RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Multiple streets between Belvidere Street to Harrison Street near the VCU Monroe campus will be closed for the next two weeks as the City installs speed tables in the area. The project comes shortly after the death of a VCU student and a call from the community to make campus safer for pedestrians.
The City of Richmond Department of Public Works announced this week that several streets in the 2nd and 4th voter district will closed between Thursday, May 11 through Thursday, May 25 to install speed tables near the VCU Monroe Campus.
Main Street, West Cary Street, West Grace Street and West Franklin Street will be closed one street at a time during the installation process, starting with Main Street and moving down to West Franklin Street.
The streets will be closed between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. each day.
This new installation project comes on the heels of the tragic death of a VCU student last week. On Thursday, May 4, two cars collided on West Main Street, causing one of them to drive onto the sidewalk and hit 26-year-old VCU student Shawn Soares. Soares died from his injuries.
Soares is the second VCU student to die in a pedestrian-involved crash on campus this year. In January, 22-year-old Mahrokh Khan was hit by a car and killed while crossing an intersection at Laurel and West Main streets.
Soares’ death brought renewed calls from the community to make Richmond’s roads safer for pedestrians.
During a Monday, May 8 Richmond City Council meeting, Richmond’s Chief Administrative Officer Lincoln Saunders shared that the city will be making “strategic investments,” like installing more speed tables and signs on Main Street, in the coming weeks.
Also during this Monday meeting, City Council council member Andreas Addison suggested converting Main and Cary streets, which are both one-way streets, into two-way roads. Addison also suggested lower speed limits near VCU and throughout the city.
City Council President Michael Jones added that VCU will conduct a traffic study for its two main campuses by this July.
8News has reached out to the Department of Public Works to ask if this latest installment project is a direct response to Soares’ death, but has not received a response.