It feels like there are about a million and a half projects going on in Richmond right now, doesn’t it? We’ve got giant rings coming to the riverfront, bikelanes spiderwebbing their way across the city, and a hellacious cement public space retrofit with the semblance of a Terran atmosphere. These things make the city a better place to live for sure.
But what about all the little, small-scale neighborhood nuisances? Stuff like the intersection near your house with no crosswalks, the road on the way to work without a bike lane, basically all of Scott’s Addition and its lack of sidewalks. No one person could keep track of all the millions of tiny things that need to be fixed—and I say that as a guy who spends his free time voluntarily putting stuff like that into his brain! It’s all very unfortunate because these small things make a practical difference to the lives of folks living nearby.
What we need is, to borrow a term from the productivity world, an external brain—a place where we can collectively document the shitty things in our neighborhoods that bother us.
So, without further ado, I’m exited to introduce This Dang Wiki: A Place Where We Can Collectively Document the Shitty Things in our Neighborhoods that Bother Us.
I’m still working on that tag line, but something like this probably better: The Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Richmond Urbanism.
This is a place for folks/nerds who care about the city to document what needs fixing in their neighborhoods, brainstorm solutions, and find effective strategies to get those solutions implemented. If this project interests you, there are a couple of ways that you can get involved:
- Add stuff! What bugs you about your neighborhood? What makes you feel unsafe? Add it to the wiki!
- Make things look pretty! There are folks out there in the world who love nothing more than to format things to make them look beautiful. If you’d like to do that, more power to you!
- Document! Go out, grab some pics, take some measurements, plot Scott’s Addition’s missing sidewalks on a Google map. Then make sure to dump all that info into the wiki!
- Find primary source material! What ordinances, studies, and master plans relate to the topic at hand? What laws will limit the scope of a solution? If you are a master of PDFs, this is the job for you.
Don’t worry too much about doing things “the right way.” For the moment, there isn’t really a right way—that’s for us to figure out as we go a long. So go forth, sign up, and let’s build an encyclopedia of small-scale Richmond urbanism!