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Citizens bring transportation concerns to Henrico supervisors

Henrico County Administrative Building at West Henrico Government Center. (Photo by Analise Beres for the Henrico Citizen)

Several residents of Henrico raised concerns about public safety and transportation with Henrico’s Board of Supervisors at its May 24 meeting.

Lakeside resident Lori Valente Coffey spoke about road safety and drainage issues in the neighborhood. She read some of the 200 survey responses she got by posting a poll on the Lakeside RVA neighbors Facebook page, many of which referenced the need for sidewalks in the area.

A response explained that Lakeside Elementary School does not have a sidewalk around its entire perimeter, which poses safety concerns for students, parents and teachers who walk.

“Students walking or biking to school must share the road with school buses, garbage trucks, commuters and work vehicles on narrow streets without sidewalks or four-way stop signs to get to school,” one comment read.

Other responses specifically mentioned Dumbarton and Hermitage roads as being unsafe for pedestrians and requiring sidewalks and cycle lanes.

“The Hermitage is extremely dangerous for anyone walking and there are always people walking dogs or heading into Bryan Park. Children, teenagers, cyclists, runners, etc,” Coffey read, “It’s a narrow and with pedestrians it is smaller, especially if they walk on both sides of the street at the same time.

(The topic of active transportation (cycling, walking, and other non-motorized modes of travel) has recently been prominent at Henrico, and Citizen will host a panel discussion webinar on June 10 to address it. Among other topics, members of the panel will discuss: the future of sidewalks and bike lanes in Henrico.)

Resident John Owens gave a presentation titled “Make Willow Lawn Great Again,” during which he proposed the county purchase land currently occupied by Extra Space Storage and redevelop the space as a regional transit center . Although the Greater Richmond Transit Company has a stop at Willow Lawn, he argued that self-storage is not a primary business use for the area and should not be located on a major commercial thoroughfare like West Broad .

County officials searched for property in the area to use as public parking for the GRTC and Pulse stops at Willow Lawn.

Richard Sullivan expressed concern about emergency vehicle response times in parts of the county and asked the board to approve additional emergency vehicles for stations 8, 10 and 17.

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Furthermore, the Board voted unanimously for all the draft resolutions included in the meeting agenda.

Supervisors voted to proclaim May 2022 National Drug Court Month, in honor of the 19th anniversary of Henrico County Drug Court, a program that so far has served 265 graduates. Three-Chopt Representative Tommy Branin presented the proclamation to Sarah Perkins Smith, Drug Court Administrator and Circuit Court Judge John Marshall.

The board also voted:
• award a $315,000 easement compensation contract to GL Howard Incorporated that will begin June 1 and end May 31, 2023. (The contract will be funded by the County Water and Sewer Revenue Fund .)

• to award InfraMap Corporation an annual contract for underground service designation and location services with an expenditure limit of $2.5 million per period.

• in favor of an agreement with Virginia Electric and Power Company for the construction of underground power line facilities through county property at 6007 Morningside Drive. The facilities, according to the resolution, will alleviate load issues and provide more reliable electrical service to county and surrounding facilities.

Also at the meeting, County Assistant Director for Community Affairs Monica Smith-Callahan took the microphone to recognize May as a month of remembrance for several diverse communities.

First, Smith-Callahan recognized May as Jewish Heritage Month (celebrating partnerships between Henrico and the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, the Holocaust Museum, and other organizations and synagogues that make up the Federation of Richmond Jewish community) as well as Asian American Pacific Islanders. Heritage Month. She noted the work of the Asian American Society of Central Virginia, as well as the support of the Asian Latino Solidarity Alliance for the My Henrico academy and the Stop Asian Hate rallies at Henrico.

Finally, she acknowledged that May was also Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Our mental health development services in the Henrico region [team] reminds us that if we or someone we know needs mental health support, they can be reached at 804-727-8484,” she said.

Following Smith-Callahan’s comments, County Executive John A. Vithoulkas asked reunion attendees to honor the legacy of Diamond Brown-Mosby, a Henrico high school student who was shot and killed May 19, with a moment of silence.

“This young woman was a kind and talented leader on and off the basketball court with an extremely bright future ahead of her, but that was cut short just weeks before her high school graduation,” Vithoulkas said, expressing her deep sympathy on behalf of the county. for family and friends of Brown-Mosby.

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