The good news that emerged this week was that the controversial 2nd Street Connector proposal has been withdrawn due to strong citizen opposition. The bad news was that the alternative Spring Street connector idea has been rejected as well. What may be seen as even worse news is that Dominion Resources is now proposing that […]
The good news that emerged this week was that the controversial 2nd Street Connector proposal has been withdrawn due to strong citizen opposition. The bad news was that the alternative Spring Street connector idea has been rejected as well.
What may be seen as even worse news is that Dominion Resources is now proposing that South Pine Street be turned into their connector road. Coming off Idlewood, the street direction would be reversed from it’s current northerly flow and instead would be one-way south towards Dominion’s riverside headquarters. The street would then replace the Overlook and terminate instead with a ramp and bridge going directly to the upper floor of Dominion’s parking deck. Because it’s so very important for Dominion employees to be able to get in and out of work (and the City) quickly, the speed limit would be raised to 45 mph, and a new traffic signal light would be put in place at Holly Street and Pine Street (at Dominion’s expense, of course).
Except that Pine Street may not remain Pine Street. There is also an announcement forthcoming from the Governor’s Mansion that, under the new program by the Virginia Department of Transportation, Dominion plans to buy the naming rights to Pine Street and rename it to the Robert F. McDonnell/Thomas Farrell Memorial Boulevard. Bob McDonnell is Governor of Virginia and Tom Farrell is Dominion’s Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. They were close childhood friends who now want to memorialize their undying love for one another.
The City of Richmond Planning Department has forwarded all press inquiries to the City of Richmond Economic Development Office. When asked about this dramatic new proposal, a spokesperson explained the City’s corporate cash handout program could not compete with the state’s rate increases for Dominion, so they decided to do something on the ‘infrastructure end’ to appease their corporate masters.
Although several Pine Street residents were contacted for this article, many were too stunned to respond. Ed Vasaio, the owner of Mamma Zu’s restaurant at the corner of Spring and Pine, was only able say one thing over and over again- “take out is one thing, drive-thru is another”.
In the meantime, City officials are suggesting that Pine St. residents and visitors start parking their vehicles in the opposite direction for practice.