The Olde Richmond Civic Association held its monthly general meeting on Tuesday, Feb 22, over Zoom.
The meeting, which was hosted by ORCA president Rosemary Thomas, featured updates on the Lehigh Avenue repaving project as well as announcements on the upcoming ORCA board election. Various questions and concerns brought up by residents were also addressed.
Adam Smith from the city’s Office of Complete Streets said the upgrades being added to the stretch of Lehigh Avenue between Kensington and Aramingo avenues involve new asphalt, new line striping and other curb-to-curb changes. Proposed changes include upgrading existing bike lanes to parking-protected and shortening crossing distances in front of moving vehicle lanes.
Being that it is listed on the city’s High Injury Network, Smith noted the improvements are much-needed for that particular corridor. Between 2016-2020, there were 100 incidents reported on that stretch of Lehigh Avenue. Of the 299 people involved, four were biking, 14 were walking, and five were either killed or seriously injured.
“Like any project, particularly on the High Injury Network, our goal is to make the streets safer,” Smith said. “Make it safer for residents and make it safer for other folks that travel through the corridor into the neighborhood. Whether you’re walking, biking or taking transit along that stretch of Lehigh.”
Smith said the plans will be finalized in the spring with paving expected to begin this summer. In addition, there will be ongoing dialogue with the community about long-term goals for the corridor.
Moreover, Thomas announced that all current board positions for ORCA will be up for election, as per the organization’s two-year election cycle. Thomas encouraged anyone who may want to become a board member to reach out.
“We’re looking for folks who may be interested and would want to talk about what it means to be on the ORCA board or what the commitment would be,” Thomas said. “We’re happy to talk about what that could look like and how we would pass the torch.”
The date for ORCA’s next general meeting will be announced at a later time.