Though still in the planning stages, there is a grand vision to revitalize a nearly 5-mile stretch of Hull Street Road in Chesterfield County and Richmond.
Hull Street 360 is a project initiated by Richmond, Chesterfield and the Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corp. to build a stronger community through the revitalization of the Hull Street Road corridor.
“We’re hoping for it to get its own identity as a corridor. Right now, we’re not sure what that identity is,” said Latisha Jenkins, Chesterfield revitalization manager. “People who live along the corridor and businesses want to figure out what their corridor should be and what can attract people to come to this corridor compared to the rest of the corridors the city and county share.”
A presentation on the project will be given tonight at Manchester Middle School, with information provided in English and Spanish. This will be the last opportunity for the public to offer input and feedback on the plan, which is being developed through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Hull Street Road Corridor Revitalization Plan will recommend a range of improvements to 4.7 miles of road between the railroad line at Southside Plaza in the city and state Route 647 (Hicks Road/Walmsley Boulevard) in Chesterfield.
Those improvements are aimed at enhancing the safety, appearance, economic potential and community-serving uses along Hull Street Road and its surrounding community.
James Hill, principal planner for the city’s department of planning and development review, said part of the nature of the grant is to accommodate multimodal forms of transportation, such as adding pedestrian walkways and bikeways to a stretch of road geared predominantly toward vehicular traffic.
“The ultimate goal is to bring revitalization to that stretch of suburban strip,” he said. “We think this includes making it much safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”
One area of concern is that there are no defined entrances to businesses along the road in Richmond. The addition of curb and gutter, Hill said, will go a long way toward improving road safety.
Marcy Caffrey, president of the Hull Street Business Association, said she welcomes the revitalization efforts along the major arterial roadway.
“I think it’s good for the businesses that are there,” she said. “I really do think that it encourages regrowth in that area. Hopefully it will bring more people to the area.”