Special/Signature Issues » And One to Grow On

22 Little Ideas for Improving Richmond


In our 20th anniversary issue five years ago, we listed Richmond International Airport as one of the things that annoyed us about Richmond. Today RIC is a place to be proud of, with an impressive new design and more important, low-cost airlines (thank you, jetBlue and AirTran). See, change does happen in this town! Here are some things we'd like to see happen in the next five years.

1. Create a number of homeless centers for daytime assistance -- showers, job assistance, telephones and counseling.

2. Challenge tourism officials to increase efforts to promote Richmond as a tourist destination. Maybe a slogan like, "400 years and counting backward!"

3. Move Friday Cheers back to Nina Abady Park to enliven the area, or better yet, start another festival there.

4. Encourage county planners to establish a grid street system to disperse traffic, like at the intersection of Pouncey Tract and West Broad Street in Short Pump.

5. Encourage landscaping the alleys in old Richmond neighborhoods, hidden treasures that could be enhanced.

6. Offer more restaurant options in the Court End/BioTech Park area of downtown; establish casual dining options in Byrd Park and Monroe Park.

7. Do everything possible to keep the momentum going from the National Folk Festival's successful three-year run.

8. Repave the walkways in Monroe Park.

9. Landscape the retail area of MacArthur Avenue in the Bellevue neighborhood to enhance the atmosphere already being established there.

10. Volunteer (for ideas, see


11. Run shuttle buses from the Manchester arts district to Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip across the 14th Street Bridge.

12. Rebuild First and Second streets as links between downtown and North Jackson Ward.

13.v Offer free admission to Richmond museums for residents who bring paying out-of-town visitors.

14. Open an ice cream store downtown. Are we the only place in the country where you can't buy a scoop downtown?

15. Create more pedestrian crosswalk signals at busy intersections, such as Lombardy and Broad streets.

16. Investigate a rails-to-trails system, in which abandoned railroad tracks are turned into walking trails.

17. Wear recycled clothing. The options are out there, at stores like Halcyon, Bygones, Luxor and None Such.

18. Create more bike lanes.

19. Offer an inexpensive airport shuttle to downtown/Fan/Libbie and Grove with safe city parking available.

20. Add lights to Bryan Park.

21. Try to fix the parking nightmare near MCV and VCU; re-establish on-street parking on East Broad Street, around the convention center and the Marriott. Most parking has been relegated to the decks, and more on-street parking would encourage retail development and patronage, sorely needed on East Broad.

22. Save vintage movie houses in Richmond that are falling into disrepair, and establish an arthouse movie scene to complement the Westhampton.

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