Neighbors concerns about unkept bus stop, sparks city to step in - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Neighbors concerns about unkept bus stop, sparks city to step in

Source: Omari Guevara on Facebook Source: Omari Guevara on Facebook

A picture of an elderly woman barely visible, sitting at a bus stop surrounded by overgrowth, sparked a community conversation.

In a Facebook post, Omari Guevara posted pictures of the stop:

Behind all the overgrown brush coming through the fence of this city-owned blighted lot you can barely see an elderly Black resident of Magnolia Gardens
waiting at the Greater Richmond Transit Company bus stop #2331 (Whitcomb & Lebanon Street). She was among residents who gave public comment to save this bus stop from removal in January 2017. She talked to me about how difficult it would be for her in her health to walk the 2 blocks to the next bus stop. I told her that I had mentioned the condition of this bus stop to Mayor Levar Stoney and a dozen members of his staff including Bobby Vincent from Department of Public Works and Amy Inman from Multimodal Transportation at his 6th District meeting 2 weeks ago. Before our conversation digressed into fixed income and food access/security, she said that she does not believe that the city will take care of the condition of this bus stop.

On Friday, the sounds of city workers were a sign of good news and progress on Whitcomb Street.

"This is the first time I've seen anyone doing anything in this area right there," said Arnette Garland.

She walked out of her front door to see and hear overgrowth, brush, and trash being cleaned up, happy to see something getting done.

"I hope someone maintains it," she said.

Garland doesn't ride the bus but says she has been concerned for the people who do, especially at night, because she says the street lights don't work well, and the overgrown brush was making things worse.

"People that do ride the bus, they don't sit on the bench, cause you can't see the bench, they stand on the street to wait for the bus to arrive," explained Garland.

Neighbors say the brush had gotten so bad, that at times, the bus would pass by people, and also bugs, mainly mosquitoes had become an issue for anyone waiting for transportation at night.

"A lot of them don't like using it for the same reason I don't" explained Jamal Malberg. "Being that they have taken care of that problem, I think a lot more people will use this bus stop."

For Malberg, the clean up is a relief, he rides this bus almost every day, so he is simply grateful.

"It might seem small and simple to some people, but something like this means a lot to me, the elderly, the kids, everyone who has a commute at this stop," said Malberg.

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