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. 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.


Can redevelopment save Richmond’s Gilpin Court?

By: - May 11, 2023

Pipes that repeatedly burst above her bed, old fridges that barely keep food cold and stoves with no child safety protections are just a few of the frustrations that Fredericka has faced throughout the course of the 13 years she has been a resident of Gilpin Court. Despite all of the problems, her toddler still […]


Land value taxes could cut homeowners’ costs. Why haven’t Virginia localities enacted them?

By: - May 3, 2023

Republicans rarely encounter a tax cut they don’t like. But this year, a bill which could have lowered homeowners’ property taxes in one locality was killed on a party-line vote. HB 2112 from Del. Sally Hudson, D-Charlottesville would have enabled the city to become only the fifth locality in Virginia to progress from a reliance […]


Assaults on bus operators are up; new funding and legal protections may help

By: - April 18, 2023

For years, the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) would witness an assault against one of its bus operators every few months. However, as COVID-19 surged, such attacks became almost a monthly occurrence in 2020 as anti-social behavior took hold across America. The increase in assaults on such essential workers is not unique to public transportation […]


Fighting over 348 units: What’s next for Arlington’s pro-housing push?

By: - April 11, 2023

Supporters and opponents of the “missing middle” housing plan that Arlington’s County Board unanimously passed last month agree on little, save the fact that something died that night. While supporters celebrated the demise of “the Jim Crow relic of single-family zoning,” opponents waved signs that read “R.I.P. The Arlington Way” — a reference to the […]


Bureaucracy blocks Virginia localities from building better bus stops

By: - April 4, 2023

Shortly after Chesterfield County poured a concrete pad to support a new bus shelter along Route 1, the Virginia Department of Transportation told local officials they would have to rip it out. The six inch deep pad may be standard for transit agencies across the country, but regulations developed by the Department of General Services […]


Can carriage houses and granny flats ease the housing crisis?

By: - March 8, 2023

Whether carriage houses, in-law suites, English basements or granny flats, what all accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have in common – the reason their backers love them and why few folks think of them as a possible solution to the housing crisis – is that they blend in with the neighborhood.  A bill patroned by Del. […]


Near-record road deaths may compel Va. to spend 15% of highway safety dollars on walking and biking

By: - February 23, 2023

Since last fall, crashes on Sudley Road have claimed the lives of Del. Danica Roem’s constituents just last week, in December and twice in September. Add in the two pedestrians recently run over and killed by drivers on adjacent roads in her Prince William County district, and it’s easy to understand why the Northern Virginia […]


Should Virginia build housing for public servants on public land?

By: - February 8, 2023

Almost 60% of tenants in Virginia faced a rent increase last year. Localities are regulating starter homes out of existence. The rate of evictions is quickly returning to pre-pandemic levels. The statewide median home sales price broke $390,000 last spring. The commonwealth’s housing crisis can seem like something of an onion: each layer peels back […]


Roanoke offers public transit to hiking trails. Should more parts of Virginia do the same?

By: - January 27, 2023

For many folks, the hardest part about hiking Roanoke County’s famous McAfee Knob isn’t its eight-mile length or its elevation change of nearly 1,700 feet. It’s finding a parking spot in the gravel lot at the trailhead. The pandemic pushed record levels of visitors to seek adventure and exercise in the great outdoors over the […]


Why are Virginia counties regulating starter homes out of existence?

By: - January 18, 2023

Five years ago, before the pandemic-driven demand for more space and the en masse entrance of millenials to the housing market, the median home sales price in the commonwealth sat at $290,000. Last year that figure hit $390,000 — a $100,000 jump over a period during which Virginians’ median household income actually shrank by $2,975, […]


Electrified rail is the future. Is Virginia all aboard?

By: - January 9, 2023

Experienced passengers traveling from Virginia to D.C. know not to panic when the engine shuts off and the lights go out upon arrival in Washington. A chorus of questions can be heard from those not in the know during the 45-minute wait at Union Station while the train’s diesel locomotive is swapped out for an […]


Are bike buses the future of the school run?

By: - December 16, 2022

“When I was a kid, I walked three miles to school uphill both ways.” The phrase has become a shorthand for older generations’ tendency to embellish the hardship of their youth. But despite its joking nature, the idiom contains a kernel of truth. Whereas today 86% of adults report that their parents walked to school […]