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USA: Dwight Jones: A new direction for transportation in Richmond

The Richmond Connects project, which has developed the draft Richmond Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plan (RSMTP), represents a new direction for transportation in Richmond. The plan maps out a different kind of transportation system for Richmond to implement, and was developed collaboratively with citizens, business leaders, community stakeholders, transit agencies and regional agencies. The guiding principles for transportation included in the plan look at providing more mode choices for residents and visitors, making streets more complete and improving accessibility to regional growth areas as part of addressing poverty and mobility needs. The vision for the future of transportation is one that is more equitable, offers more choices and gets people out of cars as part of a more sustainable direction forward: It represents a new path for Richmond and, ultimately, the region.

In order for the plan to be successful we will need to continue working with our regional partners, our transit agency, the business community, the state and, most importantly, our citizens. The plan identifies many innovative investments for the future, including a new downtown cycle track for bicyclists, new transit corridors and centers throughout the city that provide access to regional destinations, continued investment in Main Street Station as a transportation hub and creation of a bicycle boulevard that will give cyclists equal footing with cars as a commuting choice. The future of transportation, as defined in the plan, is less focused on just moving cars in and out of Richmond and more focused on promoting all modes of transportation for all users. But the plan is still in draft form and we need input from our citizens.

On April 11, the city is holding the final of four public workshops concerning Richmond’s Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plan. We will present for review the draft plan, which includes recommendations for the next 20 years for specific projects, plans and policy changes. The plan also provides priorities for transportation investments in the short and long term that can serve as a basis for projects that are important to the city in all regional plans.

At the upcoming meeting, you can review the condition assessment, guiding principles and project maps all contained in the RSMTP, which also will be available. The prioritization lists and implementation tables will be available for your input as well, as we move to finalize the plan.

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