From Take Me Home Virginia: a map of jobs in the Richmond region served and not served by GRTC.
If this is something you care about, join our movement for RVA Rapid Transit!
Look at all this sprawl. Let’s talk about how we can bring these jobs back in closer.
It also looks like there theoretically are enough jobs within the purple to more than employ all of the car-less. Let’s talk about why we can’t get folks educated enough to qualify for those.
I think the intended conversation – talking about how we can inefficiently chase jobs all over suburbia at the expense of the environment and economy to make up for a failing school system is the wrong one.
Cool visualization too.
One other point – if we are to assume that jobs are fixed in their location, not driven somewhat by a desire to flee the city’s problems – which seems to be a central tenet of the belief that this can be solved, there are several ways to solve this.
One is to bus the folks long distances every day. This seems to be the default solution but I wonder how much thought has also been given to pros and cons of other alternatives? Was this just identified as the coolest choice because it allows us to dream about monorails? Did it win out because the GRTC drove the discussion? Or was there a thorough discussion on all of the ways to solve before folks gravitated to this being the solution?
Seriously? Rapid Transit? Or Vapid Transit? There is a reason most progressive cities are going to bus lanes on the interstate. Bus routes are flexible in ways that rail tracks aren’t. oh, and the infrastructure costs are minimal too.
Yo, Chimbo, if you actually read the site you’d see RVA Rapid Transit is all about BUS Rapid Transit precisely because it is flexible and easy to implement quickly.
Alex, seriously, do you expect to change the dominant form of land use around the region in just a few years time? I agree there is too much job sprawl and that is strongly tied to the history of white flight in the region, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that. You can’t just expect to move even 25% of these jobs from the suburbs to the city in short order; there’s too much already invested in the suburban development. Over the long run, however, we can try to shift to more centralized development pattern. Of course, as they say, in the long run, we’re all dead. So we ought to at least try to serve these suburban job centers if we want to start building a truly regional transit system that knits together most of our regional activity centers and major residential areas.
Until you have county citizens asking their county leaders for better mass transit, it will be very difficult to get the counties on board. So while I appreciate this post and the discussion on this site, how many county folks does it reach?
When I was serving on the CITY Council GRTC Task Force, I never saw any support for GRTC or BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) from the county governments. None. So from the Task Force’s perspective, we concentrated on things that would improve GRTC from the CITY’s perspective. I am hoping the counties can still eventually be brought around if they see attractive City service, but I am pretty pessimistic in the short term.
While I support RVA Rapid Transit and BRT goals, I have real concerns about how RVA Rapid Transit is approaching the issue. I don’t think the counties can be morally shamed into participating in regional transit. I think they need to see the merits of doing so from their own perspective. I am also concerned that the harping on ‘social need’ and racial politics is unfortunately confirming an overall, erroneous perspective that GRTC is just an urban social service for poor people and not a true transportation alternative for all of the region’s citizens. In other words, doing more harm than good. I have brought these concerns up with them as well as the Partnership for Smarter Growth.
What we need is an uprising from county citizens, strongly demanding BRT out of THEIR OWN self-interest from their county leaders. The uprising needs to be well-organized and very big and it needs to be seen as county movement, not city.
Could this happen in Henrico?
As I have mentioned before, there are some Chesterfield residents who do want a GRTC connection to downtown and are mad about budget cuts to their express routes. But they need to get much, much more vocal.
One other positive thing to latch onto- Innsbrook and Short Pump may be developing their own private bus circulator. It makes sense to somehow connect that to GRTC, but I don’t know if that can be done politically.
@9 – I agree with most of what you are saying but still think efficient mass transit around the suburbs isn’t the most sustainable answer. Getting folks to stop moving farther and farther out is.
Interestingly, that problem seems to be solving itself in recent years – more and more people are moving back downtown. This means cities taking up smaller footprints and more efficient usage of land.
While it might seem like a mass transit solution to make it easier to commute from Short Pump is a good idea from today’s constraints, it may actually prolong the death of suburbia. Stopping the continuing sprawl should be the focus and the best part is that it’s already starting to take root organically.
Now the city has to just get out of the way. With the city involved, there’s a good chance they botch it like they did with the interstates breaking up neighborhoods.
@Scott Burger. I would also add that a rapid transit solution between the airport and downtown is essential for the growth of the greater Richmond region.
@Alex – the grey suits who locate the jobs within a region solely worry about business taxes (still higher in the city). As for where people live, the younger generations have deeply and irreversibly rejected the suburbs. Only Gen Xers and older want to live out there. It’s just a matter of time before the rest (jobs, etc) follows. Or the grey suits try to mimic the city out there. Innsbrook sucks so they are turning it into a “city.”
I think another message lost here is that statistically nationwide more low income people live in the suburbs than in urban centers. Out there the carless will be even more isolated from jobs. A purple dot can get to any purple dot, but a green dot can only walk to the next green dot – maybe.
The need for public transportation out there may be startlingly greater than anyone even realizes.
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