Use this opportunity to
open street-side cafes
In light of Gov. Ralph Northam’s forthcoming allowance of outdoor dining, I have a suggestion: Let's make more pedestrian-friendly streets and, just like in other cities, allow restaurants to take over parts of those streets.
Anyone who ever has been lucky enough to stroll along Pearl Street in Boulder, Colo., or even farther afield on the older, car-free streets of Europe, knows the joys of the cafes that spill into pedestrian walkways. Richmond has ample streets ideal for such an arrangement. In fact, there are entire neighborhoods that are ideal. Imagine having a pastry from Can Can Brasserie in an extended Cary Street seating arrangement or a beer on a pedestrian-only street in Scott's Addition. The city has so many parallel streets; the opportunities are endless.
The thin silver lining to the current pandemic is an opportunity to try new things — or in this case, an old thing — outdoor street cafes and room to walk safely.