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Jackson Ward resident on poor road conditions: ‘They haven’t done anything’

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 18:59:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Barbara Jones, who's been living in Richmond's Jackson Ward neighborhood for more than 20 years, says she can barely navigate the area's aging streets because of potholes and cracked sidewalks.

The 78-year-old disabled woman uses a scooter to travel throughout her neighborhood. She said it’s been a real change to get around lately.

"The sidewalks and the streets are horrible,” she said.

Jones showed CBS 6 a hole and the cracked sidewalks along Saint James Street.

Barbara Jones

"I ride up and down this block three or four times a day and I'm scared I might ride there when it caves in because it is bad,” said Jones.

After complaining to the city, Jones says crews have yet to respond to her neighborhood.

"They haven't done anything around this intersection… nothing,” said Jones.

Herman Baskerville, owner of Big Herm’s Kitchen in Jackson Ward, said he’s also noticed serious road conditions throughout the area.

Barbara Jones

"We do have some sidewalk issues… a lot of pothole issues… especially going up and down Clay Street that are pretty dangerous for a car, let alone a bicyclist or a motorcyclist or something like that,” said Baskerville.

Baskerville said he has seen a huge growth over his five years in historic Jackson Ward, but worries the neighborhood isn't getting enough city resources.

"To be in the heart of the city, one block off of Broad Street, a couple of blocks from City Hall, it seems like it's a bit challenging to get some stuff fixed, removed or replaced,” he said.

CBS 6 Problem Solver Sandra Jones took their concerns to Richmond's Public Works Director Bobby Vincent.

"We don't discriminate when it comes down to spending,” said Vincent.

Vincent says DPW is only funded $3 to $6 million a year for more 2,000 miles of roads within the City of Richmond.

He said covering that much ground can get pretty costly.

"So, we're looking at ways to try to increase that amount of funding," Vincent said. "We're looking at ways to try to increase the amount of funding that we receive from the state in order to help us out with our streets. So that, we can be up to par and better.”

According to a 2013 city audit report, the City Auditor’s office recommended allocating $277 million to DPW for roadway maintenance, Capital Improvement sidewalk operations, and other projects.

But the department receives $3 to $6 million annually.

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