A street view of the Siegel Center from broad street
Twenty-one high schools from Chesterfield, New Kent and Henrico counties, along with ECPI University, are hosting ceremonies May 23-25 and June 10-16. (Kevin Morley, University Marketing)

VCU implements regional traffic plan for high school graduations

VCU parking subscribers receive temporary assignments.

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The Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department expects heavy traffic in downtown Richmond during local high school graduation ceremonies at the Stuart C. Siegel Center beginning May 23.

Twenty-one high schools from Chesterfield, New Kent and Henrico counties, along with ECPI University, are hosting ceremonies May 23-25 and June 10-16. An anticipated 400 to 7,000 attendees are expected at each event.

VCU Police has collaborated with VCU Parking and Transportation, the city of Richmond, the Richmond Police Department and others to develop a plan to mitigate traffic impacts. GRTC has issued a service alert ahead of graduations.

“After a two-year hiatus, we’re looking forward to having graduations again at the Siegel Center,” said VCU Police Chief John Venuti. “We are all working together at VCU, and with our partners, to make sure guests get into and out of Richmond safely for each ceremony.”

VCU Police and the Richmond Police Department will direct traffic at more than a dozen intersections, including those near Exit 76B (Belvidere Street) off Interstate 95 and along Belvidere and Broad streets west to Lombardy Street. As in previous years, digital signage in the area will encourage local drivers to take alternate routes during peak travel times.

Heading to VCU's Siegel Center for high school graduations? Here are the VCU Police Department's top five tips for your visit.

“No parking” signs will be posted along West Marshall Street, between Bowe and North Harrison streets, behind the Siegel Center; towing enforcement will go into effect on May 23. This specific area will be reserved for buses to drop off graduates. VCU Police is also working with the city to establish 15-minute parking zones on nearby streets to accommodate customers at local businesses.

Doors at the Siegel Center will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony. Police advise graduating students and their guests to give themselves extra time for travel and parking. Pedestrians near the Siegel Center will have to use crosswalks, managed by police, as VCU will place safety fencing along Broad Street and side streets.

Due to the designation of travel lanes, drivers will not be permitted to drop off passengers in front of the Siegel Center. There will be a designated drop-off for passengers and guests with mobility impairments on the eastbound side of the 1200 block of Broad Street. Signs will be in place to assist drivers with identifying this location.

Blue, red, green and yellow parking passes, issued by area schools, will be required for guests parking in assigned parking decks at VCU. Guests can view additional parking and arrival instructions at go.vcu.edu/hsgraduations.

VCU Parking and Transportation will be temporarily relocating VCU parking subscribers from the West Broad Street Deck between May 23-25 and June 10-17.

For additional questions about traffic, parking and access, call the VCU Police nonemergency line at (804) 828-1196. LiveSafe users can also submit questions through the app. Police dispatchers monitor the nonemergency line and LiveSafe messages 24/7.