How can we make the Jefferson Davis Corridor community safer?
Pedestrian Safety: Since January 2017, there have been 878 hit-and-runs accidents in the Jefferson-Davis Corridor. According to research, individuals who do not feel safe walking or cycling in their community are less likely to be out walking, running, and playing. And, being physically active has important health benefits.
Youth Engagement: In 2016, in the RVA Thrives geographic area, there were approximately 2000 teens ages 12-17. Yet on the Southside of Richmond there are very few after-school programs for middle and high school youth. Extracurricular and after-school programs that engage youth provide them with a safe space from violence in their community and help encourage them to stay out of the violence in their community. Among children, growing up in high crime neighborhoods is associated with lower academic achievement and physical activity, and higher rates of stress.
A 2017 Community Listening Process revealed that Jefferson Davis Corridor neighbors are concerned with these issues related to safety:
A working group reviewed each sub issue, bringing together quantitative data, lived experience, and historical context. Neighbors decided to take collective action on two issues — Pedestrian Safety and Youth Programs. Youth also gave input, and together they designed ARCA.
ARCA stands for Art, Racial Reconciliation, and Civic Advocacy, and is an after-school program for Black and Latino/a youth living along the Jefferson Davis Corridor.
ARCA launched in February 2019 and meets weekly at the Sacred Heart Center. Each week, youth participants discuss topics such as community history, trust-building, social justice, and civic advocacy. Together, they create art that reflects who they are and who they are becoming. Facilitated by local artists Hamilton Glass, Alfonso Perez-Acosta, youth are working together to create traffic calming street art (“art bumps”) at four busy intersections along the corridor in summer 2019.