Correction: This story has been updated to clarify the RVA Coalition for Smart Transit's position on Bus Rapid Transit.
The Greater Richmond Transit Co. on Thursday submitted to the city’s urban design committee a new iteration of its planned Broad Street bus rapid transit project.
The report includes modifications to the project, which is slated to connect a 7.6-mile stretch between Willow Lawn and Rocketts Landing at a cost of $54 million. Heeding concerns about loading zones along Broad, GRTC proposes maintaining 21 and moving 12 to adjacent side streets. Complaints about access to nearby neighborhoods prompted an increase in the number of left turns along the route, from nine to 17.
The 73-page report includes renderings of proposed stations, as well as potential changes to traffic alignments on Broad, where buses will travel in reserved lanes along the median for long stretches.
The committee will consider the plan at its August 20 meeting, held on the fifth floor of City Hall.
The BRT project, buoyed by a $24 million federal grant, has come under fire recently from neighborhood organizations. The groups have cited practical concerns with the preliminary designs, as well as fear that changes made to accommodate the service will hurt local business owners.
Earlier this month, several organizations formed a nonprofit called the RVA Coalition for Smart Transit, which supports the general concept of BRT, but is opposed to the current plan.
“These are residential neighborhood associations shouting about something on behalf of the commercial district. We understand that we will succeed together and fail together,” says Alyse Marshall-Auernheimer, a past president of the West Grace Street Association and member of the coalition.
GRTC will hold two public meetings regarding the project next week at the University of Richmond Downtown building: Monday, July 27 at noon; Tuesday, July 28 at 6 p.m.