More get on board with GRTC Bus Rapid Transit plan as changes made

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GRTC hopes to complete the route within two years.

RICHMOND, Va. — Ahead of two meetings before the next phase of development for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) known as the “The Pulse,” GRTC has released updated documents which reflect some of the public’s requested changes, though more are demanded and numerous questions abound.

Since the updated plans have been released, a coalition has vocalized its support of the plan and a coalition opposing it is still reviewing the recent changes.

This shows the new GRTC BRT Route and Station Map.

This shows the new GRTC BRT Route and Station
Map.

Additionally, GRTC spokesperson Carrie Rose –Pace answered 17 questions about the plan, and the RVA Coalition for Smart Transit has released its own series of questions about the project. That file is here: Coalition Questions for Council

The Partnership for Smarter Growth (PSG) expressed concern that recent opposition, which they said is based on misunderstanding, “jeopardizes the city’s first progressive transit investment in decades.”

“Improving public transportation is a critical strategy to ensure we remain competitive as a region,” wrote PSG President Andrew Moore.

 The proposed typical section shown in Figure 6 balances the needs of all uses to the maximum extent possible. These different uses include the number of general purpose travel lanes and lane width, BRT lane width, median width, presence of on-street parking or loading zones and their corresponding widths, left-turn lane width (where applicable), and BRT station platform width.

The proposed typical
section shown in Figure 6 balances the needs of all uses to
the maximum extent possible. These different uses include
the number of general purpose travel lanes and lane width,
BRT lane width, median width, presence of on-street parking
or loading zones and their corresponding widths, left-turn
lane width (where applicable), and BRT station platform
width.

According to Bike Walk RVA, the biggest and best improvements they’ve seen through the design upgrades are:

  • Six new protected crossings with refuge islands for people who walk and ride bikes
  • A wider median that functions as a refuge for people who can’t make it across the whole street all at once, and that also has breaks in it for people to bike through when crossing Broad
  • 37 controlled intersections with pedestrian crossings

“By integrating this project with the Bicycle Master Plan and other plans for the downtown area, we are confident that we will soon see a transportation transformation in our city that adds to the quality of life of residents and visitors, and will be a boon for our local economy,” said Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Bike Walk RVA, Sports Backers.

RVA Rapid Transit, Bike Walk RVA and PSG have advocated for specific design and operational improvements to the proposed BRT line.

The group’s brief list of recommendations include:

  • Improve pedestrian accommodations, including safe and frequent crossing points and wider medians;
  • Integrate with local bus service to surrounding neighborhoods and use of the BRT as a “spine” for the entire system;
  • Plan for well-designated redevelopment to maximize the BRT’s potential to stimulate economic growth;
  • Implement parking policies to mitigate changes to on-street parking along Broad Street;
  • Increase opportunities for greater public input and engagement; and
  • Encourage GRTC to showcase how modern BRT will improve the livability of Richmond.

A longer list of concerns can be read here.

At the two meetings, on July 27 and 28, the GRTC Pulse project team will present a status and design update, and an updated timeline for the BRT project.

Members of the public are encouraged to share their feedback and discuss their ideas with the project team.

The next public BRT meetings will be held at the University of Richmond Downtown location at 626 East Broad Street, Suite 100.

The Monday, July 27 meeting will be from noon – 1:30 p.m. and the second, Tuesday, July 28 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

There will be a City Council briefing on Monday July 27, from 4 – 6 p.m. at Richmond City Hall.

In advance of these meetings, new documents have been added to the website:
Conceptual 30% Design

Public Meetings (get a sneak preview of the display boards, featuring new information about BRT travel times, lights, medians, parking and new station images)

The public outreach plan with staff going door-to-door along the 7.6-mile corridor is complete. Click here. 

Public outreach efforts have been ongoing since 2010, and will continue throughout the project implementation, GRTC said.