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Richmond to install five parklets adjacent to local businesses

The pilot program will use public space to facilitate safe support for local businesses.

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In June of 2020, Venture Richmond and the City of Richmond announced “Picnic in a Parklet,” a program designed to assist Richmond restaurants and other businesses with safe reopening and social distancing requirements. Through this partnership, business owners were offered design and permitting assistance for their requests for more outdoor space, particularly parklets.

This week, construction will begin on five prefabricated parklets at locations adjacent to businesses who participated in the Picnic in a Parklet program. The first two pilot locations include N 29th Street in Church Hill, adjacent to the Nile Ethiopian Café, and N Shields Avenue in the Fan, adjacent to Joe’s Inn. Three additional locations are currently in the works with interested business owners.

“The Picnic in a Parklet program has been an exciting new frontier for the city and its partners,” said Mayor Stoney. “Public space is a valuable community asset that we have the responsibility to use intentionally and equitably. These five new parklets outside small businesses certainly meet that mission.”

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 safely-distanced. Parklets are by definition public space, not a single restaurant’s outdoor dining area. However, restaurants can offer lightly packaged to-go orders for people who simply want to dine in the parklet in front of the restaurant. The parklets were fabricated by Archatrack and purchased by the City of Richmond Department of Public Works.

“Picnic in a Parklet is a testament to what can happen when city departments, placemaking experts and businesses work together,” said Jason Alley, Provisional Policy Advisor for Restaurants and Small Businesses. “This commonsense collaboration makes it possible for countless residents to safely enjoy public space while supporting our treasured local business community.”

In addition to the five prefabricated parklets purchased and installed by the City of Richmond, two business-led, custom-designed parklets are making their way through the city’s permitting process and will be considered by the Urban Design Committee and Planning Commission this spring. The parklets will be located in Brookland Park and Jackson Ward and are designed by HKS Architects and Walter Parks Architects, respectively.

“We are so excited to see Richmond join the dozens of other American cities who have decided to try parklets on for size, particularly as a way to provide more urban public space during the pandemic,” said Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Riverfront and Downtown Placemaking for Venture Richmond. “I think the mix of city-owned prefabricated parklets and custom-designed parklets awaiting permitting will help make future parklet projects that much easier for businesses and organizations interested in transforming public space. We look forward to assisting them in this process as well.”

More information about the City of Richmond’s Parklet Program can be found here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Weigh in on Richmond’s New Downtown Plan Tonight

A public meeting is today at 6:00 PM to learn about and share your thoughts on the recently released draft City Center small area plan.

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Details from Partnership for Smarter Growth

Please join us at a public meeting today at 6:00PM to learn about and share your thoughts on the recently released draft City Center small area plan. You can attend the meeting in person at the Greater Richmond Convention Center or online via Microsoft Teams. Go to the PDR website to learn more.
City staff drafted this plan in response to the failed Navy Hill redevelopment proposal, and it encompasses largely the same area, while this time recommending demolition of the Coliseum, without replacement. This isn’t the only big change.
The plan focuses on how to create a vibrant urban neighborhood in an area marked by a number of vacant city owned parcels, and includes proposed improvements to bicycle, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure, at least 20% affordable housing, and new amenities, including a linear park, a pedestrian plaza, and outdoor dining space. Included are protected bike lanes, a new transit transfer center, and a new City Hall at a new location. The latter is quite a surprise to many of us and we would like to learn more. We also want to understand if a Transfer Center located two blocks from the Pulse BRT, makes sense.
To date, the primary input has been limited to online surveys due to the pandemic, so we hope there will be more opportunities for public involvement in planning the future of our downtown.Take a look at the draft plan and see all of the proposed changes in store for the City Center area, and leave comments on the interactive PDF, by following this link
Do you like the public spaces and are they enough? The location of the transit transfer center? Moving City Hall into a new building at a new location?
We hope you can attend tonight and also send in comments. Thank you for your involvement in shaping the future of our city and region.
Screenshot from the Small Area Plan

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Community

RPD Investigating Quadruple Shooting

At approximately 1:27 a.m., officers were called to the 200 block of Crane Street for the report of a shooting.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives are investigating a quadruple shooting that occurred early Sunday morning and are asking for the community’s help.

At approximately 1:27 a.m., officers were called to the 200 block of Crane Street for the report of a shooting.

Officers arrived and found an adult male suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. Three additional victims self-transported to a local hospital, all with gunshot wounds, and one with life threatening injuries.

There was a large crowd in the parking lot prior to the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Major Crimes Detective M. Young at (804) 646-3926 or contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

 

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Police Looking for Detergent Thief

Over the past two weeks, the male in the photos twice entered a store located in the 2400 block of East Main Street, produced a bag and filled it with several bottles of laundry detergent before leaving the store.

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From RPD:

Can you identify the larceny suspect in the photos who twice cleaned out a store of laundry detergent recently?

Over the past two weeks the male in the photos twice entered a store located in the 2400 block of East Main Street, produced a bag and filled it with several bottles of laundry detergent before leaving the store.

The male is approximately 5’ 9” tall. In one incident he wore a blue polo shirt, ripped blue jeans, and white shoes.

Anyone who recognizes this individual or knows his whereabouts is asked to call First Precinct Detective Sergeant Miller at (804) 646-1289 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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