Posts Tagged ‘access’

A recent post on the Church Hill People’s News website shows some of the issues that Church Hill faces in regards to accessing affordable, healthy food. Southern Barton Heights, Brookland Park, Battery Park, and Highland Park all face similar challenges as Food Deserts. There are no grocery stores in our neighborhood. There are corner stores which typically have a smaller, less quality, and more expensive selection – in addition to fewer open hours than many grocery stores. The closest grocery store to our neighborhood is the Kroger at Lombardy and Broad. Residents without personal vehicles are forced to either walk, bike, or take the bus. Aside from that they only have access to what the corner stores have to offer.

There are other challenges on the people in low income food deserts. The public transportation system in Richmond, namely the GRTC, has been cutting routes over the past couple years. And last night city council just voted to pass a bus fare hike. Additionally, there are no bike shops in Southern Barton Heights to help people who do ride bikes maintain their equipment.

Food Politics and access to affordable, healthy food are not isolated issues. They are tied into to many issues around class and race. There are reasons why certain areas do not have the access they need. Working with groups like the Richmond Transit Rider’s union can be ways to take a more holistic approach to the problem of food access in our communities. (more…)

This is a new project being initiated by the new Richmond IWW chapter. GRTC and the state of Richmond’s public transportation are both in poor repair. If we want a more socially just community then we need more effective and accessible public transportation options. Please consider helping out RTRU, talking to folks in your area about it, etc.

Especially in areas like Southern Barton Heights, where we do not have many local jobs, stores, grocery stores, restaurants etc. people need a way to get to these important things. If the buses cost more and have decreased routes, this directly impacts the lives of many working class and poor people. Cutting public transportation is classist, and often implicitly racist. Cutting public transportation is an attack on working class and poor people. Joining together increases our ability to stand up for our right to public transportation that is effective and accessible.

There is not yet a website for this group, but there will be soon.

You can contact RTRU at: richmondtru@gmail.com

Here is more information about what the group hopes to do:

“About 88 percent of the Richmond region’s commuters travel to and from work in a car, typically alone,”

Public transit is necessary for the mobility of the elderly and the disabled. It is necessary for communities without markets to access the things they need. For those without a car, it is the ability to seek necessary medical attention, to keep a job, and to get home at the end of the closing shift. It is necessary because the valorization of car ownership leads to ecological disaster, exacerbates the fight for fossil fuels, batters local budgets by deteriorating roads over and over again, and results in daily misery with the widespread congestion of commuting workers.

However, here in Richmond, VA, year after year, bus fares increase and service is cut. The buses have little to no access to suburban job centers. The poor, working-class, and communities of color are punished daily for not subscribing to the car-ownership money pit. And the drivers and mechanics who are the life-blood of the bus system are underpaid, and mistreated. (more…)