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ripleyajm t1_j6ejrao wrote

From a drivers perspective this is the hardest city to drive in I’ve ever been to, and I lived in DC for a decade and New York briefly.

Bikes and pedestrians don’t pay attention to crosswalks or stop signs, cars park in the middle of lanes for 10+ minutes, Amazon drivers stop traffic constantly, no one in this city understands turn signals. no one has any regard for anyone else’s safety here.

Something has to change not just in the infrastructure, but the mentality of this city. There is no reason this tiny town should have so many pedestrian deaths


123takeapissonme t1_j6fvtx3 wrote

Also lived in NYC. I didn’t like all the honking 0.00001 seconds when the light turned green, but at least enough people understood the rules of the road.

Richmond is just filled with a bunch of really inconsiderate drivers (and Virginia in general).

Henrico police are more strict and it just seems like police that surround VCU campus are just…not there.

First time I moved to RVA in 2013 I saw someone get hit off their bike so hard [GRAPHIC STATEMENT AHEAD] that their torso was twisted 180 degrees (their butt was facing the same way their face was).

Gruesome and the first time I had ever seen anything like that.


oddistrange t1_j6ft8k4 wrote

I'm always white-knuckling it whenever I'm driving through VCU's campus, the Fan, or Carytown. So many pedestrians will just dart out into the street between parked cars instead of going to the crosswalk.


hiddenrealism t1_j6h01e5 wrote

Dropping my fiancee off near w franklin in the morning and at 5 I notice when I have a green the walk signals all signal too walk at the same time.

Maybe I'm missing something but they're telling pedestrians to walk when I have a green so I also have to yield to the crosswalks


ashdeezttv t1_j6hz70i wrote

As someone who has grown up here maybe this is why I was surprised when I finally drove to DC and didn’t think the traffic was as bad as I’d heard forever. Like it sucked during the rush hours but it didn’t feel much worse than Richmond


ninjetron t1_j6j2gfv wrote

I've had the opposite experience for the most part. Driving in in NOVA sucks balls in comparison.


ripleyajm t1_j6j3pnq wrote

Surprisingly nova is not DC, nor is it a city 🤷‍♂️


Stitchmond t1_j6i5su5 wrote

The times people stop and put their hazards on right next to a parking spot kills me. Just park! This lady in a huge SUV was simultaneously occupying a lane of Cary and blocking Mulberry while she waited for someone to get coffee at Roastology. There was ample parking.


wiwtft t1_j6ieq10 wrote

This has been my experience as well. I've been here a long time but grew up in DC and have lived in other cities and on both side of thing Richmond is awful. The drivers are bad, the bikers are bad, the pedestrians are bad. None of them seem to pay any attention to anything.


Henhouse808 t1_j6eulmv wrote

It’s easy to say students are “too distracted.” The faculty, staff, and students can follow all the basic rules of being a good pedestrian and still get hurt or killed. A student dying in the middle of campus is egregious, but that’s only one of many accidents and deaths in the area from getting hit by cars.

My VCU office window faces West Franklin Street. I get to watch on a daily basis how insanely fast people fly down the roads on campus. I've seen a few close calls, and even had a coworker who was struck at Belvidere and West Franklin a few years ago.

Tons of people's commutes run straight through campus. Mine did when my partner worked downtown. I drove on West Main to get home. I always raised my attention to a 11/10 when nearby campus or driving in the Fan.

Add speed bumps. Flashing signs and lights. Traffic officers at intersections during rush hours. Someone mentioned in a previous thread that Charlottesville was a good example of a campus taking traffic and pedestrian interactions seriously. Hopefully VCU will talk to their fellow colleges and work with the city to make changes (rather than putting the effort on the city).


PhuncleSam t1_j6fz1zr wrote

The speed bumps recently added to Harrison in Randolph have been great. Would love to see more around campus


DickThunder420 t1_j6fkqad wrote

>" Tons of people's commutes run straight through campus" there is your problem, -VCU didn't think it through when they started building up the campus, all they saw were dollar signs.


CrassostreaVirginica OP t1_j6g1fx3 wrote

Hot take, but pedestrians and cyclists should be able to be safe even (or especially) in cities.


FromTheIsle t1_j6hu3bi wrote

This city used to be more dense than it is now. VCU isn't the problem. Forcing cars into cities and putting them on literally every road with little to no protected routes for pedestrians and bikes is a problem. There isn't too many people here, there's too many cars.


DickThunder420 t1_j6koc7r wrote

Here's a student quote from a recent local news article; "You have to go at the same time, and when it's class change time and there's 200 people walking down the street, people get impatient," he said.
Sounds like too many people to me.
And another; “Some of the time, the cars be driving by too fast,"
Sounds like a lack of intelligence...this from a college student.
Also, it would not surprise me if both the driver and the ped were on their phones.
The driver has not been charged, fyi.


nauraug t1_j6ejgme wrote

Creating raised pedestrian crosswalks around campus would have the benefit of slowing cars down while also making pedestrians more visible. Some flashing pedestrian lights are sorely needed around VCU. Narrowing Cary and Main's lanes by painting a bike lane doesn't seem a bad idea either, and would be pretty cheap (narrower lanes promote cars to slow down).

That being said, I drive around downtown a LOT as an Uber and have witnessed students walking or running directly into the street without looking, not using a crosswalk, having their earphones in, checking their phones, etc. I'm not blaming anyone here, but it seems to me that there's a bad mix of improper pedestrian safety measures by the city AND a college campus that brings in a large amount of students from NOVA's sprawling suburbs who just don't have the experience of living in an urban/pedestrian environment. It isn't anyone's "fault" necessarily, it's American car culture rearing its ugly head.

During my VCU orientation there was nothing said about getting around campus safely, which I found odd. It wouldn't be the worst idea to have a mandatory orientation on what it means to be a pedestrian on campus.


peace_dogs t1_j6fxugt wrote

Have to agree. Pre-pandemic I drove during the day for work through or near the Monroe Park area fairly frequently, like two or three times a month, for years. People do drive too fast and drive distracted. I’ve seen it many times. However I’ve also witnessed students walking between cars right into traffic, wearing ear buds or looking at their phones while they do so. I’ve seen several near misses, either from driver or pedestrian inattention. I feel terrible for the student who got killed. I would love to see some speed bumps and other traffic calming items put in place. The area is lovely and vibrant due to the students. I just hate that it can be so dangerous as well.


anachronissmo t1_j6eegvc wrote

It is pretty wild there are no pedestrian bridges really like there is most other urban campuses.


GaySpaceRock t1_j6fnd4k wrote

Hell no to pedestrian bridges. Only reinforces car dominance when traffic calming would be more effective to addressing the root cause of the issue and be cheaper.


notanotherclericomg t1_j6fci2o wrote

I remember when I was a student at VCU at one point there was a race around campus and we had pedestrian bridges for awhile. They should’ve kept them, they were amazing


CoffeexCup t1_j6ejjqr wrote

Totally agree with this. This is a VCU problem not a city problem. I’m not blaming the victim in this situation and I’m honestly not that familiar with the story. There are a lot of students that just don’t pay attention when crossing streets and there needs to be more pedestrian bridges on campus to completely avoid the roads.


funkipus t1_j6eylsx wrote

I see where you're coming from but I really don't love this take. Are we really willing to just accept that roads have to be so deadly that the best solution is to build expensive bridges over them? That's certainly not the only solution used by cities all over the world who have lower rates of traffic injuries and deaths than ours. For me this is a "why not both" situation. We can have more aware pedestrians AND roads that don't invite drivers to travel at speeds that kill. VCU, the City, and VDOT (because it's a state route) need to share responsibility and tackle this issue.


ridebikes666 t1_j6etldf wrote

The fact that pedestrian deaths are up 100% suggest it is the whole city. Drivers need to slow down.


CrassostreaVirginica OP t1_j6ewr11 wrote

We should design our streets so that driving slower comes naturally. I'm no traffic engineer, but I've read good things about roundabouts, regular speed bumps, lower speed limits, and deliberately inducing more congestion. None of which are popular with drivers, but fuck popularity; lives are at stake.

Plus we need a decent network of protected bike lanes that folks will actually use because it's actually useful.

And universal sidewalk coverage.


bigdawgwhatup t1_j6fetjc wrote

This is everywhere though. All throughout the city and into western Henrico near Willow Lawn.


PhoenixAshies t1_j6fsnng wrote

Broad really ought to have streetlights into the county. Especially Broad through Willow Lawn and most of Staples Mill. Pedestrians get hit there constantly.


GMUcovidta t1_j6fttop wrote

They would still run into traffic like they do now


prestondoom t1_j6eo02m wrote

I agree, VCU produces a higher number of pedestrians than a normal business or city district would, but expect the city to fix their problem.


DefaultSubsAreTerrib t1_j6faqtg wrote

The way you write it, it sounds like you are calling pedestrians a problem that needs to be dealt with


prestondoom t1_j6g54oe wrote

We’ll that’s not exactly how I’d put it, but I guess a little. Large amounts of pedestrians are a “problem” that needs a solution. I don’t in anyway mean to fault the individuals or VCU really but VCU at this point is benefiting from not having a true campus and utilizing the cities infrastructure. That said they are state funded so who am I to bitch.


oddistrange t1_j6ftrlc wrote

Those pedestrians are almost guaranteed to shop in Richmond and contribute to sales tax and likely have jobs that would also be taxed. What are taxes for?


PayneTrainSG t1_j6fuko3 wrote

pedestrian bridges are not an adequate solution and can create more problems for pedestrians


_puppyro t1_j6f211e wrote

I'm not a VCU student but I have friends who are so I frequent campus, I walk more than I drive here but I still drive more than the average VCU student.

From a walker's perspective, this is entirely on the shoulders of (for lack of a better term) the culture here, people run into active traffic if there's a large enough gap in cars, most people jaywalk because they don't want to wait for the cross walk sign, near GRC it's the WORST. And it's mostly all students running to and from classes, my friends are guilty of running across the street on a green light because "no one was close", IM guilty of the exact same thing. My VCU friends were told by their campus tour guides that they "Better get good at timing cars, because you'll be doing a lot of jaywalking if you want to get to classes on time." If the campus knows this is happening, it's their job to implement further safety measures, like those pillars that raise on a red light, sky bridges, a crossing guard idk something

However any time I've ever been in relative danger while walking, it has been when I follow the crossing lights and when people are blatantly breaking traffic laws. I've had cross walks leave me stranded in the middle of the street because it counts down too fast, and I've had people who have ran red lights nearly mow me down and have the audacity to honk at me.

From a driver's perspective, dear GOD it's everyone's fault. It's the fact nearly every damn street in The Fan is a one way or blocked off, it's the fact the lights barely give people time to go before turning red again. Delivery drivers that take up the entire right lane, the people who don't look ahead or merge until it's too late, people with their hazards on stopped in the middle of lanes or blocking one ways, people who speed race down streets and swerve around cars last second/without signals, literally no one uses signals. I've seen people turn onto streets that say no turn, I've seen people turn right from the far left lane, I've watched motorcyclists run red lights in front of cops. For some reason like every night when it's above 60°F, there's a cavalcade of people on dirt-bikes, crotch rockets, and four-wheelers that ride around the city dangerously fast doing wheelies and other tricks.

But not once as a driver have I had an issue with a pedestrian, closest I've been to an issue is the blind corner off my complex, but that's my complex's fault for not making the driveway more visible.

My issue when driving is the other drivers and the stupid one-ways, my issue when walking is people breaking traffic laws and the lack of safety measures taken.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6econg wrote

Some students want Main to be closed to traffic during the day. Not sure how that impacts delivery drivers, commuters and access to Altria. Could make sense if we made Cary two way which may reduce speeding there. Two birds kind of thing. I expect the City won't do anything and cops will continue to ignore speeders and people on phones.


MediocreDriver t1_j6efzml wrote

The average weekday traffic on that stretch of Main is 17,000 vehicles, and it’s 35,000 on Cary (which is 10,000 more vehicles per day than 195 going east). Closing off Main to commuters and rerouting them via a two-way Cary would create a lot of problems. I agree something has to be done, but that is not the solution.

Richmond and VCU need to really work together on traffic measures to make it safer for students. I suggest that they communicate with other college towns that successfully make it safer to travel around their campuses and find what infrastructure and measures work best for the VCU area. I think they can learn a lot from those who have a good thing going for pedestrians and cyclists.


Chickenmoons t1_j6eowsn wrote

There is an interstate a few blocks South and not even a mile North of this road. Not to mention Broad st. Which is an actual primary road.

There’s no reason Main and Cary need to serve as thoroughfares to convey traffic from downtown to the west end. Close both, Cary at the end of Carytown and Main through VCU to disrupt existing traffic patterns that are redundant and dangerous while making the two primary pedestrian districts of the city safer and more enjoyable for all.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6etsk6 wrote

Not every driver on Main/Cary is using them to get end to end though. Lots of businesses that are patronized and get deliveries. I usually opt for the highway to go farther even if it means tolls but I know that dissaudes some drivers.


Chickenmoons t1_j6ewogn wrote

The existence of businesses doesn’t require Main or Cary to be through streets. Side streets also exist as do alternate parallel streets. Just consider how much quieter and nicer streets like Hanover are and not coincidentally it doesn’t connect across 195 or across the Boulevard.

I swear people act like any minor prospect of change will cause the end of Richmond.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6f4g74 wrote

Not saying it would end Richmond. Just trying to evaluate the pros and cons and repercussions.


elizinrva t1_j6ew6z2 wrote

Not everybody drives on the interstate


Chickenmoons t1_j6ex7u2 wrote

Cumberland, Idlewood, Grace, Broad, Leigh. Am I taking crazy pills here? Why would anyone choose the roads that are clogged with pedestrians and traffic?


bettygreatwhite t1_j6ezywx wrote

Cumberland has long been my default going west. Less traffic, pedestrians, etc. If I’m not specifically going somewhere on Main, I’ll take it up to Robinson and then get on whichever road makes sense for where I’m headed.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6egpcc wrote

The response I got about traffic volumes was that Cumberland could be used instead. Granted this discourse is limited to r/VCU and Twitter so this is likely not a majority opinion. Just like the tweet that blamed traffic engineers for making it possible for people to drive fast and distracted.

I do recognize that as a car driver, we automatically default to inconveniencing autos least. In a perfect world we'd all be biking. I know I'm terrified of riding a bike though, but might do it in a place where bikes and peds were favored over cars.


MediocreDriver t1_j6eseic wrote

Using Cumberland is an interesting idea but that would likely just heavily jam up the stretch of Harrison between Cumberland and and Main, or Meadow between Parkwood and Main. It’s not an easy fix.

Here’s why: Parkwood (which Cumberland turns into west of Harrison) is single lane so people would default to heading to Main to either hit up any businesses on Main or as through traffic through the fan. The other option is to take Parkwood to Meadow. And anybody who uses Meadow regularly knows that turning left into Main can be impossible at times due to current traffic volumes and thus it would also jam up. If folks use Parkwood for through traffic, then the 4-way stop intersection at Randolph will likely become dangerous and they’ll need to install a raised crosswalk there to slow things down (only if less than 9,000 vehicles use that stretch) or they’ll need to put a light there. The alternative to taking Parkwood would be Main from Harrison, and you can go a lot faster on Main (which people undoubtedly do and will continue to do unless other traffic measures are implemented).

I’m also curious if Parkwood and Harrison can handle the trucks and increased car traffic that would be rerouted from Main. I think Parkwood could be a serious challenge due to the narrowness of the street, the bump out curbs at Harrison and Randolph, the curves after Fifth Baptist, and possibly the right turn onto Meadow. In fact, these factors are likely an issue for car traffic, as well. Parkwood was not engineered to handle a high volume of traffic and won’t be able to unless lots of changes are made. The side streets towards Cary and Main weren’t meant to handle a higher volume, either.

Edit: for clarity


MediocreDriver t1_j6esprv wrote

Regardless of what happens, VCU needs to step up and engage with Richmond City to diligently work on this. I think a committee/task force made up of area residents and students should also be included to keep both governmental entities engaged and held accountable.


[deleted] t1_j6f0n1h wrote



WingedThing t1_j6hqsiy wrote

I nearly got killed right here a few weeks ago when a car ran a red light, that had been red for at least 5 seconds, at like 70 mph. Not to mention how nerve-wracking it is to cross Belvedere with your back to the one-way traffic from Cary, are people turning onto Belvedere going to stop for you, do they see you or are they on their phone? It's like Russian roulette, sometimes I feel like I should be walking backwards across the street so I can keep an eye on them.


Forward-Fox597 t1_j6ideu3 wrote

VCU needs to buy out altria or stop partnering with them. Absolutely ridiculous that they give up street parking for their semis and they bring in cops to direct traffic. Im sorry but your little hairspray play visit does not need to impact hundreds of peoople just trying to get around. I mean seriously, I had a late night class last year and they tried to charge me $10 to park in a garage that i PAID FOR A PASS to enter. Students are very clearly not VCU's priority.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6it49v wrote

I'm sorry that city amenities for residents cause inconvenience. Perhaps a rural campus would be a better option.


Forward-Fox597 t1_j6iwgf1 wrote

Ive been graduated lol. Just not sure why play goers get priority over residents and students?


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6j74z1 wrote

Just part of city life. It's not every night. The Altria shows are a big part of why folks visit the city and spend money. If they didn't park in a garage, they'd be taking up street spots and that would be more inconvenient for residents.


ridebikes666 t1_j6ett67 wrote

Laurel, and Floyd should be closed, I think just making Main st and Cary st 2 way would be enough for those.


DefaultSubsAreTerrib t1_j6eww1u wrote

Speed tables are very effective. That also means that if you lobby for them, everyone will rally against them because they are effective. The fire department will speak against them. Delivery guys will speak against them. Then they'll get some spokesperson from DPW to say that they cannot put speed tables on "arterial roads" (which is code for "I want cars to drive fast there, I don't care the consequences").


ninjetron t1_j6j2t8h wrote

They'll just be ramps for the dirt bikes.


Colt1911-45 t1_j6f7sy6 wrote

My car and delivery truck's brakes and suspension argue against speed humps and raised pedestrian tables. The brick crosswalks are bad enough.


ridebikes666 t1_j6esi0f wrote

It's the drivers. They run that light, only look to the left when turning off Laurel on to Main, and swerve around stopped drivers waiting to turn left.


madmoneymcgee t1_j6f4zv3 wrote

Make all the one way streets two way again.


SwanOverSunshine t1_j6gigzh wrote

The police need to majorally crack down on speeding and reckless driving.


Rapturehelmet t1_j6hzc1y wrote

They do it themselves! Constantly whipping through intersections and around corners with no regard to anyone else


PhuncleSam t1_j6g2oyb wrote

If you can’t stop in time, you’re going too fast. You’re operating a two thousand pound machine.


lf_araujo t1_j6fap7y wrote

At VCU? Crazy driving can be found all around the town.


ValidationGeneration t1_j6g5v6u wrote

Living in Richmond I would scoop my dog up whenever I crossed the street. I was almost hit by cars constantly when crossing streets on monument ave. Shit was insane. I feel like it was a lot of people only looking toward oncoming traffic when turning onto a street just because it was a one way.


Devegas49 t1_j6ghrd5 wrote

I’ve gotten to notice some things while having to constantly cross main & Belvedere or Belvedere and Cary. While some pedestrians (mostly students) will be vert casual about crossing, it’s the impatient and careless driving. People do not drive for the other person and it shows. They’re too eager to blaze through red lights or hop multiple lanes over. Or turn in a non turning lane without a care of how it impacts the other people around them. If they could get away with it, they will.


ericsundberg t1_j6fad30 wrote

So many people want to point fingers at individuals-in-transit when the problem is design. Engineers, planners, council members—they've all promised to fix the safety issues but the promises so far have been false.

Poor line-of-sight, unprotected bike lanes, stroads, traffic circles with stoplights, business corridors, collapsing sidewalks, rundown pedestrian crossing signs—all a sign of complete traffic planning failure. At the end of the day cars are put first and driver's and pedestrians die for the promise of convenience—we all lose.


pdoxgamer t1_j6jveeo wrote

Speed limit should be 15 on most streets around VCU. More should be converted to bus and pedestrian/bikes only. It makes zero sense for cars to be given higher priority than foot traffic as they make up a much smaller share of commuters in that area. 195 exists. Force cars and trucks to use it rather than speeding on Cary and Main. This is very simple and would save lives while costing motorists a couple dollars a day.


squidsauce t1_j6husuo wrote

You guys remember the state trooper that hit the skateboard outside Johnson?


Ok-Lingonberry-985 t1_j6iaaab wrote

Some of y’all are straight dicks, someone lost their life and y’all don’t even know the full details and yet y’all are blaming the victim


magpiedeathritual t1_j6ngnbn wrote

Seems like this post sparks some much needed conversation that some folks can't grasp yet :/


Some_Historian_679 t1_j6ikl6f wrote

And this on the same day that my 4 year old daughter and I were nearly struck by a car in a crosswalk outside Nate’s bagels. Right before that happened, I had a conversation with her about always holding my hand as we cross the street and told her what happened to that student. Drivers, please PLEASE, focus on the road, and stay off your phones!! Everyone is someone’s baby, no matter how old they are 💔


1975hh3 t1_j6g4xnz wrote

Get rid of the one way streets. They are treated as highways. Make Cary go west and Main/Elwood go east. If it takes too long to cut through the city on your commute (boo hoo) then use the Downtown Expressway.


Charles_Britt t1_j6io5mu wrote

Even if she had her head fully down into her phone driver's have 10x the responsibility to be aware of pedestrian/car traffic because theyre the ones driving the giant speeding death boxes


Life-Discount4899 t1_j6g6md4 wrote

this is one approach taken in the uk. we need to be willing to try new ideas. clearly the current system that prioritizes cars/speed is not safe. i see so many people speeding on main, just to get to a stop light (???). this youtube page has more videos surrounding this topic


LowLifeHighJinx t1_j6ihwsn wrote

This is a problem with any urban campus. You say, "Tons of people's commutes run straight through campus". and that is true, but it is more accurate to say that the city, and it's commuters, were around before the "campus" such as it is. The school has expanded greatly by buying whole city blocks, but they are still city blocks. When we think of other large state schools, there aren't any pedestrian deaths. GMU has a discreet campus, separate from the town. VPI, separate campus from Blacksburg. VSU, VMI, JMU... all have campuses that are not simply in whatever building the school can purchase. So, while it is fair to say that people drive through campus, it is equally fair to say students are running through public streets.


do-not-1 t1_j6mutp5 wrote

Part of the appeal of VCU is that it is in a city. Plenty of other schools are comparable. The Oakland area in Pittsburgh is very similar with multiple schools. Cities should prioritize pedestrians by design, not cars.


revel911 t1_j6ie8d2 wrote

Driving through Richmond is a hazard, I have seen a ton of bikers almost hit because cars can’t see due to parking far too close to the streets


7SlotGrill t1_j6hwpue wrote

No, we should use that money to rename more streets and schools. /s


Haulover--- t1_j6is36x wrote

get off your phone and walk with your eyes open and facing forward not down at the ground, and look both ways before you cross the street, this works for driving too!!!

Or stop and read/send your text then put the phone away and walk


[deleted] t1_j6f9e2m wrote



rva-ModTeam t1_j6j8vif wrote

Your comment has been removed because it contains inflammatory content.

Please be a better person and stop contributing lame hot takes and trash comments.


Haulover--- t1_j6is5oz wrote

cars don't kill people phones kill people


neatlair t1_j6fxwmi wrote

Dude - the students cross streets like fucking idiots non stop.


ridebikes666 t1_j6ho9oe wrote

Dude - drivers drive like fucking idiots non stop. And I really mean non stop, changing lights, stops signs, they don't give a fuck.


DamILuvFrogs t1_j6g2eq7 wrote



FlexRVA21984 t1_j6ffypb wrote

It’s pretty easy. If you don’t want to get run over, don’t walk out into traffic.


augie_wartooth t1_j6fh8uw wrote

There’s always one of these…


FlexRVA21984 t1_j6fhej1 wrote

I’ve been walking around RVA my entire life, and yet, somehow, never got run over 🤷‍♂️ Weird, huh?