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Richmond hosts symposium in effort to reduce traffic accidents, update residents on city projects

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Posted at 10:56 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 22:58:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Several organizations focused on public safety came together Tuesday night to collect feedback and educate the public on how to make Richmond streets safer for all.

It was for the Richmond Department of Public Works' Safer Streets Symposium.

Richmond Director of Public Works Bobby Vincent said the goal of the event was to look for ways to educate people, while also letting them know about different plans for engineering and enforcement.

“We all have to share the public right away together," Vincent said.

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Bobby Vincent

According to Vincent, the city's goal through its Vision Zero program is to eliminate all deaths on the roadways.

This comes after 24 people died on Richmond roads in 2023, according to the city dashboard.

“If people can just get on board with driving slower," Vincent said. "We want people to drive the speed limit, pay attention and not be distracted, wear seatbelts, and make eye contact with individuals crossing the street."

Earlier this year city council approved a plan for designing and building infrastructure in the city that works to be more inclusive of areas that are historically underserved.

The plan, called Richmond Connects, includes dozens of short and long-term plans for improving sidewalks, lighting, road safety, and bus stops in neighborhoods from Southside, to Church Hill, Fairfield, and more.

The plan was curated after years of collecting public feedback, according to the city's website.

However, the city noted they will continue to collect feedback through events like Tuesday night.

“I love hearing from the Ms. Johnsons and Mr. Smiths of our city because the reason is because they have been on their porches for years so they can see things our engineers may or may not have missed,” said Vincent.

Brock Hall is one citizen who came to the symposium to give feedback.

Hall said he wants to see the community improve and noted that people are dying on the roadways for no reason. He wants to see more passive engineering through road enhancements, and collaboration between transit and zoning.

“Things like roundabouts or breaking up street lines. Transit and zoning are the same thing. It’s about where people are and where they are going. People act like they are separate things but really they aren’t,” he said.

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Brock Hall

Feedback like Hall's is an example of what the Department of Public Works hoped to collect Tuesday night and continually at their office.

They hope the public will continue to contribute to helping to make streets safer.

“Sometimes we don’t get it all. But through the help of the public we can get the things we missed and make things better,” Vincent said.

If you would like to provide feedback you can do so on the city's public works site, or on the Richmond Connects site.

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