Why the French government is warning travelers about visiting Richmond

Posted at 2:22 PM, Nov 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-15 14:51:16-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – France is warning its citizens about traveling to Richmond. Richmond is one of several U.S. cities and one state France included on its government travel security list.

“Richmond – également, ne pas visiter le centre-ville à pied,” the website reads.

That translates to, “Richmond – do not visit the city center on foot.”

The French government does not go into detail about what’s so dangerous visiting Richmond on foot. Cobblestones in Shockoe Slip? Danger of tripping and falling into the canal? Of course France’s travel alert comes the week thousands of people will being visiting on foot — as part of the Richmond Marathon.

“We would just underscore our efforts to make Richmond more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclist,” a spokeswoman for Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones wrote in response to the travel alert. “We encourage travelers from around the world to come and experience first-hand all that Richmond, the ‘Best Outdoor Town’,  has to offer.”

Other cities and states on the list seemed to have much more dire warnings.

Baltimore – “considered a dangerous city except downtown.”

Washington, D.C. – “In the tourist areas of Georgetown and Dupont Circle, it is best to be vigilant at night. The Anacostia neighborhood is not advisable to day and night.”

Florida – For safety’s sake, do not stop outside lit areas, especially if someone at the roadside or car, you are prompted to do so.