Oof dah… the Bridge Street bridge in Richmond, VT, was closed late Thursday… from an already tedious one lane down to zero. The good people of Richmond (and surrounding towns, such as Huntington, should be grateful for Selectman Erik Filkorn. He turned immediate to Front Porch Forum and got the news into hundreds of local households’ inboxes as people were preparing to commute home. The local traditional media have now picked up on the story too.
From Erik’s most recent FPF posting…
Hi Everybody – I am amazed at what great feedback I’m getting from folks about communicating through the forum. Thank you Michael Wood-Lewis for creating this. Yesterday could have been much worse. I rode my bike to the village expecting to see a big line of cars, but most folks seem to have gotten the message.
I know this is a gigantic hassle for everyone and we are working with our contractors and the State to get this bridge opened as soon as possible. We are also trying to find the resources to do a little extra work on the roads which are taking the additional traffic. Fire, rescue, police, the highway department, everyone has really stepped up. We’re lucky to have such good people working for us.
While as commuters, we are being compelled to bypass Richmond until this is fixed, as residents, now more than ever, we must support the businesses downtown. Thomas Hark pointed out in one of the forums that business is way off. The bakery was down 75% for the day and the cafe was similarly hit. Unless we ALL make an extra effort to shop and dine in town this week, some of the businesses we rely on may not be here next week. It IS that serious.
One of the pleasant side-effects of the closure is that the village has never been more pedestrian-friendly. Many people parked at the Round Church for the Farmer’s Market yesterday, and the absence of cars (mostly) on Bridge Street makes it even nicer to walk around. For anyone who hasn’t been yet, VT Green Grocer has most everything you need to cook dinner on the South Side of the River and the Corner Market has just about everything you need on the North. Walking to the hardware store over the bridge when you’re just picking up a few things is good for you and you run into more friends that way. Take a walk to Film Buzz to make up for the fact that you’re going to end up on the couch.
Please, please, make an extra effort to support local business through this crisis. You may even find that you like shopping in Richmond better than spending $10 on gas to drive to Williston and the time you would have spent on the Interstate could be spent talking to friends in town.