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East End News

The 2700 Block of Leigh Street STILL needs a sidewalk

John M once wrote:

How, after more than 100 years of being a neighborhood, are there still blocks without sidewalks?

Church Hill is filled with incomplete sidewalks and, while there’s been improvements, there are blocks that are still dirt and gravel or just grass in many parts of the neighborhood.

Let’s start with a definition of “complete streets”:

By enabling safe access for all users, Complete Streets promise to make cities more walkable and livable and at the same time more sustainable.

A concerned neighbor recently wrote to city leaders and shared a letter with us:

Over the past six months I’ve noticed a number of improvements being made to sidewalks in Church Hill which are by and large in good shape. Notably, the north side of the 2800 Block of East Clay Street, the north side of the 2600 Block of East Clay Street and the East Side of the 400 Block of North 27th Street.

The 2700 Block of East Leigh Street is still incomplete. We called the Department of Public Works in October of 2015 to request sidewalk installation. Additionally, we have submitted requests via the See Click Fix System. These requests have been unanswered by the City and the Public Works Department.

The public rights-of-way (I cannot call them sidewalks) on our block consist of dirt and gravel which become streams during times of heavy rain. This forces neighbors and citizens to walk in the road for safety rather than on the “sidewalk.” There is a public desire in the neighborhood to see unimproved “sidewalks” upgraded to improve aesthetics and quality of life as evidenced by the response on the See Click Fix system.

With the amount of private and public investment being made in the neighborhood and the amount of public investment being made in sidewalks which are in good repair, I would like to know what you are able to accomplish to move this issue along.

Leigh StreetLeigh Street

Complete streets are an important part of a healthy neighborhood. Do you have examples of streets or sidewalks you’d like to see finished? Contact Dr. Newbille or do a shout out here and have your voice heard.

The Original Story Below
The 2700 block of Leigh Street needs a sidewalk

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Megan Rickman-Blackwood


Meghanne Ogburn 03/13/2018 at 8:31 AM

YES!!!! I did not write the above but personally have called city hall as well as requested sidewalks via see-click-fix on this block for over 5 years! Not only has NOTHING been done but the city cannot even contact us back. On See-click-fix they simply mark the box as “acknowledged” and nothing happens. Not only is it unsafe for adults to walk in the street here either by themselves or with their dogs, but the gravel/grass area has divots and I personally have almost twisted my ankle several times walking here rather than in the street where a car might hit us. What is the most concerning is that there are a bunch of young families on these surrounding blocks and I see strollers having to use the roadway in traffic because of the lack of sidewalks. Please please give us a sidewalk! Just one on either side.

Jared Sipes
Jared Sipes 03/13/2018 at 9:09 AM

There’s a good chunk of the letter streets that need quite a bit of sidewalk. R Street from 25th to 28th has no sidewalk. They just did two blocks of T Street. But there are PLENTY of areas that need sidewalks around our neighborhood. And to be snarky, I’m not sure why this specific block of Leigh is such a focus other than residents trying to get answers from the city for years. Also, plenty of existing brick sidewalks that are now a total nightmare to walk on at night. At any rate, there’s a lot of work to be done.

Suz Gee
Suz Gee 03/13/2018 at 10:32 AM

@ Jared I agree a lot of blocks need and deserve sidewalks, and I don’t think anyone is implying that other blocks don’t deserve sidewalks! I will say this block is centrally located and has a LOT of foot traffic – especially for people walking to Union Market and Subrosa.

Mark 03/13/2018 at 9:12 AM

But hey, mark your calendars. July is coming and that means only one thing. The start of the Redskins training camp. That financial wizardry of an investment will surly garner more than enough money to fix all the sidewalk issues in Richmond and all the other woes that ail this City. At least according to the EDA and a previous “leader”. And some that are still “leading”.

Diana Alexis Kantlis
Diana Alexis Kantlis 03/13/2018 at 9:15 AM

On 3300 block of P st! We have no sidewalk at all in front of our house. It’s only our block and across from us. Very frustrating, we’ve been asking city about it for 2 years but still no results.

Rachel Woolwine Davis
Rachel Woolwine Davis 03/13/2018 at 9:45 AM

21st has the same problem.

Jess Houser
Jess Houser 03/13/2018 at 9:56 AM

The city was supposed to put in sidewalks on T St. between 28th and 29th as part of the same project on 26th to 28th, but I’m hearing they won’t be doing that now.

Alphabet Land 03/13/2018 at 10:21 AM

N. St. between 35th and Chimborazo is just grass. Also the North side of M St. on the 3600 block is at the bottom of a hill and the sidewalk has been buried by several inches of sediment that washes down every time it rains. I know the neighbors have been talking to the city about it for years but they’ve never addressed the issue.

Liz Wall
Liz Wall 03/13/2018 at 10:32 AM

I don’t mind them much if they’re maintained. They do a better job with rain/snowmelt than paved walks. But when the gravel migrates and/or ruts develop, they’re treacherous.

HW 03/13/2018 at 10:42 AM

Have you(journos) been in touch with Public Works or Council to discuss city’s approach to sidewalks? I certainly get the grievance, but i would imagine the sidewalk and curb repair back log citywide is in the high tens of millions and probably millions for Church Hill alone. Non response to constituent inquiry is problematic, but this is system level issue that either is or isn’t contemplated in PW’s budget.

Justin Fritch
Justin Fritch 03/13/2018 at 11:12 AM

#RVAKidsCantWait #RedskinsCantWait

Kathi Sanders
Kathi Sanders 03/13/2018 at 11:14 AM

I’ve given up. We’ve had a ton of $ poured into our little corner of Church Hill. The 3200 block of East Marshall was supposed to be on the calendar for sidewalk repair/replacement in the fall of 2016. It didn’t happen and I’ve given up expecting that it will. It just seems like with all of us willing to invest $ in the City, the City could invest some back in support.

Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck 03/13/2018 at 12:19 PM

How about cedar street in church hill? That’s an absolute disaster.

Mark Wood
Mark Wood 03/13/2018 at 12:32 PM

Plenty of money for the redskins though

L 03/13/2018 at 12:39 PM

Some random thoughts:

1) @Alphabet Land/Post #7 – the city installed a sidewalk on N street between 35th and Chimborazo last summer, if I remember correctly. It’s definitely there now, anyway. But I think they only installed it on the South/M Street Side. Neighbors told me that the sidewalk had been promised for YEARS – I’d love some insight into the process (like, do they decide where they are most needed and then find the money, or what?)

2) Did Richmond historically have any wooden sidewalks? I’m wondering if some of these locations had sidewalks that rotted away or which have sunk into the ground/been overgrown – I’ve noticed a couple of blocks before where there were a few old bricks poking through and there obviously was a sidewalk at some point. If maintenance is prioritized over new construction, what about these blocks, where the sidewalk has been allowed to disappear?

3) Would the city ever consider building new sidewalks out of an alternate material – pavers/asphalt/you name it? If it were cheaper to do it that way, wouldn’t it be better to have a sidewalk than not at all?

In some parts of the world sidewalks are designed as curbless extensions of the street, with painted lines and sometimes posts separating the road and/or parking spaces from the sidewalk area. Something I’ve seen travelling that I suspect is done equally for reasons of cost and accessibility. Wonder if that’s something Richmond and the neighborhood could get behind if it helped the city cut costs and build out the sidewalk network faster? (I don’t know that there’s any substantial benefit to these alternate materials or designs, so obviously that would need to be explored first or it’s kind of a moot point…)

Brandon Czeizinger
Brandon Czeizinger 03/13/2018 at 1:45 PM

Have them call me
We can do concrete or for a historic look handmade brick paving

Victoria Lynn Davis
Victoria Lynn Davis 03/13/2018 at 1:58 PM

I’d rather them take the historical bricks up and re lay them properly. Over 100 years of walking have damaged them. They are history and I don’t like seeing the history in this city ruined for more modern crap.
Sorry if I’m blunt, that’s my feelings on it. Being a true Richmonder.

Mike Mewhirter
Mike Mewhirter 03/13/2018 at 2:38 PM

Just raise the meal tax a little more and the property ,gas,cigarette and a beer tax. Just kidding you know the city is corrupt and already takes in more money than surrounding areas.

Tina Hayer
Tina Hayer 03/13/2018 at 3:36 PM

Just about every day I see some idiot walking down the middle of the street despite the fact that there’s a sidewalk in every direction.

Jessica Hoskins
Jessica Hoskins 03/13/2018 at 3:48 PM

Bellevue neighborhood is the worst

Tina Hayer
Tina Hayer 03/13/2018 at 3:53 PM

Jessica yeah, and then they give you a dirty look as if you’re being offensive driving your car, on the road, where it belongs

Jeff Foxwell
Jeff Foxwell 03/13/2018 at 5:18 PM

Well its because of Mayor Levar Stoney and his #RVAKidsCantWait #RedskinsCantWait

John Eisenberg
John Eisenberg 03/13/2018 at 6:29 PM

At least the city is building that great new bus transit system nobody will use

Joel Cabot
Joel Cabot 03/13/2018 at 8:40 PM

What is the most important? A new Redskin training stadium?

Tim Parker 03/14/2018 at 6:55 AM

You all sure are productive criticizing a project that opened almost 5 years ago, and transportation options that people definitely will use and ARE using, you just may be too good for it…

Queen of Church Hill 03/14/2018 at 8:06 AM

People walk on the street vs. the sidewalk because some of the sidewalks are treacherous. Try walking on the 400 block of N 26th. It’s like an obstacle course.

Erik Akers
Erik Akers 03/14/2018 at 10:33 AM

Who cares.

Erik Akers
Erik Akers 03/14/2018 at 10:34 AM

Fix the real problems in the east end not the sidewalks

Doug Kipps
Doug Kipps 03/14/2018 at 11:06 AM

Those bricks heading up to Libby Hill on Franklin St can be a challenge also at times.

Christina Newton
Christina Newton 03/14/2018 at 12:15 PM

It would be nice to actually have ANY sidewalks in the Southside of the city where the population is low to middle income and walks a great deal and utilizes public transportation.

Mack Dc Carter
Mack Dc Carter 03/14/2018 at 12:54 PM

Those sidewalks been like that since I been a kid.. The the concrete crew has a lot of back order and how do I know because I work there.. if you want to blame anybody blame your city council person please do not blame city workers for the little people they have already doing a lot of work and underpaid

Mack Dc Carter
Mack Dc Carter 03/14/2018 at 12:55 PM

What people fail to understand is that your concrete crew is your snow crew is your Storm crew is your crew for all of Richmond they just don’t do one thing they might have several other jobs that they do as well so let your mayor know that he really needs to have more people

Mack Dc Carter
Mack Dc Carter 03/14/2018 at 12:57 PM

So the next time you are about to go vote make sure you look around in your neighborhood and show them before you elect them not because they are nice person

CQ 03/14/2018 at 5:24 PM

The city became a corporation to benefit a few, they don repair what is needed, something as essential as a sidewalk, yet the city raises taxes in an average of 25% in Church Hill!

Minnie 03/15/2018 at 6:25 AM

“At least the city is building that great new bus transit system nobody will use”

That comment perfectly exemplifies the petty, self-interested attitude of some people in this forum. I ride the bus every day, along with many other people. I am excited about the new transit system and I think having more public transportation options is great for low income people and urban planning in general.

But in the commenter’s mind: “I won’t use it” = “nobody will use it”.

Minnie 03/15/2018 at 6:37 AM

“It would be nice to actually have ANY sidewalks in the Southside of the city where the population is low to middle income and walks a great deal and utilizes public transportation.”

But Christina, as said in the comments, this location is more “central”, and it affects people walking to Union Market (gasp!) and SubRosa, for goodness’ sake!

Stop the presses! Low income people move aside! One block in our route to croissants is NOT PAVED!!1


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