Grand Slam: Arthur Ashe Boulevard
Politics, personalities merge in this historic moment honoring late hometown hero
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 6/21/2019, 6 a.m.
Since Mr. Ashe’s death, the council had twice rejected renaming the Boulevard for Mr. Ashe.
Ms. Gray, who is seen by some as a potential challenger to Mayor Stoney, took up the issue with Mr. Harris. She met with civic groups in the area, as well as with businesses and top officials at the major museums, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, which both were supportive.
She arranged for a public meeting to get comments and lobbied members of the council after learning that several had objections or wanted other roads to be considered, including the Downtown Expressway.
Ms. Gray persisted, despite a backlash from some residents
Ms. Gray said she went into the Feb. 11 City Council meeting unsure if the measure to rename the street would pass.
It did, on an 8-1 vote.
Now, despite all her work, Ms. Gray appears to be relegated to the audience.
Arthur Ashe celebration schedule
Thursday, June 20
• Arthur Ashe Boulevard Social Justice Forum, 7 to 9 p.m., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 Arthur Ashe Blvd. Program examines Mr. Ashe’s legacy in social justice.
Friday, June 21
• Arthur Ashe Boulevard Tennis Under the Lights Event & Movies at the Park, 6 to 9 p.m. Byrd Park Tennis Courts. Doubles tennis play for all on the courts, plus a showing of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” at 8 p.m.
• Arthur Ashe Boulevard Kick-off Celebration & Bowling Party — 7 p.m. to midnight, River City Roll, 939 Myers St. – Family bowling without charge, 7 to 9 p.m., and live music, 9 p.m. to midnight.
Saturday, June 22
• Arthur Ashe Boulevard Unveiling Ceremony, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 428 Arthur Ashe Blvd.
• Opening of exhibit “Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality,” 12:30 to 5 p.m., Virginia Museum of History & Culture, free tour of new exhibition on the black experience in Virginia.
• Arthur Ashe Boulevard Community Celebration, 1 to 5 p.m., Arthur Ashe Jr. Athletic Center, 3001 Arthur Ashe Blvd., community celebration with tennis clinics for youngsters and adults.
• Town Hall Meeting, “State of Black America” discussion hosted by Congressman A. Donald McEachin of Richmond, 2 p.m., Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Keynote speaker: U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. Panelists: Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass of California, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott of Newport News, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Rep. Barbara Lee of California and Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada. Topics ranging from environmental justice to health care and housing to be covered.
• Battery Park Salute to Mr. Ashe, 1 to 5 p.m., Battery Park, Overbrook Road and Hawthorne Avenue, featuring tennis skill games, music and dedication of park tunnel murals featuring Mr. Ashe.
• Arthur Ashe Boulevard After-Party, 8 to11 p.m., The Graduate Richmond, 301 W. Franklin St. No admission charge.
All events are free and open to the public.
Ashe celebration street closures and parking
Richmond Police issued the following traffic advisory for the Arthur Ashe Boulevard dedication ceremony and events:
Streets closing 9 a.m.
Saturday, June 22, reopening at 2 p.m.
· Kensington Avenue between Sheppard and Mulberry streets
· North Arthur Ashe Boulevard (both sides) between Patterson and Hanover avenues
· Colonial Avenue between Kensington and Patterson avenues
· Stuart Avenue between Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Mulberry Street
· Hanover Avenue between Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Mulberry Street
No Parking zones 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday, June 22
Arthur Ashe Boulevard locations
· 400 block of North Arthur Ashe Boulevard (both sides) between Kensington and Stuart avenues
· 500 block of North Arthur Ashe Boulevard (west side only) between Patterson and Kensington avenues
· 2800-2900 block of Kensington Avenue (both sides) between North Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Sheppard Street
No Parking zones 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 22
Battery Park locations
· 2500 block of The Terrace (both sides) between Overbrook and Lancaster roads
· 2500 block of Montrose Avenue (both sides) between The Terrace and Lancaster Road
· 400 block of West Lancaster Road (both sides) between The Terrace and Montrose Avenue
Arthur Ashe Monument locations
· 900 block of Roseneath Road (west side only) between Monument and Wythe avenues