The James River runs right through Richmond, so why are local leaders so blind to the possibilities it offers for recreation, development and tourism? Why so many expensive studies with so little action? A column from the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Michael Paul Williams in August touched on this a topic:
James River access has improved significantly, but it has a ways to go. As a result, the mayor’s administration is reviewing proposals for a riverfront design study that would cost about $500,000 and focus on both banks of the James from the Lee Bridge to the Henrico County line and Ancarrow’s Landing.
We have the green space at James River Park, a testament to the stewardship of its manager, Ralph White. But one of the most remarkable aspects about the riverfront is how little of it is accessible to the public.
You can’t drive or walk its length on downtown’s north bank without being warned off by the signs of corporate property owners. The Canal Walk is disjointed. The south bank and Mayo Island are uninviting. The entire picture lacks cohesion.