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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The DMP and the James River - A Few Short Remarks

My working text for Tuesday night's meeting, not a verbatim account.

Hello, my name is Paul Hammond and I live right across Franklin. I’d like to personally welcome you to Monroe Ward.

As previously stated, I love the James River Park System. It is the BEST urban river park in the country, but converting the last remaining riverfront into undeveloped park land is bad for Richmond and bad for the park. Not everyone wants to hike a secluded trail or is able to go kayaking or mountain biking. Some people want easy access, safe parking, a picnic table or café by the water. As wonderful as the park IS, 90% of Richmonders have never been there.

We need to maximize the economic benefit from this wonderful resource without damaging the it. I think this is possible. Richmond needs residents, jobs and lower taxes. The only way to do this is to broaden the tax base.

The current plan, as I understand, it is well intentioned and visiounary, but works against the best interests of Richmond. We have wild trails running from here to the Pony Pasture. These trails can be connected to more accessible paved trails for the less able and still connect Richmond with Jamestown and Williamsburg via the Capital Trail.

The James River Park System is already under funded. It needs better parking, lighting and security. There’s no end to projects in the JRPS that need funding.

This is NOT the time to discourage investment downtown. We should seriously consider every proposal and balance the economic benefits against the environmental impact. The James should be a accessible to all Richmonders. The more people that love it, the better off it will be.

Thank you

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this.

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