RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Heavy traffic is expected to occur in downtown Richmond, around the VCU campus, over the next few weeks ahead of several local high school graduations.

According to a release from VCU, 21 high schools in Chesterfield, New Kent and Henrico counties, as well as ECPI University, will hold graduation ceremonies at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, located on 1200 West Broad Street in Richmond, from May 23–25 and from June 10–16.

Up to 7,000 people are expected to attend these events, leading VCU Police, VCU Parking and Transportation, the city of Richmond, the Richmond Police Department and other city organizations to come up with a plan to mitigate traffic in the days surrounding the ceremonies.

“We are all working together at VCU, and with our partners, to make sure guests get into and out of Richmond safely for each ceremony,” VCU Police Chief John Venuti said in the release.

University police are working with the city to establish 15-minute parking zones on nearby streets to accommodate customers at local businesses, VCU’s press release read. Students and graduation guests are encouraged to allow extra time for travel. The doors at the Siegel Center will open one hour before the start of each ceremony.

Below are the details of all major traffic updates and accommodations put in place to prepare for the busy weeks ahead.

  • VCU Police and the Richmond Police Department will be directing traffic at more than a dozen intersections, including those near Exit 76B (Belvidere Street) off Interstate 95 and along Belvidere and West Broad Streets to Lombardy Street. 
  • “No parking” signs will be posted along West Marshall Street, between Bowe and North Harrison Streets and behind the Siegel Center, where towing enforcement goes into effect on Monday, May 23. The area will be reserved for buses to drop off graduates.
  • Drivers will not be permitted to drop off passengers in front of the Siegel Center. However, there will be a designated drop-off area for passengers and guests with mobility impairments on the eastbound side of the 1200 block of Broad Street. Signs will be placed to assist drivers with identifying this location.
  • VCU parking subscribers will be temporarily relocated from the West Broad Street Deck between May 23–25 and June 10–17.
  • Guests parking in assigned parking decks at VCU will need to show their blue, red, green or yellow parking passes — issued by area schools. Additional parking and arrival instructions are available on the university’s website.
  • Digital signage in the area will encourage drivers to take alternate routes during peak travel times
  • Pedestrians near the Siegel Center will have to use crosswalks, which will be managed by police, as VCU will place safety fencing along Broad Street and side streets.

For questions or more information about traffic, parking and access, contact VCU Police at 804-838-1196 or submit questions through the LiveSafe mobile app.