/Six Points Presentation
  2. Brookland Park Blvd/Six Points Maps
Carytown
Key takeaways: 
off-street public and private parking is underutilized, residents depend on on-street parking because there are limited alleys, maximizing curbside creates “sightline” issues
  1. Carytown Presentation
  2. Carytown Maps
Downtown
Downtown includes: Jackson Ward, Monroe Ward, Central Office District, Capital District, VCU Health, Biotech, Shockoe Slip, and Shockoe Bottom
Key takeaways: consistent pockets of high demand on weekends and weekdays in Jackson Ward, supply-side solutions in Downtown may be cost-prohibitive, intensity of demand in Shockoe Bottom suggests the area is reaching a crisis point 
  1. Downtown Presentation
  2. Downtown Maps
Libbie/Grove/Patterson
Key takeaways: maximizing curbside creates “sightline” issues, shared use parking could alleviate some pressure, no blocks operating at or over capacity on weekdays
  1. Libbie/Grove/Patterson Presentation
  2. Libbie/Grove/Patterson Maps
Manchester
Key takeaways; 
demand along Semmes is spilling over onto adjacent blocks during weekdays, some “hotspots” are just successful projects that take an entire block without providing supply onsite, now is the time to start proactively setting policies to support continued development
  1. Manchester Presentation
  2. Manchester Maps
Scott's Addition
Key takeaways: stall definition and enforcement need to be examined, large lots offer potential for shared parking, many blocks operating consistently near or over capacity
  1. Scott's Addition Presentation
  2. Scott's Addition Maps
The Fan
Key takeaways: 
residential presence drives demand, significant under-utilization of off-street parking presents immediate opportunity, proposed solutions must incorporate support and promotion of multi-modality because it’s not realistic to build more parking, value assignments could improve turn-over
  1. The Fan Presentation
  2. The Fan Maps

Monday, June 18, 2018

2018 Movies In The Park Begins June 25


The City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities proudly present Movies in the Park. This annual series of free movies will be held every Friday night, from June 22 through August 16, in a different city park.

Activities begin at 8 p.m. and the movies start at 8:30 p.m., or as soon as it is dark. Families are invited to bring blankets or chairs and refreshments. Vendors will also have refreshments for sale.

The following is this summer’s Movies in the Park schedule

Date               Location                                           Movie

June 22**       Byrd Park                                           DESPICABLE ME 3
**POSTPONED UNTIL MONDAY, JUNE 25

June 29         Summer Hill Park                              THE LEGO NINJA MOVIE
July 6             Hotchkiss Field                                 WONDER WOMAN
July 13           Jefferson Park                                  CARS 3
July 20           Southside Community Ctr.               JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
July 27           Abner Clay Park                               STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Aug. 3            Battery Park                                      BLACK PANTHER
Aug. 10          Humphrey Calder                            SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
Aug. 17          Forest Hill Park                                 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

For more information, please call (804) 646-5733, or follow the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities on 
Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

City's Newest “Main” Attraction Brings Attention to East Riverfront


The East Riverfront Improvement Project is a quarter mile stretch of East Main Street between Nicholson Street and the CSX Bridge; but its potential for bringing growth to that area along the James River is significantly larger. There are expectations it will boost economic development, promote growth and provide connectivity of bikes and pedestrians to the James River area.  

Mayor Levar M. Stoney will cut the ribbon to officially open the enhanced gateway a short distance from the Intermediate Terminal Dock on Tuesday, June 19 at 1:30 p.m. 

Construction began in February 2017 on the more than $13 million revitalization project for the East End gateway into the city. Upgrades include street widening, bike lanes, parking on East Main Street west of Gillies Creek, sidewalks, traffic signals, landscaping, lighting and a newly constructed roundabout above the 100 year flood plain at East Main and relocated Dock Streets. From design to completion the project finished in a record 2.5 years to meet the launch of GRTC’s “The Pulse” on June 24.

Funding for the project came from the state and City of Richmond. In addition to city agencies, key stakeholders include the Economic Development Authority, Rocketts Landing, Stone Brewing, Dominion Energy, the Virginia Department of Transportation, CSX and the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation.

For more information on city services and schedules, please visit richmondgov.com.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Update on North of Broad/Downtown Redevelopment Request for Proposals


Mayor Levar M. Stoney announced today that he has authorized the city administration to enter into negotiations with The NH District Corporation (“NH District Corp.”) for the North of Broad/Downtown Redevelopment Project. 


The selection of NH District Corp. follows a comprehensive and thorough review process during which City staff analyzed the voluminous materials contained in the proposal in addition to information provided by NH District Corp. pursuant to the City’s request for clarifications.

“Though many questions remain and there are important points to negotiate, based upon the results of this review process, I believe there is potential in this proposal to provide transformational change in an underutilized portion of downtown, without negatively impacting the City finances or debt capacity,” the Mayor said.

“After briefing the members of city council, I’ve instructed staff to negotiate with NH District Corp with the understanding that we will only take the next step in this process if we determine it is in the best interests of the community.”

Upon announcing the RFP in November, Mayor Stoney set ambitious goals: To expand economic development and affordable housing opportunities; to generate revenue while achieving poverty mitigation through jobs and training; to provide historic preservation and community revitalization, to promote and support tourism, and to ensure sustainable development and investments in mass transit and infrastructure.

As set forth in the RFP, negotiations are anticipated to take place throughout the summer. If negotiations are successful, the project would be presented to City Council for consideration in the fall.

For more background information, click here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mayor Stoney, Superintendent Kamras Announce Vision Screening Results from 2017/2018 School Year


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today joined Richmond Public Schools (RPS) Superintendent Jason Kamras at E.S.H Greene Elementary School to announce the results of the vision screenings from the 2017/2018 school year conducted at every RPS location across the city. Through a partnership with nonprofits Conexus and Vision To Learn, 12,467 students were screened over the course of the school year, and 4,040 were referred for eye exams. The effort began in October of last year at Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School.

“The Richmond community faces many challenges in helping our children be successful, and seeing the chalkboard should not be one of them,” said Mayor Stoney. “After receiving glasses, we have seen students’ math and reading grades increase, as well as improved classroom behavior and focus on class discussion and assignments. I thank Conexus and Vision To Learn for giving our students the opportunity for a better educational experience and making Richmond a leader in Comprehensive Vision Programming in Virginia.”

"We are appreciative of this wonderful partnership with Conexus and Vision To Learn," said Superintendent Jason Kamras. "Identifying and resolving the vision challenges that our students are experiencing helps us to ultimately increase their chances for academic success. The eyeglasses that have been received will have long-lasting impacts on the future of our students."

Students with untreated vision problems often struggle at school and are less likely to achieve reading proficiency by third grade, putting them at greater risk of dropping out. Conexus has provided vision screenings to 20,985 RPS students since 2015, referring 6,689 (32%). The national average is 25%. 

Vision To Learn offered to provide each child who did not pass the initial screening with an eye exam, and, if needed, provided eyeglasses free of charge. This school year, 1,614 eye exams were given to students who returned a consent form, and 1,243 received glasses.

“Conexus has been able to determine vision problems down to each individual classroom level. There are 57 classrooms in Richmond Public Schools where more than half of the students were determined to have vision problems significant enough to impact their ability to learn,” said Conexus President and CEO Tim Gresham. “Conexus is grateful that Mayor Stoney has taken a lead and Superintendent Kamras is lending his support to help us identify Richmond Public Schools students with poor vision and address this significant public health and public education issue in Richmond.”
"Vision To Learn is pleased to provide free eye exams and glasses to students in Richmond referred through Conexus vision screenings," said Vision To Learn President Ann Hollister. "In the past school year, Vision To Learn provided over 1,500 kids in Richmond Public Schools with eye exams and over 1,200 with glasses, helping them succeed in school and in life."

Today’s announcement was held at E.S.H Greene Elementary School because school-wide results best showed the impact of the program; 599 students screened, 240 referred (40%) with 79 receiving glasses.

In the 2018/2019 school year, Conexus will provide screenings for Kindergarten and 2nd, 7th, 9th and 10th grades (this school year students in Kindergarten - 5th, 7th and 10th grades received the screenings). Vision To Learn will continue with their mobile services, returning to the elementary schools which weren’t completed this year and focusing on the middle and high schools, which did not receive services in year one.

To view the full results compiled by Conexus, click here.

Background:

The data capabilities of the Conexus VisioCheck program have shown vision screening referral rates in Richmond Public Schools (32%) to be considerably higher than the national average (25%). Further review of the data and consultation with the school division and DMAS revealed that RPS students were, in general, not receiving eye exams. Even though the VisioCheck program has seen a 700% increase in parental follow up in other localities, the vast majority of screening referrals through RPS were remaining unanswered. Recognizing access to care and other barriers as factors, Conexus and RPS began exploring ways to bring onsite eye exams and glasses to students at school. At the same time, Vision To Learn, a California-based non-profit that provides an onsite mobile clinic in multiple states throughout the country, made their services available to RPS. Through a three-agency MOU, RPS, Conexus, and Vision To Learn are providing vision services to every RPS student over the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school year in an agreement through which Conexus provides the technology-based vision screenings and consent forms to the RPS students in need of the mobile services provided by Vision To Learn.
The initiative is supported with funding by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Robins Foundation and Richmond Community Foundation.

For more information on Conexus, please contact Melissa Perry at 
Melissa@conexusvision.org.

For more information on Vision To Learn, please contact Natisha Knight at nknight@visiontolearn.org.

For more information on the partnership with RPS, please contact Kenita Bowers at kbowers@rvaschools.net.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Text-to-911 now available in the Richmond Capital Region


Click here to watch the "911 - Call if you can, text if you can't" video

Getting help in an emergency is now faster and easier for those who are deaf or hard of-hearing in the Richmond capital region. As of June 4, those who are not able to call 911 can send a text message to 911 for emergency assistance in Richmond, Chesterfield County and Henrico County. This service already is available in Colonial Heights and Hanover County.

“We encourage residents to call 911 when they can and to text when they can’t,” said Stephen Willoughby, director and chief of Richmond’s Department of Emergency Communications. “If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you can’t speak or it’s not safe for you to speak, you can send a text to 911. Otherwise, it’s best for you to call,” he said.

Residents should follow these additional guidelines when texting 911;

Do:
• Call if you can, text if you can’t.
• Send a text message to 911 if you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, can’t speak, or it is not safe for you to speak.
• Provide the exact location of the emergency in the text message.
• If you do not receive a reply by text or if you receive a reply that texting is not available, call 911.

Do Not:
• Do not text and drive.
• Do not send photos or videos to 911 at this time.
• Do not copy others on the message to 911. Text-to-911 cannot include more than one person.

Text-to-911 was implemented in the Richmond Capital Region as the result of a grant awarded by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency in the 2017 fiscal year.

For more information about Text-to-911 in the Richmond Capital Region, visit tinyurl.com/captext911. For more information about Text-to-911 nationally, visit https://www.911.gov/issue_textto911.html or https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911

Volunteers Needed for the 2018 Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp Ambassador Program


The City of Richmond’s Neighbor-To-Neighbor program is looking for 250 volunteers to serve as Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors. The Washington Redskins Training Camp will begin on July 26 and conclude on August 14, held at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.

The Richmond Training Camp Ambassador program allows volunteers to be the “face” of Richmond. Program participants highlight local tourism destinations, restaurants and other points of interest in the city, answer questions about training camp and help make it a fun and safe event for all attendees.

For Fan Experience Ambassadors, the morning shift will be from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the afternoon shift will be from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For Security Ambassadors, the morning shift will be from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the afternoon shift will be from 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

There will be a few dates with only a single practice, resulting in only one volunteer shift.

All volunteers will receive the following general incentives:

·        Volunteer recognition certificate
·        Free Redskins hat and t-shirt
·        Discount at the Redskins Training Camp Team Store
·        Discount with Training Camp food vendors
·        Discount on a personalized brick for Brick Walk entrance

Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors who volunteer for a certain benchmark number of shifts will receive additional rewards. Specific information about the incentive program (1 shift approximately 5.5 hours) is as follows:

·        3 Shifts/16 Hours: Free tickets to the Richmond Squirrels “Redskins Day” home game
·        6 Shifts/33 Hours: Opportunity to attend an exclusive private Redskins Practice 
·        9 Shifts/50 Hours: Redskins Panel Football
·        12 Shifts/65 Hours: Two upper level tickets and parking pass to a 2017 Redskins home game against a non-NFC East opponent (available games TBD)
·        70 or more Hours: VIP Tour of FedExField (On non-Gameday and subject to stadium availability)

To register to become a 2018 Richmond Training Camp Ambassador and to get complete list of details about this fantastic volunteer opportunity, please visit http://www.richmondgov.com/NeighborToNeighbor/TrainingCamp.aspx

Water Safety 2018


The James River Park System is Richmond's largest, most unique and best known park receiving well over one million visitors a year. It is actually a system of parks along both sides of the James River as it passes through the city, making Richmond the only urban city in the country with Class IV white water rapids in the middle of downtown. Regardless of its natural beauty, there are many dangers when visiting the James or any body of water.

The City of Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services will be operating a two person bike team every Saturday and Sunday on Belle Isle (additionally on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Wednesday July 4th) weather permitting. These teams have had a direct impact on the safety of visitors and they will serve as water safety ambassadors during peak visiting season. Here are some general safety tips we recommend you follow whenever water activities are planned:

  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well and swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and ensure a responsible adult is monitoring; teach children to always ask permission to go near or in water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone, supervise them.
  • By law when on the James in the City of Richmond, if water levels are at 5 feet and above, everyone on the river must wear an approved lifejacket.
  • Water levels for the James can be checked by calling the National Weather Service at (804)646-8228 (option 1, followed by option 4), wait to hear the Richmond Westham totals.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious wading around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • Never mix alcohol and water activities (even if you’re not getting in) as it impairs judgment, balance, coordination, swimming skills, reduces the body’s ability to stay warm. Alcohol isn’t allowed in city parks or pools without written permission.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or utilize the local emergency call system available.
  • If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets, and a first aid kit.
For more information on the Park services, visit richmondgov.com/parks. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable time this summer on the river or at a local pool! 

DMV Connect Services to be Provided at City Hall


The Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) mobile customer service center – DMV Connect – will be at Richmond City Hall, 900 E. Broad Street, on June 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and located in the City Treasurer’s area next to room 107 of the first floor.

DMV Connect offers common DMV transactions including applying for and renewing driver's licenses and ID cards, titles and registrations, license plates, driver transcripts, disabled parking placards or plates, address changes, E-ZPass transponders, hunting and fishing licenses and much more.

June 4 is also the day before vehicle personal property taxes are due to the city and will be an opportune time and convenient way for taxpayers to conduct business at City Hall. Taxpayers who are not current on their taxes can find the city’s delinquent collections unit located next door to the City Treasurer in room 109, where paying delinquent taxes will release DMV registration holds.

Citizens are encouraged to research and bring the required documents to complete your transactions. To determine what documents are needed, use the interactive document guide at dmvnow.com.

DMV Connect is a portable program serving Virginians who may not be able to travel to a DMV office. These services will be offered at least once per month at City Hall, depending on the volume of customers.

Mayor Stoney Appoints Senior Policy Advisor for Youth Initiatives


Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pleased to announce Eva Colen is joining the administration as a Senior Policy Advisor for Youth Initiatives.

A Norfolk native who currently lives in east Richmond, Colen will be responsible for advancing the mayor’s policies and priorities to benefit the “whole” child by collaborating with Richmond Public Schools through the Education Compact and overseeing the Mayor’s focus on out-of-school time opportunities.

“Eva is a difference maker and a great fit for our team,” said Mayor Stoney. “Her can-do work ethic, experience and innovative thinking on the challenges we face will make things happen for the young people in our city.”

A former school teacher and education equity advocate, Colen said that she is looking forward to leveraging her experience in education to align City services with Richmond Public Schools and external partners around shared goals for Richmond’s youth.

“We will pursue all available opportunities to secure the resources to offer our kids what they deserve,” Colen said. “I’m especially thrilled for the opportunity to work with Mayor Stoney, who has shown a clear commitment to working collaboratively to expand opportunity and improve outcomes for our City’s kids.”

Colen’s position is being funded as part of an 18-month pilot program with The Community Foundation, which has served the Greater Richmond region for nearly 50 years.

“The Foundation is grateful that Eva Colen has accepted the position and will be the first to serve in this role and will be a pace-setter for results,” said Scott Blackwell, Chief Community Engagement Officer for the Foundation. “Eva’s experience with policy and advocacy work, as well as her ability to make things happen on the ground will serve the city well.”

Eva has called Richmond home since 2010. Her first job out of college was as a high school English teacher in Philadelphia through Teach For America, an experience which cemented her conviction that all children, no matter their background, possess extraordinary potential. After the classroom, Eva spent time recruiting teachers to high-poverty public school districts, advocating for education policy in the General Assembly and engaging her community in conversations about educational equity. Most recently, Eva founded and led Virginia Excels, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to advancing policies and programs that are good for kids, families and their communities.

Eva lives in Church Hill with her husband, Derek Salerno, their nine-week-old son, Abram, a RACC rescue pup and three cats. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an alumna of ChamberRVA’s RVA Leadership Lab, 50CAN’s Education Advocacy Fellowship, Leadership for Educational Equity’s Public Leaders Fellowship and New Venture Fellowship, YWCA Richmond’s Young Women’s Leadership Alliance and Leadership Metro Richmond’s Leadership Quest Class of 2017.

Mayor to Host Community Office Hours in All Nine City Districts


Mayor Levar M. Stoney 
will be hosting community office hours in June and July, continuing his commitment to meet with citizens in each of the city’s nine districts, in their districts, and face-to-face. The Community Office Hours provide an opportunity for hundreds of Richmond residents to meet with the mayor, make suggestions and share their ideas and concerns.