Author

Wyatt Gordon

Wyatt Gordon

Wyatt Gordon covers transportation, housing, and land use for the Mercury through a grant from the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Coalition for Smarter Growth. The Mercury retains full editorial control. Wyatt is a born-and-raised Richmonder with a master’s in urban planning from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a bachelor’s in international political economy from the American University in Washington, D.C. Most recently he covered transportation as Greater Greater Washington’s Virginia correspondent. Previously he’s written for the Times of India, Nairobi News, Honolulu Civil Beat, Style Weekly and RVA Magazine. He also works as a policy manager for land use and transportation at the Virginia Conservation Network. Contact him at [email protected]

COMMENTARY

A new passenger rail corridor could connect Hampton Roads to Blacksburg and beyond

By: - August 31, 2022

The drive between Richmond and Charlottesville takes a little over an hour. However, to take a train for the same trip requires eight and a half hours. The picture is similarly bleak for travelers between Norfolk and Roanoke: the four-and-a-half-hour drive takes nearly four times as long via train — 16 hours.  The Commonwealth Corridor, […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia’s answer to Greyhound shows rural areas are worth serving

By: - August 12, 2022

A Greyhound stopping on the side of a rural road was once so common a sight that it continues to be a television trope despite the implosion of intercity bus service in America over the last half century. In 1970 — back when the U.S. population was just 205 million, the motorcoach industry recorded 130 […]

COMMENTARY

VDOT is introducing variable speed limits, but will congestion care?

By: - August 1, 2022

“There is such thing as Hell on Earth and it’s I-95N between Richmond and DC,” quipped CBS 6 news anchor Elizabeth Holmes in a recent tweet. The post went viral, echoing a sentiment felt by the countless car users who regularly get caught in congestion between the two capitals. Hoping to decrease driving delays, last […]

COMMENTARY
Riders packed on a GRTC Pulse bus during the first week of service, which began on June 24.

Public transit governing boards don’t look like their riders. A new state study could be a fix.

By: - July 12, 2022

The ascension of three Henrico County officials to the governing board of the Greater Richmond Transit Company in April marked a new era in Central Virginia’s increasing coordination towards a more functional regional public transportation system. The addition of three men—two White and one Black—from a suburban jurisdiction has also made GRTC’s board even less […]

COMMENTARY

Deadly horse and buggy crashes are increasing. Virginia has no plan to turn the trend around.

By: - June 15, 2022

In December of 2019, the Yoder family was traveling east on Route 60 in Buckingham County when George M. Lee crashed his Chevrolet Silverado into their horse and buggy, killing mother Sylvia Yoder, throwing her husband from the vehicle and sending their four children ranging in age from 2 to 10 years old to the […]

COMMENTARY

As Congress bankrolls electric conversion for bus fleets, is Virginia ready?

By: - June 8, 2022

Of the more than 2,168 buses operated by public transportation providers in Virginia, roughly just one percent run on electricity.  Beyond the 26 battery electric buses currently in service, the remainder of the commonwealth’s fleet of transit buses rely on fossil fuels with over half dependent on dirty diesel.  Thanks to a strategic study by […]

COMMENTARY

How allowing single-staircase buildings could change Virginia’s housing market

By: - May 5, 2022

Given the decades-long decline in new housing construction and the resultant skyrocketing of rents and home prices across the commonwealth, the need for more homes has become a consensus position in Virginia. However, even those who support increasing housing construction have mixed feelings about the dominant design of the times: 5-over-1 buildings — so named […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia doesn’t specifically regulate ‘self-driving’ cars. Should we?

By: - April 19, 2022

Last week when Virginia’s new Secretary of Transportation Sheppard Miller publicly declared his belief that flying cars will be a reality within the next 50 years as a reason that leaders across the commonwealth should “reexamine transit,” some might have scoffed. But just as flying cars consumed the fantasies of many mid-century Americans, today plenty […]

COMMENTARY

Slumlords beware: Virginia may give localities new power to go after poor housing conditions

By: - March 30, 2022

Republicans and Democrats rarely agreed on policy proposals during the past General Assembly session. However, a bill to expand localities’ power to go after slumlords received somewhat surprising bipartisan support. If signed by the governor, in a few months’ time cities and counties across the commonwealth could begin greater enforcement of dangerous and harmful living […]

COMMENTARY

How many Virginians with disabilities lack reliable transportation? Right now, we don’t know.

By: - March 18, 2022

As frustrating as the recent rise in gas prices may be for people who rely upon cars to get around, for the 1.6 million Virginians with disabilities the ability to drive at all in our car-dependent society is a luxury many cannot imagine. How hard is it for the disabled community to access reliable transportation […]

COMMENTARY

With half a billion in new federal funding, will Virginia finally fix its bridge repair backlog?

By: - February 23, 2022

Earlier this month, when Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., visited the Glebe Road Bridge that connects Arlington and Alexandria, that crumbling connection served as the perfect background to announce $536.8 million in additional federal funding to address Virginia’s dilapidated bridges. With more than 577 “structurally deficient” bridges in the commonwealth, the appropriation for repairs is certainly […]

COMMENTARY

Forget the Metro. Can Northern Virginia fix its bus systems?

By: - February 18, 2022

Last fall, Metro grabbed headlines when it released potential plans for a new Georgetown stop and a Blue Line extension to National Harbor. The only thing bigger than the D.C. region’s excitement for the possible new rail connection was the price tag. At an initial cost estimate of $20 billion to $25 billion, it’s hard […]