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Photo by Cackie Trippe McCarty

Ginter Park Weekly Gazette – Monday, December 19, 2022

“There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”  Edith Wharton

“We light candles in testament that faith makes miracles possible.”  Nachum Braverman

No matter the faith or holidays that you celebrate, do spread a joyful light!  The Board wishes you a happy holiday season and a snug, warm winter! 

Firehouse Primary, Tuesday, December 20!  GOTV!

There is a primary tomorrow, Tuesday, December 20, to select the Democratic candidate for the 4th Congre3ssional District House seat vacated as a result of Rep. Donald McEachin’s death November 28.

  • Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Polling locations (any qualified voter can at any of these locations on Tuesday, December 20):
    • Dogtown Dance Studio: 109 W 15th St, Richmond 23224
    • Diversity Richmond: 1407 Sherwood Ave, Richmond 23220
    • Meadowdale Library: 4301 Meadowdale Blvd, North Chesterfield 23234
    • Surry Parks & Recreation Center: 205 Enos Farm Drive, Surry 23883
    • Charles City Government Center: 10900 Courthouse Road, Charles City 23030
    • Brunswick Conference Center: 100 Athletic Field Road, Lawrenceville 23868
    • IBEW Local 666: 1390 E Nine Mile Road, Highland Springs 23075
    • Tabernacle Baptist Church: 444 Halifax St, Petersburg 23803
  • The four primary candidates are businessman Tavorise Marks; Jennifer McClellan and Joe Morrissey, both state senators from Richmond; and former Del. Joseph Preston, D-Petersburg.
  • The Democratic nominee will face off against Republican Leon Benjamin in a special election on Tuesday, February, 21, 2023.

Blood Drive December 29:  Need for Blood Products Does Not Take a Holiday!

CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment.

Ginter Park Traffic Safety Concerns

The A.P. Hill monument finally came down this week, and the open, simply paved intersection is expected to improve the safety of that intersection greatly. The City RPD has initiated a 90 day traffic enforcement blitz with tickets and fines anticipated, an acknowledgement of rampant reckless driving in the city.

However, the Board has paid attention to residents concerns about other traffic safety hotspots in the neighborhood. GPRA now has the advantage of a Traffic Safety Chair, Jon Oliver, who has professional skills in road design and traffic engineering, so do reach out to him to spearhead and initiate requests for traffic calming or other safety measures in your area. Jon knows the key city staff and processes, so he can help.

Here’s what we are hearing from you:

  • Unsafe design related to the parking portion of the bicycle lane design on Brook Road. There have been multiple incidents of parked cars struck.
  • Unsafe speeds on Chamberlayne Avenue with multiple pedestrian deaths in the past few months plus vehicle accidents. The corner of Westwood and Chamberlayne has been reported as an unsafe intersection for vehicles.
  • Neighbors in Laburnum Park continue to report cut-through traffic between Hermitage and Brook Road, with speeding and disrregard for stop signs. Wilmington Avenue and Laburnum Park Boulevard still lack 4-way stops at some intersections.
  • Speeding on Laburnum Avenue. The proposed plan worked out between Bellevue Civic Assocviation and City Traffic Engineering to shave off footage from the center median and to create parking between Hermitage and the Henrico County line has now been dismissed as actually making the road appear wider, and therefore, pootentially encouraging high speeds.
  • Neighbor, John Roberts, provided a letter to the Board and to Councilwoman, Ann-Frances Lambert:
I wanted to let you know, if you did not already, that there will be at least one bill in the VA. legislature this January to allow Richmond to place speed cameras with citations issued for speeding over 10 mph beyond the posted limit.   (RTD Wed, Nov 16)  The city met yesterday to discuss this problem.
As someone who owns a house on Chamberlayne,  since 1963, I am very aware of the dangerous speeding problem that Chamberlayne has, resulting in numerous and severe accidents and even several  pedestrian deaths in recent years.
The city has said that it is committed to  the VISION ZERO program to limit fatalities and injuries due to speeding vehicles.  To this end, the situation on Chamberlayne really should be addressed.  The above mentioned bill will help.  But also needed , and in line with the GOAL ZERO program, is a speed reduction .  Other cities across the USA, like Seattle, are doing this, even including similar major thoroughfares.
One other thing that I feel is contributing to the speeds (45, 50 mph and more) is the length of the green lights at cross streets.  This creates  a situation where drivers anticipate being able to drive at excessive speeds and to weave in and out of lanes on Chamberlayne.  I have noticed this change since the lights were changed about 10-15 years ago.     This was done to facilitate car traffic in Richmond.  However, it has come at far to great a cost.  We have lost pedestrians and cyclists not to mention more severed car collisions since this change.
I hope that you will support the upcoming bill and that you will take additional measures such as posting a lower speed on Chamberlayne, installing  lighted pedestrian crossings with flashing lights, speed cameras, and enforcement to insure the safety of our streets.  Our streets belong to everyone, not just commuters intent on getting home fast.  Safety must come first.
Thank you, John!
If you concur with John, write to and call our district Delegate, Jeffrey Bourne,
or call 804-698-1071 and Senator Ghazala Hashmi,
and City Council Members Katherine Jordan and Ann-Frances-Lambert,
All who are concerned about Traffic Safety in the neighborhood, reach out to Jon Oliver, who will be happy to meet with groups of neighbors about your area of concern.

Holiday Safety and Crime Prevention

Neighbors, please review this video and artickle for RFD for fire prevention tips. The holiday season brings a 50% increase in RFD calls, often due to fires created by unattended cooking, open flames, use of space heaters, use of extension cords. Visit the RFD website for information about use of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. Did you know that 38% of deaths in home fires occur in homes without smoke detectors? Be safe this holiday season, this winter and always. Assess your home for risks.

Richmond Mounted Police offer some tips for holiday crime prevention:
What we are hearing from our neighbors:
  • Prowlers looking for opportunities
  • car burglaries
  • car thefts
  • catalytic converter thefts
  • package thefts from front doors

Tips from RPD:

  • If Christmas tree is visible through a window or screen door, do not display presents around it.
  • Do not leave shopping bags in plain view in your vehicle and do not store gifts in car truck for an extended period of time.
  • Do park in well-lit areas of shopping complexes.
  • Constantly be aware of your surroundings, criminals are prone to rob people that are pre-occupied when leaving a store.
  • Do not leave large packages from electronic purchases visible outside of the home. Take advantage of alternative pickup sites offered by some on-line retailers.
  • Never leave your vehicle running!
  • Do not leave valuables or guns in your vehicles.
  • Invest in Ring or other cameras and motion detectors for areas of your property where you park and have entrances to your home. Keep dorrs and windows locked.
  • Have your catalytic converter stamped and painted at Midas.

GPRA has a new Public Safety Chair, Mary Ann Batsche!  Do reach out to her at to discuss public safety concerns in Ginter Park. She is happy to meet with groups of neighbors and is the liaison for the neighborhood with 4th Precenct leadership and officers. 

Results of the Coalition of Northside Civic/ Neighborhood Associations Fall Line Trail Survey

Thank you to all Ginter Parkers who responded to the Fall Line Trail Survey disseminated by the Coalition of Northside Civic/Neighborhood Associations.  Here is a summary of the results, which has been provided to the appropriate City staff, City Council Members, and to Sportsbackers. Ginter Parkers are represented on the Coalition team by multiple GPRA Board members and our previous Vice President, Randee Humphree. Have questions about the Coalition?  Reach out to Susan,

Some other business where the Coalition is involved in representing northside neighborhoods:  the Diamond District development; the proposed Quality Inn redevelopment project; the RPS and City plan to redevelop Thirteen Acres on the Linwood Holton property.

146 responses from across the northside. Given these results, our team would like to request a meeting with the City, SportsBackers, and our City Councilors in January to receive an update on the timeline for this project and to further discuss how we can support it moving forward.

  • Among those surveyed, the majority came from Bellevue (26.9%), Ginter/Laburnum Park (23.5%), and Rosedale (23.4%). Given that these neighborhoods border major parts of the proposed trail route that do not have existing protected bike lanes and will thus require more changes to existing infrastructure, this was to be expected.
  • Among the priorities given, here were some key findings:
    • At the ‘Most Important’end,Trail Safety Features, which is in light blue (97 total) and Preserving Existing Trees (90 total) received the most total 1st and 2nd choice votes, with Trail Maintenance, which is in purple (52 total) coming in a somewhat distant third.
    • At the ‘Least Important’end, Preserving Two Driving Lanes in Each Direction (94 total), Trail Signage for Local Businesses (83 total), and Preserving Street Parking (71 total)received the most 5th and 6th choice votes.
  • A vast majority of respondents would like to have connector or ‘spur’ trails, especially to The Diamond District (71.5%), Scott’s Addition (67.4%), and MacArthur/Bellevue shops and restaurants (57.6%).
  • Among the more open-ended questions, here are some themes that emerged:
    • Ensuring biker and pedestrian safety is the number one most common theme by far, including some sub-themes such as:
      • Design safe crossings at major intersections, including Laburnum and Hermitage, Westwood/Brookland Pkwy and Hermitage, and the portion of the trail that includes the railroad crossing on Brook and the intersections of Brook Road-Chamberlayne and Chamberlayne-Duval.
      • Lower speed limits and create infrastructure to make it difficult to drive dangerously.
      • Strongly separate the bike/pedestrian path by raising the path and adding barriers.
      • Post and enforce signage with ticketing to keep drivers from parking/driving in bike lanes.
    • Respecting existing trees, historic architecture/neighborhood character, and private property.
    • Adding connector trails and pedestrian/bike bridges to get to major destinations (e.g., Diamond District, Scott’s Addition, etc.) and other means of travel (e.g., GRTC stops, Amtrak station, etc.).
    • Ensuring car traffic continues to flow smoothly, even if there are lane reductions.
    • Maintaining the trail and amenities – leaves and debris blocking the trail would make it unsafe.
    • Providing additional opportunities for community input, especially on the section south of VUU into Jackson Ward.
    • Coordinating the trail with other efforts (Diamond District, Reconnect Jackson Ward, etc.).
    • A few comments also take issue with the route of the trail and propose considering alternative routes.

We look forward to hearing from you regarding a day to meet and further discuss the implications of these survey results, as well as next steps.


The Leadership of Seven Northside Civic Associations: Bellevue, Edge Hill/Chamberlayne Court, Ginter Park, Hermitage Road Historic District, Historic Jackson Ward, Rosedale, and Sherwood Park.

Board Business and Your Input!

The Boards and Committee Chairs of 2022 and 2023 will have a joint meeting Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 6:30 pm at St. Paul’s Catholic Church Fellowship Hall, to facilitate a smooth transition and to discuss association goals for 2023. Board Meetings are open to the public, and you are welcome to attend.

The Board is clear about our Mission, which is one of service to our neighborhood, and we are the financial stewards of neighborhood funds. We are always open to your questions, concerns and your recommendations for our goals, activities, initiatives, and our expenditures. Please do attend Board Meetings, or call or write to any Board Member or Committee Chair, or your District Rep. Contact emails are listed on the website,, on the About/Board and Committees page. The more that residents of a neighborhood are engaged, participating and a Member of the association, the more effective and satisfied we are as neighbors and citizens.

The Event/Social Committee Co-Chairs would like very much to hear your requetss and ideas for 2023 social gatherings and other events. Our neighborhood is alweays evolving; and while we may like the traditional or familiar, we are open to shaking up our GPRA-hosted gatherings. We have heard some requests for increased child and family pleasing gatherings. Contact Prudence Justis and Melissa Oefelein,

We have noted that our Membership Meetings with guest speakers were not well-attended in 2022, with the exception of the Annual Picnic and the Annual Meeting/Chili Cookoff-tell us what you’d like to see in terms of Membership Meetings, please. Contact

The Communications Team is always happy to hear from you about the Gazette, the Monthy Newsletter and socvial media communications, Susan,