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Amtrak will go over the existing railroad bridge adjacent to Harbor Park.

Thanks. I have to bike down there this week so I can check things out.

Might you have an opinion as to whether this route could ever be used to bring rail from Ches/Suffolk to the existing southside LRT either by (1) having an amtrak stop there or (2) running LRT along the route that Amtrak will use? I guess I am wondering if this could be used in some way to tie Ches/Suffolk to LRT rather than building a tunnel for it.

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Amtrak will add a 3rd Norfolk to DC train sometime this year. https://www.pilotonline.com/news/transportation/vp-nw-passenger-rail-hampton-roads-buttigieg-northam-20210331-zdpqhmjqzfe5rcioi3brqor

Once it's 4 lanes, then people will really see why a third crossing is needed

They focus too much on bus service. There is and always will be a stigma on using the city bus. Enough of the light rail studies and get it done already. 

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Downtown Norfolk will be soon linked to richmond. A Amtrak train will be stopping at Harbor Park in 3 years!!!!

Downtown norfolk to Richmond

I can only imagine the negative comments on the page, but I think this is a great development! Richmond's honestly a nice town, and with it only being about 60-90 minutes from this region, I think it's definitely a great idea. Could possibly even strengthen this region.

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This is just good every way you look at it.. It puts pressure on Virginia Beach to extend the starter line to the oceanfront, Norfolk to extend rail to the naval base, etc. Big step for a more urban Hampton Roads IMO.

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<br />Downtown Norfolk will be soon linked to richmond. A Amtrak train will be stopping at Harbor Park in 3 years!!!!<br /><br /><br /><a href='http://hamptonroads.com/2010/06/train-link-norfolk-richmond-three-years' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>Downtown norfolk to Richmond</a><br />
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Fantastic! I'd take the train more often to destinations along the eastern seaboard if I didn't have to find someone willing to drive me up to Newport News. Even if it's not high speed, 79 miles an hour is still a pretty good clip, especially if the route will have less road crossings than the route from NN to Richmond does. It also doesn't matter that it's going to Staples Mills vs. Main Street, especially if you're headed further north. Any train to Richmond where you don't have to drive halfway there is great in my opinion, especially if they have more than one business class car.

Since, I'm new here, what does TOD mean?

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Fantastic! I'd take the train more often to destinations along the eastern seaboard if I didn't have to find someone willing to drive me up to Newport News. Even if it's not high speed, 79 miles an hour is still a pretty good clip, especially if the route will have less road crossings than the route from NN to Richmond does. It also doesn't matter that it's going to Staples Mills vs. Main Street, especially if you're headed further north. Any train to Richmond where you don't have to drive halfway there is great in my opinion, especially if they have more than one business class car.

Since, I'm new here, what does TOD mean?

Welcome to the forum..

TOD stands for Transit Oriented Development..

This pattern of development is characterized by a mix of uses surrounding a transit station where streets have a higher level of connectivity, blocks are small, and buildings and uses cater to the pedestrian.

Some examples of TOD already in the City of Norfolk include the Belmont @ Freemason apartments off of Brambleton.. the new Residence Inn, and arguably.. the Wells Fargo Center complex on Monticelllo.

http://www.ridethetide.com/about_the_tide/transit_oriented_development.shtml

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Great news for you guys down in South Hampton Roads! Now only if they can connect the trains to Main Street Station in Downtown Richmond. Hopefully the next set of stimulus money for transportation will go towards redoing the tracks around Main St. Station so trains from North, South, East and West can be accomodated!

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Thanks. I have to bike down there this week so I can check things out.

Might you have an opinion as to whether this route could ever be used to bring rail from Ches/Suffolk to the existing southside LRT either by (1) having an amtrak stop there or (2) running LRT along the route that Amtrak will use? I guess I am wondering if this could be used in some way to tie Ches/Suffolk to LRT rather than building a tunnel for it.

It's at least as easy to get to Suffolk via Portsmouth. What I've previously suggested is taking the planned LRT extension through the Midtown Tunnel and eventually pushing it westward to the previously proposed new airport out on the Suffolk/Isle Of Wight line. Thus, you'd have a direct LRT connection to the airport from downtown Norfolk.

Your point on Chesapeake supposes that LRT would come due south from downtown Norfolk. Some advocate going south from VB's Witchduck Road station to Greenbrier, then on to Great Bridge.

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I am trying to picture how the new line will get to Harbor Park. 460 runs through Suffolk, and must go through Chesapeake, I guess. Might this be a way to transport people from those areas to the LRT which hopefully will go to our bases? Or maybe LRT can install a track adjacent to the Amtrak line at the same time. There are some great possibilities here. If VB can at least get to Town Center (only 2 or 3 miles), it will make a big difference.

I really hope that Harbor Park develops to include TOD. It is a decent site and could help to spur the extension of downtown beyond St. Pauls. I see this as major progress for this area.

The city is already planning an intermodal facility, which will connect buses, Heavy Rail and light rail:

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The city is already planning an intermodal facility, which will connect buses, Heavy Rail and light rail:

And ferry too. Now, the Portsmouth ferry runs to Harbor Park when there are Norfolk Tides games. I think that the proposed intermodal terminal will contain a dock for the ferry.

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I have a question and I don't quite know if it has been covered in the archives or not. As I was looking at a few streets, it seems like the LR and cars will share the road in stretches. Is this right? I can see cars crossing over the tracks but actually sharing the road with the train makes zero sense to me. So basically it will be a bus on rails, trapped in downtown traffic? Anyone in the know, please elaborate.

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I have a question and I don't quite know if it has been covered in the archives or not. As I was looking at a few streets, it seems like the LR and cars will share the road in stretches. Is this right? I can see cars crossing over the tracks but actually sharing the road with the train makes zero sense to me. So basically it will be a bus on rails, trapped in downtown traffic? Anyone in the know, please elaborate.

The tracks are built in the road at some streets in downtown, and cars may have to share some space in extremely close areas like on Plume street. However, from Harbor Park to Newtown and after crossing Waterside drive to the medical center the LRT has its own trail like a conventional train tracks with only a few perpendicular crossings.

See pictures on Page 125

Edited by ronsmytheiii
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I have a question and I don't quite know if it has been covered in the archives or not. As I was looking at a few streets, it seems like the LR and cars will share the road in stretches. Is this right? I can see cars crossing over the tracks but actually sharing the road with the train makes zero sense to me. So basically it will be a bus on rails, trapped in downtown traffic? Anyone in the know, please elaborate.

The train tracks are non driving lanes. The trains will not share lanes with cars. However, the train will have to cross certain streets which theoretically could be blocked by people not paying attention to road and train signs. So yes, your point is valid that one idiot can cause delays on the system. That is the case for almost all light rail systems across the country especially within downtown limits.

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The train tracks are non driving lanes. The trains will not share lanes with cars. However, the train will have to cross certain streets which theoretically could be blocked by people not paying attention to road and train signs. So yes, your point is valid that one idiot can cause delays on the system. That is the case for almost all light rail systems across the country especially within downtown limits.

So the section of Charlotte Street between Granby and Monticello will be completely closed to auto traffic once the trains are running? I thought I had read that in certain spots, cars would able to drive on the tracks as long as a train wasn't there. I think there is a section of York Street where the trains and cars would have to share lanes as well, but I wasn't paying much attention the last time I drove down York.

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Picture from this morning at the future MacArthur Square station.

Pending all the TOD development to come, this is my favorite part of light rail. Out with some very shoddy architecture (Kirn Library) and in with a very nice and hopefully well kept urban public space. You really can't ask for more.

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The train tracks are non driving lanes. The trains will not share lanes with cars. However, the train will have to cross certain streets which theoretically could be blocked by people not paying attention to road and train signs. So yes, your point is valid that one idiot can cause delays on the system. That is the case for almost all light rail systems across the country especially within downtown limits.

I thought that was the case but if you actually walk down the tracks and get a look at certain spots, it appears as if cars and trains will share segments of the track. Next time you are down there, take a look at these areas in particular:

1. The 200 York Street block. There is one car lane that heads east and then one westbound lane painted over the tracks. There is also a signal in the intersection of York and Duke that supports that westbound (on train track) lane.

2. 100 Charlotte Street block. I don't see how they would not have cars share the road with trains in this area unless they close the whole Charlotte/Bute "Y" down.

3. 400-500 E. Plume Street block. The tracks here look very "wavy" in this block for some reason. I don't see how cars would gain access to that garage there as well as the businesses further down Plume without sharing the roadway with a train.

I guess that my point is that on almost all LR systems I have been on and seen, the trains have a dedicated right of way which is part of the appeal. I have also been on the Portland Streetcar in Portland, OR which runs right down streets for part of its route. In traffic, it becomes a bus on rails. By that I mean it becomes just another vehicle rather than a bypass to traffic. I personally don't know why the Portland Streetcar tracks are not closed to all other traffic during rush hours but it works because the train is only in one of the lanes of the road (Look up 2086 NW Lovejoy, Portland, Or for a better idea). In some places like Plume, the train tracks take up the whole street.

My worry is that LR mixed with traffic and the wonderful HRT team that they have on hand will equal accidents and negative press which will in turn stifle its expansion. Also, with the large amount of space that the LR tracks take up, I would be very curious to see how they would make it viably go through Ghent. Taking the Portland Streetcar idea, I think the only way would be northbound trains going up one street (Colley?) and southbound going down another (Colonial?) and the Colonial train meeting up with the Colley via 23rd Street. I'm getting way ahead of myself with that, but if it can somehow be linked to Ghent, ODU and the base I think its potential would be enormous.

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I won't continue to support the light rail system if the trains get caught in downtown traffic.

That wont happen because the areas that the light rail interacts with shared roads it will more than likely have the right of way with the help of control of the lights. Besides, it sounds like there will only be small portions that there are these interactions.

The Portland Streetcar is much different because it is a much smaller train and in a sense is what it is which is a "street" car. San Francisco operates off a hybrid version of this where their trains have their own tracks as well as shared tracks because of the older neighborhood streets it runs on, much like what Norfolk as if it were to ever expand its system into a city wide rail system.

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I have a few comments on the light rail system..

It's clear that major construction has been completed and the Tide is nearly 90% complete.. and we're loooking at about 10 months until revenue service begins..

The stations are rising and some of them even having the lighting and benches and stuff installed. But I walked on the LRT station at York St in front of the YMCA and I didn't realize how small the platforms were going to be. . I know in Charlotte they have stations to accomidate three LRVs and they are much longer than Norfolk's single LRV station platforms.. Ours are so small that I feel like if even 10-15 people are waiting at one station it is going to feel very crowded and maybe even uncomfortable? Why is it that our system is projected to carry as much as Charlotte's yet we have small station platforms and a less complex system?

Also, every rail system has to have a major transportation center connecting to other transit services, most important of which is bus . Our LRT system doesn't have this yet which isn't good. Norfolk needs to hurry with this transportation center at Harbor Park and bring downtown busses from Cedar Grove to Harbor Park so people can connect to LRT, bus , ferry, etc.

I want our LRT system to be successful so it can be expanded into Virginia Beach and up to the Naval Station, down to Greenbrier, etc... But without connecting and strengthening our bus connections to the LRT , i doubt it will work. Not that many people live within walking distance to the starter line. We need busses that will bring people from their neighborhoods to the major light rail stations to take them to placces such as the medical center, downtown, nsu , etc.

I read an article that said Charlotte has over 45 projects under construction or that have finished construction along their LYNX blue line LRT system. Now the city of charlotte is no more urban than Norfolk, and one could argue for Norfolk being a much more urbanized city than Charlotte ( population density?) but how come Norfolk has only had two TODs ? & I don't understand how you can have a transit oriented development inside of downtown? Isn't the point of transit oriented development for people to ride from their homes to their jobs and being able to walk to the train station? If you have a job in downtown Norfolk or even the medical center, you would have no reason to live at the Belmont @ Freemason for its proximity to the LR station. If you have business in downtown Norfolk , you have no reason to stay at the Residence Inn Downtown and take the LR to your meetings or whatever.. Could someone explain how these are considered transit oriented development and could someone explain why nobody has proposed any TOD projects outside of downtown? Maybe Ballentine area ? Or Newtown? or NSU even? Do you think we will witness the urbanization of the neighborhoods within walking distance of the Tide? Or not..

Sorry for the rant.

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TOD is sort of a general term, it basically means that the building relies more on alternative modes of transportation over cars. A TOD downtown means that it doesn't have to have two parking spaces per residential unit or whatever the requirement is there thus reducing the cost of the building and the added stressing trying to provide parking would require.

I never really used the bus system growing up in Virginia, so I am not sure how the transit works. In Portland we have what we call a bus mall, which is two long streets that is limited to light rail and buses with limited car access. This makes the connections with downtown very centralized. I would imagine they would have to pick a longer street that could handle that. The terminal building will definitely be important, but I would think there would need to be something more central around the City Hall Blvd stop where the Kirn library use to be.

Edited by urbanlife
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Charlotte had lots of money flowing in from the banking world. Granted, most of it is pretty much fraudulent.

Norfolk just doesn't have any sort of growing industry. Our regions income is pretty much all welfare from the gubbmint.

All the businesses moving to Wells Fargo (was Wachovia) tower are moving from other buildings. Dominion tower and what not.

Edited by Telmnstr
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