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Norfolk Light Rail and Transit


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This is, by far, the dumbest idea I've ever heard of. So, no light rail, and now someone decides it's a good idea to remove lanes and reduce capacity on Hampton Blvd because... accidents? As an ODU alumni I promise you that road is already at capacity now. The only thing this will result in is gridlock.

https://pilotonline.com/news/government/local/article_5719244e-e854-11e8-8da0-afd9e9b56634.html

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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

Not that any of this will happen, but just looking at this map, I can see directions the city should go with light rail and BRT.  Bus Rapid Transit from the Naval Base to Military Circle does make sen

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

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Anyone who thinks this is a good idea has not tried driving on Hampton Blvd. on a weekday afternoon or on an ODU game day. This is an absolutely ridiculous idea, and if Norfolk approves this, it will show me how out of touch they are with reality.

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they wanna do the same thing to granby from the bridge to wards corner. they wanna do it everywhere. llewelyn bike lanes almost never used. this is a combo of a desire to control behaviors, an astonishingly/curiously strong cyclist lobby of sorts (as is the case all over the usa) and environmental do-goodism. in any event, logic is not part of the equation here.

Edited by baobabs727
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There's a case to be made that bike lanes help businesses located along routes. It's not just do-goodism. https://www.vox.com/videos/2018/9/12/17832002/nyc-protected-bike-lanes-janette-sadik-khan. I agree that it needs to be done logically. If it's not then it's worse for everyone. Norfolk's dense enough in many parts for bike lanes to work, and the city has to start somewhere doing the sometimes unpopular job of putting their roads on a diet. 21st Street which is now flourishing, Colley has some hiccups, Llewellyn didn't need 4 lanes in the first place and is the best bike lane in the city IMO, and now Granby.  I could go on about this for a while haha, but  I bike all the time to work and for fun and hope to see protected bike lanes all the way down Colley and downtown Granby someday.  Lastly if bike lanes control behavior then so do regular car streets right? Forcing you to drive to work and the grocery store etc. Just another option for some people. 

 

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It may be hard to understand but less lanes takes cars off the road and improves safety. Hamptons lanes are far too narrow for constant port traffic. They should drop the speed limit to 35, go down to 2 lanes, and add bike Lanes. 

If they truely want to eliminate Hampton as a port route they need to build the Patriots crossing at 564.  The real traffic problems are more torward the midtown tunnel. 

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6 hours ago, Up2313 said:

It may be hard to understand but less lanes takes cars off the road and improves safety. Hamptons lanes are far too narrow for constant port traffic. They should drop the speed limit to 35, go down to 2 lanes, and add bike Lanes. 

If they truely want to eliminate Hampton as a port route they need to build the Patriots crossing at 564.  The real traffic problems are more torward the midtown tunnel. 

I'm sorry, but I have to vehemently disagree here. This is a very simple math equation. Those cars don't simply disappear into the ether. There is no portal to another dimension where they can just enter when they leave the tunnel and pop out near the Naval Base. They HAVE to go somewhere. And if they aren't traveling along what has been the main thoroughfare to the base and the ports for decades, then they are traveling along neighborhood and side streets. Norfolk is going to find out very quickly how poor of an idea this is, and it will likely cost millions to revert everything back which they WILL have to do. Hoping that cooler heads prevail here.

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On 11/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Norfolk757Kid said:

There's a case to be made that bike lanes help businesses located along routes. It's not just do-goodism. https://www.vox.com/videos/2018/9/12/17832002/nyc-protected-bike-lanes-janette-sadik-khan. I agree that it needs to be done logically. If it's not then it's worse for everyone. Norfolk's dense enough in many parts for bike lanes to work, and the city has to start somewhere doing the sometimes unpopular job of putting their roads on a diet. 21st Street which is now flourishing, Colley has some hiccups, Llewellyn didn't need 4 lanes in the first place and is the best bike lane in the city IMO, and now Granby.  I could go on about this for a while haha, but  I bike all the time to work and for fun and hope to see protected bike lanes all the way down Colley and downtown Granby someday.  Lastly if bike lanes control behavior then so do regular car streets right? Forcing you to drive to work and the grocery store etc. Just another option for some people. 

 

who the heck says we must put our "roads on a diet?!"

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2 hours ago, carolinaboy said:

That would be a shame. It needs to go to population/ridership areas like ODU and the base for sure.

The West Norfolk route study reccommended "No Option" when it came to what route to potentiall pursue on the west side of Norfolk (Ghent, ODU, Navy Base Gates on Hampton BLVD). I would be surprised if we get light rail tracks over there within the next decade and a half. Expect for the city to push for rail lines to go through Military Circle, Janaf, and Wards Corner instead (terminus would be the east side of the Navy Base).

 

I personally feel like this is an entirely misguided view, and that if the city wants the light rail to be successful it needs to go to Ghent, ODU, and Hampton BLVD. But that is not the direction the city wants to go.

Edited by Arctic_Tern
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9 hours ago, Arctic_Tern said:

The West Norfolk route study reccommended "No Option" when it came to what route to potentiall pursue on the west side of Norfolk (Ghent, ODU, Navy Base Gates on Hampton BLVD). I would be surprised if we get light rail tracks over there within the next decade and a half. Expect for the city to push for rail lines to go through Military Circle, Janaf, and Wards Corner instead (terminus would be the east side of the Navy Base).

 

I personally feel like this is an entirely misguided view, and that if the city wants the light rail to be successful it needs to go to Ghent, ODU, and Hampton BLVD. But that is not the direction the city wants to go.

There is nothing on the east side of the Navy Base though. It's the end of the runway and the helo detachments. If it's going to stop at Wards Corner then it need to go up 564 to the NEX.  The NEX is in-between off-base barracks and Gate 1 which is by a lot of the on-base barracks. Plus it's closer to the ships.

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Hey Guys I’m TY. This is my first time speaking on here but I’ve looked at these forums over the years and never commented. I’m from the area but I was a navy kid so Ive been back and forth all my life. I always thought this area has so much more potential and seeing the recent developments makes me excited which brings me to something that I’ve seen and think we should bring to Norfolk. Okay so finally ...URBAN GONDOLAS. I don’t have any links I just watched videos on YouTube and seen that a city in Mexico has implemented them and they seem to be a hit. Also Austin, NYC and Boston are  is considering the same. The Norfolk light rails biggest issue is cost. Building over water costs more and not to mention the NS train tracks. Pylons in-between the median flying over the traffic with views is a nice commuting option. Also it’s CHEAPER! Maybe Va Beach may consider this idk but even potentially getting it over Portsmouth and the rest of HR. I think this in combination with regionalism and improving the HRT as a whole (SN: which include rebranding the name HR lol) could help AAAAND it’s Eco Friendly! Which is what mass transit is anyway but it just seems like a no brainier but I’m a millennial so what do I know right?! Lol  

 

Sorry if the font is so huge this is my first time guys lol 

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I like your thinking but, where would it run? The problem with gondolas downtown is that Norfolks downtown is extremely compact. I can walk across downtown E>W or N>S in less than 15 minutes. However,  I do think this can be a great option to connect ODU to downtown (considering the city is no longer pursuing a western LRT alignment). Are there any other routes where this can potentially work? Maby the ocean front?

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I think if you could start at Harbor Park, go along the waterfront, past Freemason and Fort Norfolk, then somehow down Hampton Blvd. Or, maybe start near Waterside, over downtown to Monticello or Granby. Definitely should reach ODU.

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Any option that can access ODU without adding traffic to Hampton Blvd is attractive at this point. One problem is ODU has a monument to failure running right through the middle of campus with the monorail line they tried to put up years ago. Should have been recycled and turned into an elevated biking and walking path years ago IMO. 

Edited by Norfolk757Kid
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I looked at a few more pictures online...I wonder how this could work if you had an urban gondola at the end of the light rail line at EVMS. From there, take the gondola along Hampton Blvd., to ODU and the base. The vacant Maglev track on campus could be a stop with a platform.

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6 hours ago, BFG said:

I looked at a few more pictures online...I wonder how this could work if you had an urban gondola at the end of the light rail line at EVMS. From there, take the gondola along Hampton Blvd., to ODU and the base. The vacant Maglev track on campus could be a stop with a platform.

 

On 1/18/2019 at 3:09 PM, BFG said:

An additional Amtrak service is coming to Norfolk starting in March. I’d guess this only boosts the chances of development near Harbor Park. 

http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/VADRPT-228f13e

That means two departures 6:15 and 9 am Mon through Fri, and two arrivals: 7 pm (90 minutes earlier than now) and 10:30 pm.  Also, there's a new 11:40 pm arrival time on Saturday nights.  Here's a  slideshow that explains it in easy to understand form.

http://drpt.virginia.gov/media/2687/hr-optimization-1102019-w-weekends.pdf

 

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On 1/27/2019 at 3:48 PM, Young75 said:

 ...URBAN GONDOLAS.

Does anybody seriously think that urban gondolas will be installed above Hampton Blvd? Beside Norfolk being too small of a city for that (and probably too small for the light rail), there simply isn't room. The support beams would have to go somewhere and it won't be in the middle of the road. No room on the sides..... Just a ridiculous idea.

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1 hour ago, zeppelin14 said:

Does anybody seriously think that urban gondolas will be installed above Hampton Blvd? Beside Norfolk being too small of a city for that (and probably too small for the light rail), there simply isn't room. The support beams would have to go somewhere and it won't be in the middle of the road. No room on the sides..... Just a ridiculous idea.

It is ridiculous, but there's an army of urban gondola enthusiasts pitching them all over the U.S.  The promise is that it's cheap, requires *no* land, and offers a better level of service than surface transit modes.  It can rarely deliver any of those three promises.  

In addition for finding places for the poles (you need 2 meters, which is basically the better part of a traffic lane), you need to site stations.  To do that within the public ROW is going to be difficult to do (look at the pic below!).  So ridiculous station construction and/or property acquisition to build the bloody stations is thrown in the cost formula.

Seaport-gondola-system-proposal.jpg

 

And then there's the travel time.  These things average a measly 11 mph (including multiple stops on a line-haul route).  To go from downtown Norfolk to NOB at 11 mph, that's a 45 minute trip.  Gondolas are good for getting over a physical barrier (a mountainside, occasionally a river, etc.), for a short distance (a mile or two tops).  As a mode of urban transport in a flat and relatively un-dense city, and for such a long distance, it's ridiculous.  The only reason not to build LRT on Norfolk's west side is because you're trying to be cheap.  

Edited by lammius
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