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Posted In: Upcoming Events

What will Church Hill’s ‘Better Block’ look like?

March 6, 2014 8:00am
A Better Block in Norfolk at dusk. Credit: Max Hepp-Buchanan

A Better Block in Norfolk at dusk. Credit: Max Hepp-Buchanan

You saw this here first on Feb. 24 ,when Max Hepp-Buchanan, the Sports Backers’ Bike Walk RVA director, introduced the concept to readers. Now the SBs are adding some details:

Richmond’s first Better Block project is coming to North Church Hill on June 13-14, 2014. The Better Block project is designed to temporarily transform a city block into a walkable, bikeable, vibrant place for people to gather, shop, eat, and socialize. In this case, the project will focus on a two-block stretch of N. 25th St. between P Street and R Street. The Sports Backers will also be hosting a 5k in conjunction with the Better Block project.

“There have been more than 60 Better Block projects all across the world, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring this experience to Richmond,” Hepp-Buchanan said.

While these “pop-up” businesses, comfortable gathering spaces, and pedestrian crosswalks are gone after the weekend, there is a lasting focus on what can be made permanent in the short term to make the block more livable and attractive to businesses, residents, and developers.

“This project lets us cut through the red tape to show what real change in a community can look like when we all work together,” said Hepp-Buchanan.

Initial partners for this project include Team Better Block, the Sports BackersBon Secours Richmond Health System, the City of RichmondGroundwork RVAStorefront for Community DesignPartnership for Smarter Growth, and community leaders. This partnership continues to grow, and Church Hill businesses, residents, and organizations are encouraged to play a role in making this a success.

Team Better Block does its thing in Norfolk. Credit: Max Hepp-Buchanan

Team Better Block does its thing in Norfolk. Credit: Max Hepp-Buchanan

Individuals wishing to participate in or learn more about the Better Block project in Church Hill are invited to attend a Better Block Community Walk & Talk on Wednesday, March 12 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Team Better Block will guide the community on a walk-through of the project area, starting at the corner of N. 25th Street and Venable Street at 6 p.m. The walk will be followed by a presentation and discussion at the Robinson Theater (2903 Q St) at 7:15 PM.

To volunteer for the Better Block project on June 13-14, please visit the Richmond Better Block website.  To receive updates on the project, “Like” Better Block RVA on Facebook or “Follow” Bike Walk RVA on Twitter.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?