|Equity in City of Richmond Projects and Spending
September 20, 2012
At this week’s City Council meeting, a certain Council member alleged that City projects are being concentrated in certain parts of Richmond while others are being ignored. This is being repeated so many times by this same Council member that some people are actually beginning to believe it.
This is a malicious misrepresentation that needs to be refuted and corrected. Pitting neighborhood against neighborhood is a cynical tactic used at election time to bolster certain candidates and discredit others. It worked well for many years, but I thought we had moved on past that to more honest elections. Apparently not.
Below is a map of Richmond, provided by the Public Works Department showing street projects from 2009 through 2011. As you can see, they are well distributed throughout the City, but with the largest concentration in the older parts of Richmond where some streets are as much as 100 years old. Certainly, the “Southside” has its equal share of street projects, including the City’s largest and most expensive project, the reconstruction of Carlson Boulevard.
Point Richmond, which has been alleged as a favored beneficiary, has no more street projects than any other older neighborhood, and fewer if anything, than most.
Similarly, the recently approved Quiet Zone improvements for 34th Street at the BNSF grade crossing are nearer to the Southside than any other neighborhood. Both Marina Bay and the Southside are within the train horn range of this crossing and will benefit most, perhaps the Southside more than Marina Bay.