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Student move-in day approaches, beware of crowds and street closures

Franklin, Grace, Cary, Marshall, Laurel, and Pine Street will all be partially closed.

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It’s that time of year again. The Richmond population will be expanding starting on Friday as VCU return to school. Prepare for crowds and a few street closures.

From VCU Police Department:

WEEKEND TRAFFIC / MONROE PARK CAMPUS: VCU freshmen will move into their residence halls from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Traffic congestion is expected in the areas near VCU’s student residence halls Friday evening and Saturday and there will be very limited street parking available.

In order to ensure safety and order as students move into residence halls, the following streets will have travel restrictions or will be closed:

  • Franklin Street: The street will be closed to through traffic between Harrison and Belvidere streets; traffic arriving for move-in will be reduced to one travel lane between Harrison and Belvidere streets.
  • Grace Street: Travel lanes will remain open, however, drivers may experience some congestion between Ryland and Belvidere streets.
  • Cary Street: Travel lanes will remain open, but drivers may experience some congestion between Cherry and Jefferson streets.
  • Marshall Street: Travel lanes will remain open, but drivers may experience some congestion between Bowe and Hancock streets.
  • Laurel Street: The street will be closed between West Grace and West Cathedral streets. Parishioners of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will be allowed to park in designated spots on Cathedral Street and in the West Main Street Parking Deck. Drivers may experience some congestion between Cathedral and Cary streets.
  • Pine Street: The street continues to be closed between West Cary and West Main streets for construction through 2018.

Traffic restrictions and closures will be in effect on Saturday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. VCU Police will handle traffic control as students move in. In addition, Laurel Street will be closed between Franklin and Grace streets on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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New Virtual Series “Science Shorts” at Science Museum of Virginia

Encouraged by the popularity of the astronomy shows broadcast on Facebook and Zoom-based Lunch Break Science presentations, educators are producing another virtual weekly series dubbed Science Shorts as another way to keep supporters connected to the Museum.

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Due to the hands-on interactive nature of the Science Museum of Virginia, they made the tough decision not to open their doors as the commonwealth enters Phase 3. That doesn’t mean the learning is going to stop. On June 30th they launched Science Shorts so that everyone can virtually experience STEM demonstrations in the labs and exhibits.

Image Courtesy of Science Museum of Virginia

What:
While guests cannot currently visit the Science Museum of Virginia to experience STEM demonstrations in the labs and exhibits, the Museum wants to make sure the public does not forget that there is science all around them, and that they can explore engaging science principals from home in fun and creative ways.

Encouraged by the popularity of the astronomy shows broadcast on Facebook and Zoom-based Lunch Break Science presentations, educators are producing another virtual weekly series dubbed Science Shorts as another way to keep supporters connected to the Museum.

Starting June 30, education team members will offer a less than five minute video explaining a science topic through a demonstration or activity. The Museum will then post follow-up resources that build on the topic in the video on its website for social followers to continue exploring from home.

When:
The Science Short shows will air weekly on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. beginning June 30.

Who:
Curious-minded guests of all ages are invited to watch the videos and try out the activities at home. There is no registration or fee required.

Where:
The programs will be posted on the Museum’s social media channels: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. The corresponding activity guide will accessible on the Museum’s website.

Why:
Social followers have responded positively to the STEM at Home activities the Museum has posted since the public closure in mid-March, but also have expressed missing the educator-led interactions for which the Museum is known. Staff believe the Science Shorts will offer the demo experience guests enjoyed while at the Museum, the directions for conducting science at home and the reminder that quarantining and summer break does not mean forgetting about science.

The Museum is also using these digital videos to highlight the importance of science in our everyday lives and offer a dose of inspiration no matter where the audience is located.

How:
The new virtual series is made possible thanks to the generous support of WestRock.

Image Courtesy of Science Museum of Virginia

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Stonewall Jackson Rides Off Into a Rainy Sunset

The first of three Confederate statues slated for removal was taken down Wednesday afternoon.

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Early Wednesday morning, Mayor Stoney asked City Council to vote to immediately remove the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue. City Council declined, citing procedural rules. A vote was scheduled for Thursday. Stoney was in no mood to wait. Wednesday afternoon a work crew with a crane and flatbed trailer descended on the Stonewall Jackson Monument at Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Monument. Upon arrival, they immediately went to work taking down Stonewall Jackson from his massive pedestal.

The mayor felt justified in his end-run around City Council stating, “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge, and protestors attempt to take down Confederate statues themselves or confront others who are doing so, the risk grows for serious illness, injury, or death. We have an urgent need to protect the public.”

The early crowd.

The removal of the statue was unannounced but word quickly spread on social media. What started as a small crowd swelled to over 1,000.

The crowd from roughly the same spot closer about an hour later.

The process of removing the statue was slow and tedious. The mood of the crowd was celebratory.

At one point an individual quickly went the statue and waved a “Respect our Monuments” flag. Tensions quickly escalated as the crowd rushed towards him. Richmond Sherriffs quickly escorted the counter protestor from the area but not before his flag met an ignominious end.

Throughout the workers steadily prepared the statue for removal.

As the moment of truth approached so did the storm clouds. Heavy rain hit as Jackson was lifted into the air. The tension that had been building was released as the remaining folks cheered the Confederate generals removal.

 

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Separation.

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At the time of this writing the work crew was setting up at the Maury memorial.

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Venture Richmond teams up with city for “Picnic in a Parklet” program to assist businesses during reopening phases

“We acknowledge the difficulty Richmond businesses face when trying to safely reopen and want to do what we can to make that easier on them,” said Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Riverfront and Downtown Placemaking for Venture Richmond. “Parklets have the potential to offer an attractive, comfortable space for customers to physically-distance adjacent to the business, which may be needed for a smoother reopening. We look forward to working with any business in the city that submits a request.”

RVAHub Staff

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Venture Richmond has announced a new initiative, “Picnic in a Parklet,” a program designed to assist Richmond restaurants and other businesses with Phase 2 and 3 of Forward Virginia. Through this new partnership with the City of Richmond, business owners can receive design and permitting assistance for their requests for more outdoor space, particularly parklets.

Parklets are outdoor patio spaces constructed in the on-street parking lane of the street in front of a business that can function as an area for customers to gather and/or take to-go orders and eat outside in a physically-distanced environment. Parklets are, by definition, public space; but, restaurants can offer lightly packaged to-go orders for people who simply want to dine in the parklet in front of the restaurant.

“Transforming our use of public space innovatively and sustainably requires partnerships just like this one,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. “By linking the business and design communities, this program will expand the city’s growing network of creatively designed public spaces.”

Business-owners who are interested in temporarily converting an on-street parking space adjacent to their storefront into a parklet will be connected with Venture Richmond to better assess their needs. If a parklet will be helpful and appropriate, Venture Richmond will work with the American Institute of Architects Richmond Chapter (AIA Richmond) to connect businesses with a certified architect for pro-bono parklet design services. Venture Richmond will assist the applicant through the steps needed to obtain a permit from the City of Richmond.

“We acknowledge the difficulty Richmond businesses face when trying to safely reopen and want to do what we can to make that easier on them,” said Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Riverfront and Downtown Placemaking for Venture Richmond. “Parklets have the potential to offer an attractive, comfortable space for customers to physically-distance adjacent to the business, which may be needed for a smoother reopening. We look forward to working with any business in the city that submits a request.”

Unless otherwise specified or revoked, parklet permits are valid for three years. All requests within Richmond City limits will be considered.

Requests for parklets can be submitted through the RVA Strong website. General information about parklets can be found here, and more information about the City of Richmond’s Parklet Program can be found here.

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