Friday, March 29, 2019

City Releases Pavement Condition Scores through Interactive Mapping Application


 ~Scores range from 0 to 100, or failed to good~


The City of Richmond’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is now making Pavement Condition Index Ratings (the PCI Rating) of every street within the city limits available to the public. The interactive map will be updated as paving projects are completed. The PCI Rating is one of several tools the City of Richmond now uses to prioritize and track its paving program and other infrastructure work.
“This is another way we keep the public informed,” said Richmond’s DPW Director Bobby Vincent. “It’s a great tool now available for citizens to use and track the progress of our transportation infrastructure maintenance.”

Other factors that aid in paving prioritization include information about utility projects, economic development projects and closures of streets that play host to multiple special events on an annual basis.

The application is available on the city’s website here.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Statement from the Joint Construction Team Regarding the Costs of the New Mason Elementary School, Greene Elementary School and the New Middle School on Hull Street to be Named Later


The Facilities Plan adopted by the Richmond City School Board in December of 2017 including the following estimates for new school construction:


    •    George Mason Elementary School:          $25 million
    •    E.S.H. Greene Elementary School:          $35 million
    •    New Middle School on Hull Street:           $50 million



These estimates have been updated now that the procurement process for the design and construction of all three schools has concluded:


    •    George Mason Elementary School:          $36 million
    •    E.S.H. Greene Elementary School:          $42 million
    •    New Middle School on Hull Street:           $62 million

It is now clear the initial estimates, provided in 2017, under-represented the true cost of construction. Both RPS and the city had concerns this might be the case, which is why both entities discussed engaging a third party to evaluate the costs of rebuilding and/or renovating all RPS schools. The RPS administration brought this proposal to the school board on September 4, 2018 (see screen shot below). The cost of such an evaluation was initially estimated at $100,000, to be split evenly between the city and RPS. Upon further investigation, it was found the price would actually be closer to $200,000, or more. Given the higher cost, the school board decided not to proceed.







Not only were the initial cost estimates low, they also did not take into account the following:
    •    Construction costs have increased significantly over the past two years.
    •    The size of Greene Elementary School has been expanded from 650 students to 750 students.
    •    Per the policy adopted by the Richmond City Council (Res. 2015-R8-15), all schools must be LEED Silver certified, which adds significant expense.
    •    The current estimates include a 2% contingency, which if not necessary, will go unspent.

Background on the Joint Construction Team

After the passage of the meals tax last year, the City of Richmond and Richmond Public Schools agreed to develop a joint body, the Joint Construction Team (JCT), to manage the process of building new schools. This group includes the CAO, the mayor’s chief of staff, the superintendent, the RPS board chair and other representatives from each agency. The JCT meets weekly for one hour and only proceeds on key decisions when both parties agree. JCT representatives provide monthly updates to the school board and minutes from all JCT meetings are uploaded to RPS “Board Docs.”


Monday, March 25, 2019

Speed Limit Reductions and Additional Transportation Safety Measures being Implemented in Targeted Areas


Motorists who drive regularly around Richmond will need to take note of some changes in speed limits in some areas. In accordance with Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s Safe and Healthy Streets Challenge and the Vision Zero initiative, the Department of Public Works, Richmond Police Department and VCU Police are teaming up to promote the Mayor’s message as safety projects are underway.

Speed reductions from 35 mph to 25 mph on US Route 1 include:
•    Jefferson Davis Highway from Albany Avenue to Hull Street
•    Cowardin Avenue from Hull Street to Semmes Avenue
•    Belvidere Street from Idlewood Avenue to Leigh Street

The decision to lower the speed came as a result of modifications in the GRTC Bus Network; higher density land use and the growth of VCU; exposure of pedestrians and cyclists to higher than average traffic volumes and wide crossings; and new signal timings that promote safer speeds and less illegal speeding. 

Speed reductions from 35 mph to 30 mph also include Forest Hill Avenue/Semmes Avenue between Prince George Road and Cowardin Avenue.

In addition to the ongoing project to retime signalized intersections citywide (e.g using lead pedestrian intervals at certain high volume intersections), plans are underway to deploy additional high visibility crosswalk markings at intersections with traffic signals on major federal and state routes..

Various pedestrian safety focused improvements are also planned at signalized intersections at Rowe Street; Idlewood Avenue and Spring Street; Cowardin Avenue and Semmes Avenue, Hull Street and Cowardin Avenue and US Route 1 and Decatur Street in the coming years.

Key points in the Mayor’s Safe and Healthy Streets Challenge for residents and visitors to the City are:
•    Share the Road
•    Obey Speed Limits
•    Buckle In
•    Avoid Distractions
•    Drive Sober

Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary global strategy aimed at eliminating all traffic crashes resulting in fatalities or severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all.

Our current safety campaigns are focused on transportation users (people who walk, bike, ride transit and drive) and are based on the Mayor’s challenge and guidance from the VCU Brandcenter. 



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Mayor to Host Town Hall Meetings for Proposed FY2020 Budget



Mayor Levar M. Stoney will be hosting community town hall meetings over the coming weeks to discuss his proposed FY2020 budget. The mayor presented his fully balanced budget to Richmond City Council on Wednesday, March 6, which includes an investment of $18.5 million for Richmond Public Schools, $16.2 million for roads and sidewalks, $2.9 million for affordable housing, an additional $965,000 for increased GRTC service and $485,000 in funding for eviction diversion.

Click here to view the presentation shown at each meeting.
Below are the scheduled Town Hall meetings:

Thursday, March 21
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Southside
Southside Community Center
6335 Old Warwick Rd.

Wednesday, March 27
6:30 – 8 p.m.
West End
Thomas Jefferson High School
4100 W. Grace St.

Tuesday, April 2
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Northside
Northside Family YMCA
4207 Old Brook Rd.
For more information, please contact Tameka Jefferson at Tameka.Jefferson@richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-6936.


Tackling the Financial Health Crisis in Richmond


The City Treasurer’s Office is proud to announce the Inaugural Financial Literacy Fair to be held on Friday, April 5, 2019 from 10 am – 3:30 pm in the lobby of City Hall.  Richmond city residents can earn chances at prizes by attending workshops on budgeting, savings and banking 101.  Financial counselors will also be available during the fair to talk through questions and issues individually with attendees.

The event will include remarks from the Mayor, Treasurer and other city officials. City Departments, GRTC and other organizations will have tables making information and resources available to give participants confidence in their financial decisions.

The purpose of this fair is to empower the citizens of Richmond to take more control of their finances and begin the initial steps needed to build personal wealth. The mission of the Richmond City Treasurer's Office is to inspire, encourage, and pursue the high possibilities of potential in others through the elimination of financial barriers by taking "Small Steps for Big Change." This literacy fair is one step toward positive change and hope you will take part.

For more information please contact Kimberly Morris at (804)646-6474 or Treasurer@richmondgov.com


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Emergency Preparedness Survey



Dear Richmond Resident, 

We want to hear from YOU! We would greatly appreciate you taking the time to participate in this 5-minute survey. The Richmond Office of Emergency Management is conducting a brief survey to assess the Richmond City residents' preparedness in the case of an emergency. 

We are asking you to provide information on your emergency preparedness education and awareness as well as how prepared you or your family are in the case of an emergency. The data collected from this survey will be used to create additional public outreach, but personal information will remain confidential. 

To take the survey, click here

Thank you for your time.

For questions or concerns, please contact the Richmond Office of Emergency Management at askemergencymgmt@richmondgov.com or (804) 646-2500.



Estimado(a) residente de Richmond, 

¡Queremos escuchar su opinión! Gracias por tomarse el tiempo para participar en esta encuesta de 5 minutos. La Oficina de Manejo de Emergencias de Richmond está realizando una breve encuesta para evaluar la preparación de los residentes de la Ciudad de Richmond en caso de una emergencia.

Le pedimos que brinde información sobre su educación y conocimiento sobre la preparación para emergencias, y sobre qué tan preparados están usted o su familia en caso de una emergencia. Los datos recopilados en esta encuesta se utilizarán para crear una mayor difusión pública, pero la información personal se mantendrá confidencial.


Para realizar la encuesta, haga
clic aquí.

¡Gracias por su tiempo!

Si tiene preguntas o inquietudes, comuníquese con la Oficina de Asuntos Multiculturales de Richmond en llamando al (804) 646-0145.
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City Introducing Pedelec Bicycles to Make Pedaling Easier for RVA Bike Share Riders


On Thursday, March 21, the city is adding 20 new battery operated pedelec bikes to its RVA Bike Share fleet. These electric-assist e-bikes are designed to make it easier to climb hills and endure long rides. This will enable those who were previously unable to use the current 8-speed bikes to also use the bike share service.


The pedelec bikes will be docked at current RVA Bike Share stations, but are identified by a yellow lightning bolt. Riders will be able to unlock the bikes using their RVA Bike Share key fob or from the RVA Bikes application. The motor automatically turns on once the rider starts pedaling. The bikes can reach speeds up to a safe 12 mph. The motor stops when the rider stops pedaling or uses the brake.


RVA Bike Share was implemented in summer 2017. It currently has 220 bikes at 16 docking stations. In February the city began electrifying docking stations and converting the existing 8-speed bikes to make them pedal-assist. Eventually the entire fleet will have pedal assist capability.

To learn more about RVA Bike Share and the app, visit RVABikes.com 
We’re social! For updates on DPW-related projects, activities and events visit us on Twitter @DPW_RichmondVA 


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Mayor Stoney, Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to Hold Community Conversation on Race and Equality


Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney and former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will discuss how local leaders can tackle critical social issues including racism and racial disparities, the history and symbolism of monuments and how to chart a path toward dismantling inequities. Julian Hayter, historian, author and associate professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, will serve as moderator.

The event will be held Tuesday, March 19, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, located at 428 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220. Doors will open at 9 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Members of the public can rsvp to
info@unumfund.org.

“It’s imperative we have the tough conversations about the history of racism and systemic inequities that continue to harm our communities,” said Mayor Stoney. “Historically marginalized communities — primarily low-income neighborhoods and communities of color —continue to feel the burden of a Jim Crow-era system in every facet of society, including in education, housing, transportation, economic development and health. Each of us share in the responsibility to speak honestly and work boldly to undo historic wrongs and give our children, families and communities their due opportunity to thrive. I am excited to welcome former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to Richmond to engage in this critical dialogue with our community.”

Landrieu will be visiting Richmond with his E Pluribus Unum initiative, which is bringing people together across the American South around issues of race, equity and economic opportunity.

“As Virginia honors the four hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans, the country must reckon with its tumultuous past and the institutional racism that shapes us today,” said former Mayor Landrieu. “Growing up in the South and having dealt with the issues of equity, poverty and violence in New Orleans, I strongly believe the time has come for America to have a national conversation about race. I’m honored to be coming to Richmond and excited to speak with Mayor Stoney about how our two cities can learn from each other as we seek to improve our communities.”

Landrieu and his team are traveling across the South with the goal of listening to local leaders and residents in order to learn about their concerns, hopes and efforts around the movement to create more equitable communities. They are convening community members in nearly a dozen cities and towns, visiting each state across the south to listen and learn, exploring how these issues are playing out in these communities and how local organizations are working together to address them. Following this phase E Pluribus Unum will develop programs and initiatives seeking to bring people of different races and backgrounds together around their shared values.

For more information about this mayor-to-mayor initiative, please contact Osita Iroegbu at
Osita.Iroegbu@richmondgov.com or (804) 646-4336.



Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Mayor’s Youth Academy 2019 Summer Employment Program Accepting Applications



The City of Richmond’s Office of Community Wealth Building is accepting applications for the Mayor’s Youth Academy 2019 Summer Employment Program through April 1, 2019. The Mayor’s Youth Academy is open to all City of Richmond youth, ages 14-19, who are enrolled in either a secondary or post-secondary educational institution. Eligible participants must be registered as full-time students during the preceding academic year. Youth are not required to have previous work experience to apply, but they must meet the program’s eligibility criteria.

Interested youth may apply here for one of the following areas:

Counselor In Training (CIT), youth ages 14 – 16:
This program is designed to give youth an opportunity to develop skills related to recreational and educational careers. CITs will be responsible for assisting the counselors in daily administration of the Summer Camp Program, including: ensuring the well-being and safety of all participants, administering games and activities, maintaining a fun and safe environment for the participants, keeping the camp room clean and assisting with signing campers in and out each day.

Beginning in April, counselor candidates will participate in a six-week training program that will meet on Wednesdays from 6 – 8 p.m. Training sessions will include customer service, dressing for success, First Aid & CPR certification, health and nutrition, ethics, leadership skills, arts & crafts and group game facilitation. Upon successful completion of all required training, candidates will be assigned to a recreation facility and serve as counselors for nine weeks.

Summer Work Experience, youth ages 16 – 19:
Interns participating in this program are provided with diverse employment placements and introduced to a variety of industries and career paths including: higher education, non-profits, library sciences, entrepreneurships, human/social services, state government, law, healthcare and information technology. Mayor's Youth Academy Work Experience interns are prepared to enhance productivity and contribute to a positive work environment with enthusiasm and professionalism. Mayor's Youth Academy Work Experience interns will be certified “Job Ready” and receive four weeks of pre-employment training designed to strengthen the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

King’s Dominion, youth ages 16 – 19:
The Mayor’s Youth Academy offers summer employment opportunities for city youth through Kings Dominion Amusement Park located in Doswell, Virginia. Transportation by bus is available for selected program participants.

For more information, please call (804) 646-7480 or email 
MayorsYouthAcademy@richmondgov.com.




Friday, March 1, 2019

Residents urged to take precautions after popular stray cat in Bryan Park tests positive for rabies


The Richmond City Health District and Henrico County Health Department are reminding residents of Richmond and Henrico to take precautions to reduce the risk of people or pets contracting rabies from domestic and woodland animals.   

Recently, a stray cat (Adult female, Domestic Shorthair, black fur with white paws and chin) that was a popular fixture at Bryan Park tested positive for rabies. Richmond Animal Care and Control took custody of the cat on February 19th after a park visitor was bitten while interacting with the usually friendly feline. The bite victim is a Henrico resident whose Post Exposure Prophylactic (PEP) treatment is being supervised by the Henrico County Health Department.

Visitors to Bryan Park who may have been exposed to this cat between the dates of February 9th to 19th are at possible risk for rabies and are advised to contact their public health department. Richmond residents should call the Richmond City Health District at 804-482-8020.  Persons who live in Henrico should call the Henrico County Health Department at 804-501-4656.

Exposure is defined as any bite, scratch or other situation where saliva or central nervous tissue of a potentially rabid animal enters an open, fresh wound or comes into contact with a mucus membrane by entering the eye, nose or mouth.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Once symptoms in humans develop, the infection is usually fatal. Administering preventive treatment following an exposure and before symptoms develop is critical in preventing the disease. It is important to seek medical attention promptly after a possible exposure.

The public is advised not to approach wild or stray animals either in urban or wooded areas or if they wander onto your property, especially if the animal is acting strangely.  Take the following steps to prevent family members and pets from being exposed to rabies:


•    Don’t attract wild animals into your yard by leaving out pet food or uncontained garbage
•    Vaccinate all cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies and keep their shots up to date
•    Don’t allow your pets to roam freely through the neighborhood; keep them on a leash when walking them
•    Report stray animals to your local animal control agency

If you or your pet is attacked or bitten, report it to the health department or animal control authorities. Get a good description of the animal that you can provide to authorities.

For more information about rabies and animal bites, talk to your veterinarian, health department, or visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/Rabies/