From Councilman Agelasto / City Council Liaison Ida Jones on 1/26/15:
The roundabout proposal to provide westbound traffic along Idlewood Avenue between Oregon Hill and Randolph was approved by the Planning Commission. The project is slated to begin construction this Spring. The City Traffic Engineering Division is aware of the need to limit road closings.
After the water main break at S. Harrison Street, Cumberland Avenue, and Parkwood Avenue that has closed the streets for several weeks (slated to reopen February 2), many people have seen the need to provide additional traffic connectivity to areas south of the Downtown Expressway.
From Councilman Agelasto:
Greetings . . . I am passing along notice of the Urban Design Committee meeting on November 6 at 10:00 am [in the 5th floor conference room of City Hall, 900 E. Broad Street] when the final design review will occur for the proposed Idlewood Avenue roundabout. Please note that this will still need Planning Commission approval once UDC has made their final recommendations.
All the best,
Parker C. Agelasto
The public notice letter sent to the Randolph Neighborhood Association by Mr. Jeff Eastman can be found here: UDC #14-30(2) public notice
Due to the lack of funding for park maintenance in the city’s budget (as recently noted by our friends in Byrd Park), the City of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Rec, and Community Facilities, the Department of Public Works, RVA Clean Sweep, the Randolph Neighborhood Association, and the Richmond Tree Stewards worked to bring about a much needed overhaul at Thomas Square, a public space that anchors the northeastern part of the Randolph neighborhood.
From start to finish, the project took about three weeks and there is still some minor clean up work to be done. On Saturday, October 4, residents from the Randolph community worked with staff members from the City of Richmond, local nonprofits (noted above), and several dozen college volunteers (consisting of UR’s Bonner Scholars Program, VCU’s RUF campus ministry, and VCU students from the neighborhood) to remove overgrown bushes, plant new trees, and do some light repairs on benches and signs. To close out the day, Dr. Peyton McCoy, Ms. Ethel Johnston and Ms. Lala Williams spoke to the students about the history of the Randolph neighborhood and encouraged them to collaborate with long-time residents to promote positive change in the area. (Before and after photos can be found below.) The weather was beautiful and many residents expressed a tremendous amount of gratitude when the work was finished.
From Councilman Agelasto:
Please note that the next UDC [Urban Design Committee] meeting will held on September 4 at 10:00 am in the 5th Floor Conference Room at City Hall. There are several items on the agenda that are important to your civic associations. These include design review of the Carytown gateway sign, the conceptual review of the roundabout at Idlewood Avenue between Oregon Hill and Randolph, as well as the conceptual review of the Floyd Avenue Bike Boulevard proposal. Please note that the “conceptual” review is the initial review. All items are required to be presented again for a “final” review taking into account any of the design recommendations made by this committee. There is limited time for public comment at UDC hearings. Beyond community meetings, this is the first formal setting to discuss the bike boulevard and roundabout proposals. I working to have an additional community meeting on the proposed Idlewood Avenue roundabout soon.
Parker C. Agelasto
Richmond City Council, 5th District
See the official letter from the UDC here: UDC#14-30 public notice
Jake Helmboldt, Richmond’s Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Coordinator reached out to the Randolph Neighborhood Association to find an opportunity to discuss the idea of a contraflow bike lane on Grayland Ave. His description is as follows:
The City is completing its Bike Master Plan which aims to develop and implement a network of bike infrastructure throughout the City of Richmond. Grayland Ave was identified as a corridor that could benefit from improved bike infrastructure, specifically in the form of what is called a contra-flow bike lane. Because Grayland parallels the Downtown Expressway and has minimal intersections and stops and low traffic it facilitates efficient and safe bike access along that corridor. However since it is one-way and very wide, and parallel streets aren’t as conducive to bike travel, people often ride against traffic as well. Additionally, with the reconfiguration of the off-ramp at Grayland/Idlewood, access in and out of Oregon Hill will be improved and this corridor will likely see more bike traffic between the Randolph and Oregon Hill communities.
So the concept is to add a contraflow bike lane on Grayland, which is essentially a bike lane that would head westbound, while in the eastbound direction the shared travel lane would remain (cars and bikes both use the travel lane). Much of Grayland has low parking demand and considerable parking restrictions, so the impacts from this would be minimal.
Jake has expressed a strong desire to broach this concept with the community and seeking to be present at civic association meetings. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact Jake directly at jakob.helmboldt [at] richmondgov.com.
From Ashley Lickliter at Kimley-Horn:
Please find attached (IdlewoodAve_DataComparison
) the additional traffic data collected for the Idlewood Roundabout project from Saturday, April 26, 2014 through Tuesday, April 29, 2014. This traffic data was collected while VCU was in session and Wicked was at the Altria Theater including two shows on Saturday, two shows on Sunday, and one show on Tuesday.
Traffic volumes for Tuesday, April 29th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM were appropriately 18% higher in comparison to the volume data collected on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 (the data utilized for the traffic analysis). This increase would be attributable to the show and could be expected for similar events. All other peak hours show negligible increases or in some instances decreases in traffic volumes. Additionally all weekend data showed lower volumes than either weekday AM and PM peak traffic volumes.
An 18% increase in traffic volumes during the PM peak would not be enough to changes the results or recommendations of the traffic operational analysis. Additionally you may recall that the AM peak is actually busier than the PM peak for this study area.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We would be happy to discuss further at your convenience.