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GOLDMAN: Why Mayor Jones thinks I’m a crash test dummy

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. – Do I look like Sierra Sam, the first crash test dummy created in 1949? Or the new industry standard, the GM Hybrid III crash test dummy, probably the better choice as a new issue emerges in the Mayor’s Shockoe Stadium saga. He refuses to do the type of traffic study anyone in business would have done BY NOW.

Shocking right?

“A disputed traffic study used to support the plan to build a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom emerged as a key topic” at a City Council committee yesterday declared this morning’s Richmond Times Dispatch.

As my column yesterday revealed, the most expensive City Hall in Virginia admitted they wanted City Council to okay consideration of a Shockoe Stadium plan WITHOUT A FORMAL TRAFFIC STUDY OF ANY KIND.

All they have is a “preliminary traffic study done by the Timmons Group last year.”

“Preliminary” and “study” are stretching it.

The RTD said the “Timmons study suggests that a more formal traffic analysis be conducted as the plan develops.”

The Mayor bragged – back in his January State of the City speech – about how he and his posse were hard at work on the Stadium project and would not come forward with a plan until it had been thoroughly reviewed and justified. Go read it.

IT”S NOW MORE THAN A YEAR LATER.

Mayor Jones has spent millions of your money developing his Shockoe Shocker.

And yet, the Times Dispatch story admits the Mayor is relying on a piece of paper that “doesn’t specifically address traffic coming to and from baseball games.”

Even a USED traffic crash dummy knows this doesn’t make any sense.

According to the city official at the committee meeting yesterday to discuss the “study,” it was “generally agreed” among city officials that things will “take care of themselves.”

What is this, a sequel to the Beatles song “We Can Work It Out?”

Really, do we now have a local rock band doing traffic stuff?

“The Timmons study also looked at a previous version of the mayor’s plan”, not the new one admitted today’s RTD story. But the “mayor’s plan now up for consideration is much heavier on residential…[has] a hotel with more than 100 rooms, a 65,000-square-foot grocery store and a historical site commemorating the slave trade that officials hope will draw tourism.”

SPLAT!!!!

Plus, the “study” relied on “2008” traffic volumes despite all the post-2008 development as Rick Tatnall pointed out to the Committee as cited in the RTD story.

Now, I concede my pea pod ain’t what it used to be. I have been the crash test dummy white guy whose head was knocked up against the wall – to paraphrase the Mayor – so guys who look like him could get to be Lt. Governor, then Governor and then Elected Mayor in Virginia.

So yeah, I am the original crash test dummy dude, so perhaps my pea pod has so many dents and stents and whatever that it can’t think straight anymore.

But surely, if only to show you have respect for the people of Richmond, the most expensive city government in captivity would at least get a real traffic study before now?

I did for Mayor Wilder. You tell the people who want to build the Stadium, who want to develop the area TO DO IT if they are serious.

But not this Mayor, not this City Council, not all their friends and relatives and whomever has their hand out for some of the $200 million in “vig” they will get if the Mayor and his supporters on Council have their way.

$200 MILLION will buy our politicians a lot apparently. But it will not buy my integrity.

Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.