Anybody know when, why this stretch of 23rd Street was paved? [via]
It had already been half paved and was riddled with holes. Last month the city finally smoothed it out. My guess for the pave job is it’s cheaper than fixing the hill and stone.
It’s probably cheaper but it looks like crap. Typical of the city…they do a half assed job and say they don’t have the money to do it right. However, they just spent $150K to hire three (yes 3) firms to study whether the coliseum should be refurbished or replaced. Nothing but idiots running this city into the ground!
@SEW- the city didn’t pay for that study.
It does look like poop:(
Ry is correct – the study was paid for by corporate partners: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/article/COLI08_20100607-222404/349713/
This “repair” is emblematic of the city of Richmond if ever I saw it. This stretch of street is absolutely unique in its steepness and location. It figures the historic fabric would be covered over with some quick and dirty asphalt patch.
Two questions come to mind:
1. When will this city ever understand that it needs to utilize its history and historic fabric as a marketable, desirable, money-making component?
2. With the stupidity count so very high, why do I keep living here?
I liked the ruins better than this half paved crap.
Yeah, this city has done itself an incredible disservice by covering up it’s cobble stone and getting rid of the trolly system.
I live up the street and noticed it was paved about 2.5 – 3 weeks ago. 🙁
It looks awful. This stretch of 23rd isn’t even used that much, is it? The city’s few remaining cobblestone streets are important features of the historic neighborhoods – and should be treated as such!
@RightonBroad – I hear you, but having lived in a number of places (including Atlanta, where the dollar trumps everything), there’s stupidity everywhere. It just takes different forms.
The road looks like ass, however, it is used on a regular basis by parents dropping off and picking up kids from Bellevue, neighbors ( I drive the road daily), people going to and from the Market, etc. If I’m not mistaken, hasn’t this road had asphalt on cobblestone for many years (as long as I can remember)? If we wanted to keep it all cobblestone, the road would have to close to traffic; the slightest moisture can make the hill impassable.
I do believe, however, there is a better solution than what is pictured above.
It’s Richmond … when you don’t have a plan, you get crap like this, (a shoddy fix, which won’t last and doesn’t make anyone happy).
If you want a smooth ride take 25th and drive-on. If you want the feel and look of a historic district, return 23rd to the charm of the cobblestones – there is room/opportunity for both.
Driving on “The Bumpy Hill” was a favorite pastime of me and the kids going to and from the Market…When we went up it the other day, even the 6 yr old proclaimed “This makes me so mad…it’s stupid Mommy”
I have seen random spots around the city. Some only as big as a water meter cover and as long as the one on the Hill. I just assumed that while they were out and saw a spot they used what was remaining in the truck because there wasn’t any uniformity to the patching.
Why would the road have to close to traffic if it were all cobblestone? The bottom portion has been cobblestone and it was certainly passable in the presence of “moisture.”
Hilarious paving job, though. Don’t know why anyone is surprised, though. They just repaved the part that had been hilariously paved the same way some time before.
I agree with the 6YO. It’s stupid and it makes me mad too. What’s happening to “historic” Church Hill?
My apologies #4 and #5…I must have mistaken this study with one of the many other asinine studies the city paid for with our tax dollars in the past. My point was the city screws up everything they touch. This once nifty swath of road looks like rotten bad ass now. It’s not a complete job, it’s half asses like everything else the city does. Every time you turn around they are wasting money on stupid shit that only benefits the leaders or their friends (campaign contributors). When is all this going to stop?
Who made the decision to do this and why was the decision made? It clearly wasn’t though out and looks tacky. Ask the city and they will come up with some bullshit answer that they pull out of their ass.
What I think is funny….
The city paid the money to place a half assed patch of pavement, yet didn’t pay to cut the massive weeds growing along the road and sidewalk.
@SEW, you seem to have a serious pathological hatred for city gov’t. I don’t work for the city, but can give you a pretty reasonable explanation. From the picture it looks like this road is in pretty poor condition. DPW (City’s Dept. of Public Works) figures it needs some repair. Since fully and completely repairing original cobblestone street is extremely labor intensive (thus very expensive) and this street is not the centerpiece of any major commercial or historic district (i.e. it’s not Cary St in Shockoe Slip), they figured it was easier and a whole hell of a lot cheaper to patch it with asphalt. Now, you may disagree with that assessment, but it’s the assessment they made and have made for a lot of old cobblestone streets and paths (see Oregon Hill, Battery Park, etc). I suggest that if you prefer they change their policies that you talk with your Councilperson and or Mayor’s staff about where to find the money to do this right, because it will cost a pretty penny to fully repair that cobblestone street.
This sounds like a reform issue with Public Works and Community Development.
With new stormwater regs, the City needs to graduate away from paving as a default solution. We need green pavers as an alternative option if historic cobblestones are too expensive. Chicago, for example, has a Green Alley Program.
Oregon Hill has very few cobblestones left. Alleys and roads are either dirt or paved, despite multiple requests for green pavers.
Fred, I really don’t care for city government becuase they really screw up everthing they touch. Look around, it’s not very hard to find examples. Not sure how long you’ve lived here but I’ve been here all my life and there really is very little, if anything, that they do correctly. My opinion, yes but it seems I’m not the only one on this thread that believes what they did here was wrong. They should have left it as is if they couldn’t do it right. Correctly is more costly but it certainly would look alot better than this half assed job they did.
SEW, I haven’t lived here as long as you, and yes, I can see plenty of examples of where decisions by City officials or politicians have screwed things up. But there are also quite a few examples of things the City has or is doing well: expansions and improvements of James River Park System, the improvements to Main Street Station over the last decade, the Neighborhoods In Bloom program which brought a lot of investment to Church Hill and other neighborhoods. My issue with your attitude is your apparent tunnel vision regarding the City’s actions and claiming that anything and everything they do is bad. More importantly, though, I think you need to specify who is doing the things you don’t like. The City gov’t has many departments, many politicians and many employees, many of whom are working at cross purposes at times. It makes more sense to point to a particular person or department and demand improvement rather than throw up your hand and just say “They’re all bad”. That attitude seems very counter productive.
I took a pic of it the other week and was going to ask about it. I think it’s absolutely terrible. I hate how our cobblestoned streets have patches of asphalt… really? It’s THAT hard to place the stones back in place? Cobblestones rarely develop potholes and are deep into the ground. I wish the city would respect them and the slave labor that put them down and uncover them in the historic areas.
Whoever made the decision should be fired. Sometimes it’s worth the money and the cheapest route is not always the best. I’d glady have my tax dollar pay for the restoration of a cobblestoned street.
You want to live with it or do something about it? At the East End charrette, Director of Public Works Dexter White and Capital Projects Administrator M. Khara went on record as being very careful in the city’s historic districts to make repairs using the same materials only. They were very clear that something like this would not happen. Get in touch with them to let them know someone under their supervision has made a terrible mistake that contradicts the stated aims of the Department of Public Works. Let them know this was something really special that now is just a nondescript mess. Let them know you expect them to make it right and hold their staff accountable. Let the Mayor and Councilman Newbille know you don’t want the area robbed of its character and that it needs to be put back the way it was.
Take this action and you get to keep your bitch and moan card!
The road was asphalt before. I don’t ever recall seeing the whole hill in cobblestone.
#15 Luke, I said “can make the hill impassable.” I’ve gotten stuck spinning wheels on the cobblestone, my husband has slid on it, and I’ve witnessed folk going sideways down and into the intersection. It’s practically my backyard. But I don’t care if they close the street and make it a cobblestone walkway. Just pointing out that folk do use it and that it has been asphalt for sometime.
It looks stupid now, but it looked stupid before they repaved it. It was always partially asphalt, though previously it was full of potholes. I have slid out into oncoming traffic on many a frosty morning.
Maybe a sign should be plaeced there saying do not attempt to drive this street if the conditions are wet or icy… seems like common sense to me…
Cadeho, it IS commeon sense. Something most people have very little of anymore.
Back: thanks for the informtion. I think I will complain to them!
In case anyone is interested in sending a nastygram:
SEW #30: Thanks. That’s helpful. I will send a nastygram today.
Why didn’t anyone send a nastygram before when it was old asphalt?
Mr. White’s response from my nastygram:
Thank you for bring this situation to my attention so that we can take corrective measures. We take very serious the historic character of all Richmond’s neighborhoods and will make every effort to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I will instruct my paving crew to remove the asphalt as soon as possible. Should you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me at 646-6430.
Fuggedaboutit…..asphalt doesn’t stick to cobblestones. It will be peeling up in a short while and all will be back to normal. Potholes and all. It’s the wrong application of materials in this situation-especially on this slope.
I bike down this quite frequently. I would have been happy if they had put temp patches of asphalt, but this is a typical Richmond, half-assphalt job……
I live on Grace and 22nd and use this road almost daily. I’m not a fan of the job the city did, especially since I can’t for the life of me understand why the asphalt covers only about 3/4 of the width of the street. Any ideas?
I for one, like it. I wish they pave all of the cobblestone streets. They are hard on my car.
Awesome, D. Destroy the historic fabric of the community and replace the irreplaceable with the cheap. Just so it’s not as hard on your car.
I hear Short Pump has some places for sale that you really might like!
SEW: I forgot to call or send a nasty gram, sorry, I’m working weird hours…but the grammar in that response is truly …. what should I say? incredible? or horrid? Is that a cut and paste that you did? If so, I’m more than a little worried about the city staff’s ability to send literate email.
crd, yes…that was a cut and paste job. I thought it odd also that the director of public works can’t craft a more literate response. Honestly, though, I was rather surprised to have even gotten a response as that seems to be the norm with this city. I will be curious to see, though, how much time passes before the paving job gets corrected.
so now that the guy from the city has promptly responded you have to find fault with his grammar. what really stinks here is the constant bellyaching by people who think that all city govt. stinks unless of course they need something from said govt.hey geniuses we are the govt. can u send “nastygrams “anonymously?it seems anonymonity is the weapon of choice when it comes to making your point.ah yes i love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. it wafts the odor of internet impotence buddycorbett p. s at least the patch job keeps ya from sliding into traffic. like so many things richmond i suppose the appearance is more important than the purpose. before you take me to taskabout my bonafides i am so homegrown u could roll me up and smoke me.
SEW, I just spoke to a woman named Jan in Public Works at the number given by Mr. White. Added my voice to the complaints, and asked her when the asphalt was supposed to be removed, but she didn’t know, said she would look into it and call me back. I’ll post back if she does.
#37. I agree, and I think we also must condemn the implicit racism in the original decision to pave over dirt First Nation hunting trails with cobblestones. This destroyed the character of the pristine community that was despoiled by the Smith/Newport gang of ethnocentric white males.
What are you talking about, David? Replacement of dirt with cobblestones was an improvement. Replacement of cobblestones with asphalt is only an improvement in the eyes of people like you, who think that your car is more important than aesthetics and quality.
Are we SURE this was all exposed cobblestone underneath the new blacktop before the recent paving? I think the part they paved was all asphalt already. Grey, old asphalt that looked cobblestone-like, but asphalt nonetheless. Certainly it was cobblestone in the distant past, but I think that part was pavement before the new stuff went down.
Did the road need repairs? Yes…however, it should have been done correcrtly with the proper materials: At the East End charrette, Director of Public Works Dexter White and Capital Projects Administrator M. Khara went on record as being very careful in the city’s historic districts to make repairs using the same materials only.”
#45 a neighbor, it was asphalt before being repaved with asphalt.
SEW #33 – I just spoke to Jan again, months later. She’s going to look into this and find out what, if anything, is slated to be done. Apparently Mr. White is no longer with the city, but she had me send her a link to this thread in an email. She really seemed interested in trying to help.
I spoke with Jan as well a while back and she said nothing of the sort. Where are you getting your sources crd??. You are correct Mr. White is no longer with the city, but he seems to be very caring in this matter
#49 – When I initially spoke to Jan Person, she said she would find out when Mr. White planned to have it removed. That was back in June. When I spoke to her today, she said she would look into it, and forward my email to her containing a link to this thread, to someone up the line. At the moment I cannot remember his name, but I have it written down at home (where I am not, at the moment). She didn’t promise removal of the asphalt, that was apparently something Mr. White said in an email to another poster here, SEW.
My source for the phone number was the number listed here on this thread in post #33. I don’t have any other sources.
Yes, that hill looks like crap and can’t understand why the city is so hell-bent on covering everything with inferior asphalt that is constantly eroding into potholes rather than do the job correctly. When was the cobblestones installed – 100-150 years ago maybe? How long will that stupid looking asphalt last? I have traveled that hill in a 2-wheel drive car many times during the winter including snow without problems so the comment I skimmed over about not being able to leave the cobblestone is a bunch of hooey.
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