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atctia t1_j6o7g8p wrote

As a former VCU student, ive crossed that spot countless times both while driving and walking to class. I can most definitely say that there have been times where cars were going way too fast in that area. I can also say, because I was guilty of it, that students are not always careful when crossing streets. When I was a student I was often distracted when crossing streets, more focused on trying to get from the engineering building to my next class across campus in a measly 10 minutes. However, if cars would just slow down, it would alleviate so many problems


Radical-Normie t1_j6odza3 wrote

Drivers need to operate in a way that they can avoid reasonably foreseen hazards in an urban environment.

As long as we equate pedestrians “paying attention” with drivers “paying attention.” We’ll continue to never fix anything.

Drivers pose a bigger risk, they should be paying MORE attention.

I bet if you get minimum jail time for hitting a person, drivers will miraculously start paying more attention.


tpasmall t1_j6p8fvw wrote

Without a doubt drivers need to pay more attention and the penalty needs to be higher for if they hit a pedestrian or cyclist. This needs to be a charge of vehicular manslaughter because it happened in a crosswalk, even if the driver had a green light.

That said, driving as defensively and alert as you can isn't always going to prevent an accident. I had a friend hit a pedestrian on 64 by the boulevard exit a few years back who was drunk and walking on the highway at night. My brother-in-law was driving down 301 at dusk and a pedestrian ran across the street without looking and got hit by his sideview mirror. Obviously these are highways and not pedestrian areas but still highlight the fact that you can't always punish the driver if they are driving defensively and the pedestrian is being reckless.

In the city is obviously a different issue, the streets are poorly designed, the speed limit is rarely enforced and people run red lights. They need to make it safer for pedestrians and if a driver hits a pedestrian due to negligence it needs to be at minimum a class 1 misdemeanor even if there is no injury.

But if you're following the laws and a pedestrian walks out between 2 cars with their head down, headphones on, without checking the street, not at a crosswalk, you can't put the blame on the driver.


Radical-Normie t1_j6pfpe3 wrote

Understand that youre equating:

  1. the risk of a student walking with headphones and not paying attention

  2. The risk of a 2500lb metal machine traveling over 25mph, distracted, in an urban environment.

We will continue to have people die, not just in Richmond, but across the country, because people think this way. Until we realize the latter is the bigger threat to life and act accordingly, we’ll keep on dying. I hope it doesn’t take a death of a family member to change your mind.


lame_gaming t1_j6pcz4g wrote

yeah. but even if a pedestrian pops out, especially in an area like vcu, they shouldn't die


neatlair t1_j6oi96u wrote

Isn’t a car a “reasonably foreseen hazard” for a pedestrian to pay attention to? When you’re on the road, in a car or on foot, you need to assume that everyone around you is 1. Stupid 2. Not paying attention. If you don’t want to get hit by a car, pay attention.


Asterion7 t1_j6ojady wrote

Both times I have been hit by a car on my bike I was paying attention and they "just didn't see me". Car drivers look for other cars and tune out pedestrians and bikes. It's just as likely it was a driver looking at his phone or running a red as a pedestrian not looking. But nice victim blaming.


Radical-Normie t1_j6oinoi wrote

The risk to OTHERS is NOT there for a pedestrian not paying attention. The risk is to themselves.

When a driver isn’t paying attention, the risk for OTHERS is escalated to a deadly measure. The driver is protected in the box, less risk for them.

Big difference.

I don’t blame you for thinking that way. Our culture has fostered that idea. It’s why we somehow don’t think it’s a big deal when people die just going from point a to b.


ImpressiveHunt810 t1_j6opjmo wrote

You need a license to drive, not a license to walk. And plenty of people get hit by cars while walking down the sidewalk; or crossing when they get a walk sign. There are also people who can't move our of the way of a car quickly who also deserve to move around without being run over. It's a choice we've made as a society to allow cars to go faster at the expense of pedestrian lives.


lame_gaming t1_j6pcmtz wrote

vcu is one of the most high pedestrian areas in the whole region, we should design streets to accommodate that

mindblowing, right?


Asterion7 t1_j6o4h5m wrote

Across Richmond, at least 24 people were killed in crashes last year, according to data provided on the city's Vision Zero dashboard, which is the highest number since 2015



ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6ntt83 wrote

Doesn't matter if the roads are 12 feet wide and painted hot pink, if you dont have cops or some other form of traffic enforcement actually calling drivers out and fining them then people will drive how they want.


Asterion7 t1_j6o3qrr wrote

There are ways to slow traffic down and reduce the flow of traffic to make things safer for pedestrians.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6o5pky wrote

I am aware. Civil engineer here, though not specifically traffic engineer. It has to be a twofold approach. Bumpouts and striping aren't enough to counteract asshole drivers. There are bumpouts and crosswalks along Main and people joked about the signage getting run over. We need cops to do their jobs too. Why even have a hands free rule for example of no one is ever ticketed for being on their phones? When that was rolled out in CT 10 years ago people were getting pulled over all the time.


Asterion7 t1_j6o73jo wrote

Oh I agree. Enforcement needs to be stepped up too.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6o7cfs wrote

And I would love for the city to implement more of those calming measures as well! Go team.


Mystical_Mojo t1_j6pfcda wrote

Was in the car with my friend when he got into a hit and run accident on Cary and Belvidere. Called the non emergency line a couple times. We waited for over 4 hours, and NO ONE showed up. When we finally met with a cop the next day he told us Richmond PD is extremely understaffed and thats probably why no one showed up when we called the day before. Then he tried to recruit us to join the force...

Point being, im not sure if more traffic enforcement from cops is even feasible in Richmond.


TGIIR t1_j6p69g8 wrote

Definitely this about people being on phones. I see it often.


lame_gaming t1_j6pdmd2 wrote

yeah, i think the "traffic calming" was half assed though. cops are a temporary solution, ideally we would actually traffic calm the street and create a proactive solution to speeding


PayneTrainSG t1_j6obj14 wrote

I very genuinely think the best thing to do would be to design roads in a way that it would get intentionally bad drivers into one car accidents that affect no other person.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6of9pe wrote

Interested in your design ideas. Do they include launch ramps into pits? trip wires?


PayneTrainSG t1_j6oju6o wrote

there actually are lane designs where buses and commercial vehicles can straddle a pit, and passenger vehicles fall into them. i don’t know how well they work in america with all of the lifted trucks.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6opt9k wrote

Sounds like reverse speed cushions. We already have some big potholes brewing. Maybe we leave them as speed deterrents.


121G1GW t1_j6nzdmu wrote

More cops is never the answer.


ImmobilizedbyCheese t1_j6o36vd wrote

Either cops do their jobs or we get just a traffic enforcement entity that isn't armed and dangerous. But people on their own won't do the right thing. We have narrow streets with parking on both sides and stop signs and people are still booking it. People driving through stop lights. Not stopping at even well marked crosswalks. Because they know there is no repercussions to those actions.


Vajama77 t1_j6o2ahr wrote

I don't know why people cannot understand this!! more cops is never the answer.


MrBillyRattlelance t1_j6ob58i wrote

Thanks for repeating verbatim what the other guy said. Really helped me understand the perspective here.


dalhectar t1_j6odg49 wrote

What percentage of investigations following pedestrian deaths on roads don't even conclude with charges filed?

Beyond ACAB, if pedestrians are dying and we can't even find evidence that the drivers are breaking the law much less prove in court the driver was breaking the law... law enforcement isn't going to help.


kingtiderva t1_j6nwfwo wrote

If only there were some effective measures to slowing drivers down. (There are.)


Ok-Owl6515 t1_j6ojlor wrote

Straight up start reporting drivers.

If they are in a company vehicle, call their employers. I had a truck stop and yell at me the other day when I was crossing with a walking sign. Drivers are way too fucking aggressive in this city. Every other week I hear about a biker or pedestrian getting hit.

I know RPD is spread thin but I think it is not public knowledge RPD doesn't really enforce traffic laws.


GroundbreakingBite96 t1_j6oxkzt wrote

Yeah I had to call a driver in one night who was basically trying to run over the motorcycle in front of them after the light turned green. I guess the motorcyclist was behind him originally, and then went in front of him at the red light. Which sucks yes but a huge truck attempting to kill a single person is insane. I don’t think they caught him tbh


constructit t1_j6oq9ew wrote

A lot of the bikers are just as aggressive. They just loose everytine. BSB, for example, demonstrate the attitude well.


NicoRosbergBurner t1_j6oyfgr wrote

I feel you, I drive a lifted F-250(extended cab) and I start crying and shaking when the scary bicyclists ride by, they’re so relentlessly aggressive


CrassostreaVirginica OP t1_j6nr5af wrote

Sorry for the second post on this topic, after this one from a day or two ago, but this article contains some details the previous one didn't, including some statements by Councilwoman Lynch (whose district covers VCU) and a look at the overall trend, and IMO this conversation is worth continuing.


lame_gaming t1_j6pcf1t wrote

oh i dont fucking know, maybe try to make main st less of a death trap? maybe actually give a shit about pedestrians? maybe stop designing every single piece of asphalt in the country for the sole purpose of moving cars as fast as possible? oh but boo hoo the suburbanites would be mildly inconvenienced, so lets make main st 4 lanes wide and have the sidewalks floating above, then drivers won't have to interact with those p*destrians


GroundbreakingBite96 t1_j6oxvv8 wrote

Why hasn’t the school held a vigil or done anything for her btw? I go here and a lot of people were just making jokes like “wish that was me”, actually so horrible and insane that peoples first reactions were just that they didn’t care, lots of students I’ve walked by the day it happened seriously just didn’t gaf that someone lost their life. I do lowkey feel like if she was a different demographic people would’ve cared more….


ValidGarry t1_j6oxde1 wrote

Lower speed school zones. Same as K12 schools have in the burbs. Do the same around colleges. Lower speeds and visual traffic calming measures. Narrow the lanes with striping, get rid of 2+ lane one way streets.


choicebutts t1_j6opit3 wrote

I want to know if any of these pedestrian fatalities are connected with all of the racing I hear all over the Fan. There's quite a lot of it between Broad and Main near VCU. It sounds like cars do a circuit around Monroe Park and the neighborhood to the West.


Successful1ok t1_j6okxw9 wrote

0 chance of this happening but the city can ban cars/trucks on VCU campus or downtown. There are other ways to get to work or classes...walking, horses, biking, scooters, skateboarding, etc...visitors can park outside of the city with their cars. There are cities that put roads underground. The downside with that is gps signal.


Reasonable-Newt-8102 t1_j6os69j wrote

The only way to fix traffic problems is strengthening public transportation infrastructure. Aside from that one lady that ran out in front of the bus a few years ago (rest in peace, my friend saw that happen) these have all been privately owned vehicles striking pedestrians. Anyone who’s driven on broad street during the day knows how chaotic it is. I think bringing back trolleys would be huge for Richmond but nobody is going to do that. I also don’t think it would be a bad idea to erect some pedestrian bridges between VCU buildings because a majority of foot traffic most of the year is students just trying to get to class.

Our city is starting to look like dystopia, all these empty luxury condos and clogged roads. If you think traffic is bad now wait until all the SUV and lifted truck owners move into their 400k$ condos. A lot of those buildings are boasting 100+ units a piece.


lame_gaming t1_j6pegsw wrote

yes to more public transportation, yes to condos that are actually walkable, but also yes to redesigning our streets

i would like to see a vcu superblock too. that would be nice


ValidGarry t1_j6ox2o4 wrote

It's part of the solution, not the only way. The gap between where Richmond is now to "viable city with no private vehicles" is vast to not possible. I've not seen a city in the world where private vehicles are not present. Controlled yes, banned no. SUV and lifted truck owners are in the burbs, not the $400k condos downtown.


Reasonable-Newt-8102 t1_j6oxjf3 wrote

Venice, Barcelona, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, Ghent


ValidGarry t1_j6oz6tw wrote

Ghent has a low emissions zone where cars that meet requirements are permitted. Heidelberg the same. Nuremberg the same. Barcelona allows cars, just not through traffic in certain blocks. Venice. Well, it's kinda waterlogged and a tourist attraction in a swamp.

If you just copy and paste a list from Wikipedia you don't usually get a thorough answer. All of those cities have completely different characteristics to Richmond, and none of them are car free.


Reasonable-Newt-8102 t1_j6p18dg wrote

Right, but I also didn’t even mention a car ban in my initial post at all, I mentioned improving public transportation.


ValidGarry t1_j6ozzei wrote

I want a safer sustainable Richmond but it will take an "all of the above" approach and decades to achieve. I've helped push sustainable transportation in several places and it takes everything to move the needle. There is no one panacea.


Reasonable-Newt-8102 t1_j6p0yp5 wrote

I definitely think banning cars from the block or two on broad where a majority of these horrific accidents happen would do far more good than harm


Lucky_Locks t1_j6p3owu wrote

Not much they can really do. I remember walking across Belvidere over Main street. Had the cross walk sign. Was almost there when the car that wanted to turn right on red inched a bit. I stopped. The stopped. I walked. They inched again...I hesitated then continued to walk and ended up rolling off her hood and window. I clearly had right of way in every instance but she didn't care.


wagonboss t1_j6oibny wrote

I know this isn’t cost effective, but pedestrians should never have to cross more than 2 lanes. At that point, there should be infrastructure in place for crossing 3 or more moving lanes of traffic.

That leaves neighborhoods intact as is, but allows for traffic and people to avoid each other on busier roads. I’ve worked so many auto vs pedestrian accidents since the shutdown. It seems disproportionate to before that.


Hayek66 t1_j6ovtwl wrote

Close Franklin or Grace street to car traffic. Bikes and Peds only.


surpriseskin t1_j6pi4l8 wrote

Public transit, reduced accommodations for cars.


twelvesteprevenge t1_j6oalai wrote

Ohohoh! Put pedestrian crossing signs in the middle of busy intersections! Should definitely try that.


adamstm t1_j6p0iwg wrote

That is such an egregious place to hit someone, if you are paying attention at all you know there is a huge dorm there and constantly students walking. What an asshole


FluffyButt444 t1_j6pgv62 wrote

I think they need a pedestrian bridge across there


[deleted] t1_j6p8joq wrote



lame_gaming t1_j6pfmwu wrote

they have to climb 2 flights of stairs and walk across a piss filled bridge to go over two fucking lanes of traffic. two fucking lanes. and fuck disabled people amirite? they can be killed by cars. and the people with baby strollers, fuck children! and fuck peoples safety at night right? its their fault they got stabbed!

what if we, i don't know, made drivers go slower? oh but that would slightly inconvenience people in cars so that cant happen right? the mere thought of a pedestrian overpass as a solution is ridiculous and im willing to guess you've never actually been on one