Shockoe Revitalization Traffic plan called into question

Could Shockoe Bottom handle baseball traffic on top of another 7,500 projected daily vehicle trips?

RTD and Paul Goldman have called attention to possible gaps in Shockoe’s Traffic plan (links below)  and both refer to the same source. Rick  Tatnall, former Mayoral candidate, has taken a close look at the plan and doesn’t think it adds up. Basically the study doesn’t take into account anybody driving to see a baseball nor does it feel the need to take those cars into account.

The study states that existing intersections (intersections in red above were part of the study) could handle the extra 7,500 daily vehicle trips estimated to come with development around the stadium, but it doesn’t specifically address traffic coming to and from baseball games.

“Because there is no single parking destination, it is impractical to estimate the specific traffic movements associated with visitors to the stadium,” the study states.

The study assumed that stadium patrons would arrive and depart during off-peak hours, and it was “generally agreed” that studying the morning and evening peak hours would suffice. Tom Flynn, the city traffic engineer, said the morning peak hours are from about 7:30-8:30 a.m., while the afternoon rush hour is from roughly 4:30-5:45 p.m.

“Pretty much, rush hour in Shockoe Bottom area is well over by 6 o’clock,” Flynn said, adding that the city’s position is that if the grid can handle the rush-hour traffic, the other hours will “take care of themselves.”

Councilman Parker C. Agelasto, 5th District, pointed out that, according to the home schedule of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, most weeknight games begin at about 6:30 p.m.

“So you really have a small window there that I think the traffic analysis is assuming that the area will clear out before that traffic arrives,” Agelasto said. [via RTD]

Tatnall also points out that the plan uses data from 2008 which doesn’t take into account the growth that has taken place in the area over the past six years. Richmond officials however feel that valid estimates have been made and traffic will not be a concern if the stadium moves forward.

Speaking of moving forward the Shockoe Revitalization Plan took another step forward as the City Council Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee voted to forward to the full council a new resolution introduced last week by Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

The full council expects to take a look at the new resolution on Monday. March 27th  is the new deadline for all the land deals to be in place including parking.

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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