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Norfolk Light Rail and Transit


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I hope the city will be creative rather than conservative with establishing a route for the Naval Station extension.

Rumor has it that they've been eyeing Redgate Ave immediately next to Norfolk Southern's rail yards as a route through Ghent, but that'd miss the Colley/21st activity center completely. Manteo Street/Newport Ave would be a better route in serving major activity centers.

Not to be a negative nancy, but I really don't see how they can go thru colley, or anything nearby. Its just tooo dense. I want this to happen also, but even if they did go ahead and carve a rail line down colley, or anything else closeby. The train would be forced to move so incredibly slow in order to be safe. It wouldn't be a feasible alternative to driving at that point.

If they routed around W. Ghent, the train could reach nearly 55mph and do a fly over the lamberts point rail lines heading into the terminus. The time between EVMS and ODU could take as little as 2-3 minutes. I don't know what they will end up doing.

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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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Not to be a negative nancy, but I really don't see how they can go thru colley, or anything nearby. Its just tooo dense. I want this to happen also, but even if they did go ahead and carve a rail line down colley, or anything else closeby. The train would be forced to move so incredibly slow in order to be safe. It wouldn't be a feasible alternative to driving at that point.

If they routed around W. Ghent, the train could reach nearly 55mph and do a fly over the lamberts point rail lines heading into the terminus. The time between EVMS and ODU could take as little as 2-3 minutes. I don't know what they will end up doing.

It would be better to have an inner city streetcar system for the inner city neighborhoods. Those trains can handle much denser areas much easier and are smaller trains.

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It would be better to have an inner city streetcar system for the inner city neighborhoods. Those trains can handle much denser areas much easier and are smaller trains.

I understand that's what they did in the Pearl District, and it had a lot to do with its success.

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I understand that's what they did in the Pearl District, and it had a lot to do with its success.

That is true, though to really show off how well it can work in dense inner neighborhoods, SF has a streetcar system that runs through its neighborhoods, which is amazing how well that works.

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Not to be a negative nancy, but I really don't see how they can go thru colley, or anything nearby. Its just tooo dense. I want this to happen also, but even if they did go ahead and carve a rail line down colley, or anything else closeby. The train would be forced to move so incredibly slow in order to be safe. It wouldn't be a feasible alternative to driving at that point.

I agree. That is a heavy pedestrian road. And it is right next to a historic district. I think that the Ghent Neighborhood League would fight tooth and nail to get light rail away from Colley and support having light rail run up Norfolk Southern's rail yard outside of West Ghent. Of course, I could be totally wrong.

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I hope the city will be creative rather than conservative with establishing a route for the Naval Station extension.

Rumor has it that they've been eyeing Redgate Ave immediately next to Norfolk Southern's rail yards as a route through Ghent, but that'd miss the Colley/21st activity center completely. Manteo Street/Newport Ave would be a better route in serving major activity centers.

I think the route to the Naval Station will use either the Military Highway Corridor or the I-64 Corridor. There are not enough potential riders in Norfolk to justify the Naval Station route. They will have to include the Virginia Beach riders to make the numbers work, so I do not think the Naval Station route will be built until after Virginia Beach has tied into the system. The Virginia Beach riders will not want to go downtown and around the medical center to get to the Naval Station; they will want a more direct route. Also, with either the Military Highway option and the I-64 option, they could easily add a spur to serve Norfolk International Airport.

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I think the route to the Naval Station will use either the Military Highway Corridor or the I-64 Corridor. There are not enough potential riders in Norfolk to justify the Naval Station route. They will have to include the Virginia Beach riders to make the numbers work, so I do not think the Naval Station route will be built until after Virginia Beach has tied into the system. The Virginia Beach riders will not want to go downtown and around the medical center to get to the Naval Station; they will want a more direct route. Also, with either the Military Highway option and the I-64 option, they could easily add a spur to serve Norfolk International Airport.
At least that way they wouldn't have to build the inevitable bridge over the lafayette to the base like if they went up hampton or colley... where do you think they'd run the rail line if they used the 64 right of way... they can't run it down the median since the hov lane is taking up that space?
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From the Transit Vision Plan

Description of Corridor

Corridor 4 runs from I-264 parallel to Military

Highway and I-64 to Naval Station Norfolk. Currently

adopted 2034 forecasts of residential density in the

corridor do not support rail, except along Little

Creek Road west of I-564. However, the corridor

links several important regional activity centers

including providing improved transit access to

Norfolk International Airport and Naval Station

Norfolk. A study conducted in 1999 identified this

corridor as feasible for extending light rail to Naval

Station Norfolk. High speed/high capacity transit in

this corridor is further justified by the large number

of workers who commute from Virginia Beach to

Naval Station Norfolk.

Potential Station Locations

Below is a list of potential light rail station locations

to be considered in future studies. In addition,

whether and how much parking should be built at

each station needs to be determined. The locations

of grade separations at major crossing arterials also

need to be studied.

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I'm all for building a line to Base anyway we can, although I still think a line behind West Ghent, across the NS rails, and behind ODU would be by far the least disruptive. Ay least until they get to ODU. but I think excluding ODU would be a major oversight. We're talking around 25,000 students, many of whom would love to take the train versus looking for parking.

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According to ODU's website there are "6,000 students live within walking distance of the campus." Add to that another roughly 1,200 full and part time faculty members. I would be interested to know how many ODU students live in the area that are not within walking distance of the campus and would also use light rail to get to and from school. I would think that a light rail stop at ODU would be a smart idea.

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A stop at ODU would be perfect. I do not think ODU can be left out of any plans but do not say that 25,000 people are trying to get to the campus on a given day, that is just not the case.

There's only been around 4,000 graduates of distance learning programs, so saying a majority of the student body is teletechnet is just not true. There were 4, now there's 5, garages on campus and at certain times during the week you can't find a spot to save your life.

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The Office of Distance Learning extends the value of a regionally-accredited university education through a variety of distance learning options, including TELETECHNET, a satellite delivery network established in 1994. Additionally, Internet and computer-based deliveries make higher education more convenient, flexible, and easily accessible for working students and those in rural communities.

Old Dominion offers nationally ranked programs in the sciences, engineering, arts and letters, health sciences, business and education. Our network includes nearly 50 locations throughout Virginia and as far away as Arizona, Georgia, Washington State, the Bahamas, and even U.S. Navy ships and submarines deployed around the globe. No matter where our students are located, we are committed to providing them with high-quality instruction, advising, and student support services. (They count these as ODU students)

More than 3,500 students have graduated from Old Dominion University's Distance Learning program. Our students have been recognized for outstanding academic achievement and have been chosen for a wide variety of exciting professional positions following graduation. As you look at our web site and learn more about distance learning opportunities available to you, we hope you will decide to join our growing family of Old Dominion University students and alumni who have completed all or part of their studies through the Office of Distance Learning. (This is from the ODU web site)

There is nowhere near 25,000 or 20,000 students going on ODUs campus on a given day, maybe 10,000-15,000 but not that many more. I used to teach at ODU. Could someone find the offical numbers and reference it so that others can see it also?

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Regardless of the number of students living on or off campus at ODU, having a Light Rail stop for students and faculty is a necessity for the Norfolk area's largest university. The next extension of Charlotte's light rail is focused on providing stops for the UNC-Charlotte campus, which is north of the city and a major focal point for the expansion. It should be for Norfolk as well as they expand both the university and the light rail line in the future.

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The Office of Distance Learning extends the value of a regionally-accredited university education through a variety of distance learning options, including TELETECHNET, a satellite delivery network established in 1994. Additionally, Internet and computer-based deliveries make higher education more convenient, flexible, and easily accessible for working students and those in rural communities.

Old Dominion offers nationally ranked programs in the sciences, engineering, arts and letters, health sciences, business and education. Our network includes nearly 50 locations throughout Virginia and as far away as Arizona, Georgia, Washington State, the Bahamas, and even U.S. Navy ships and submarines deployed around the globe. No matter where our students are located, we are committed to providing them with high-quality instruction, advising, and student support services. (They count these as ODU students)

More than 3,500 students have graduated from Old Dominion University's Distance Learning program. Our students have been recognized for outstanding academic achievement and have been chosen for a wide variety of exciting professional positions following graduation. As you look at our web site and learn more about distance learning opportunities available to you, we hope you will decide to join our growing family of Old Dominion University students and alumni who have completed all or part of their studies through the Office of Distance Learning. (This is from the ODU web site)

There is nowhere near 25,000 or 20,000 students going on ODUs campus on a given day, maybe 10,000-15,000 but not that many more. I used to teach at ODU. Could someone find the offical numbers and reference it so that others can see it also?

Nearly 80% of the over 22,000 students are learning on-campus, which equals about 17,000. It's on the ODU admissions website.

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Top 5 Virginia Colleges and Universities by Student Population

1. George Mason University

This university is the largest of Virginia's top colleges and universities. Its main campus is located in the city of Fairfax, in Northern Virginia. The school was established in 1957 as part of the University of Virginia school system, before breaking off in 1972. The university comprises numerous schools and colleges, among them the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, School of Computational Sciences, College of Education and Human Development, and the School of Law.

Student Demographics and Tuition

Student Population Number of Students

Total enrollment: 29,728

Undergraduate enrollment: 18,091

2. Virginia Commonwealth University

This university was established in 1838, and has since become one of Virginia's top colleges and universities. It is located in the city of Richmond, the state's capital. The university is also home to the largest French film festival in the country. The university comprises several colleges and schools, among them the School of Allied Health Professions, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Mass Communications, School of Pharmacy, School of Social Work, and more.

Student Demographics and Tuition

Student Population Number of Students

Total enrollment: 29,168

Undergraduate enrollment: 20,327

3. Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or simply Virginia Tech, was established in 1872, and is one of Virginia's top colleges and universities. The Institute is located in the rural setting of Blacksburg, in the western central part of Virginia. The university is composed of seven separate colleges and universities, including the College of Engineering, College of Natural Resources, College of Science, Pamplin College of Business, and more.

Student Demographics and Tuition

Student Population Number of Students

Total enrollment: 27,979

Undergraduate enrollment: 21,627

4. University of Virginia

The main campus of the University of Virginia is located in the city of Charlottesville, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the northern central part of the state. The school was founded in 1762 and is one of Virginia's top colleges and universities. The University of Virginia comprises many colleges and schools, including the School of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, Curry School of Education, and more.

Student Demographics and Tuition

Student Population Number of Students

Total enrollment: 23,765

Undergraduate enrollment: 14,213

5. Old Dominion University

This prestigious institution was established in 1930 as a branch of the College of William and Mary. It achieved independent status in 1962. The university is set in the city of Norfolk, in the southwest corner of the state. One of Virginia's top colleges and universities, the university is composed of the College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Public Administration, Darden College of Education, Batten College of Engineering and Technology, and other schools and colleges.

Student Demographics and Tuition

Student Population Number of Students

Total enrollment: 21,274

Undergraduate enrollment: 15,275

ODU is the fifth largest college in Virginia, of course a Light Rail needs to stop there but, do not say 25,000 students are on campus. 17,000 sounds better. I am not trying to start a argument, ODU is a fine school, that number way to large.

I would like to see 25,000 at a football game, that would place both Norfolk Universities in the top ten in attendance in 1-AA.

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A simple on-campus survey might help to settle the question about LRT potential use.

No study is needed, run it through ODU. Population regarding a university of that size is null and void because regardless of the on campus population, they will ALWAYS have incoming freshman and upperclassmen (most) will turn to cars after their first year. It's true in most universities. The bulk of the riders at ODU will be freshmen.

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A stop at ODU would be perfect. I do not think ODU can be left out of any plans but do not say that 25,000 people are trying to get to the campus on a given day, that is just not the case.

I'm not saying they are. However, according to ODU, there are over 23,000 students enrolled. To date, some 3500 students TOTAL have graduated from the distance learning program. Are we to believe, then, that "most" of the 25,000 are distance learning? Wow, that's quite a jump. And why does anyone even question these numbers? 17,000? Did you count them? I didn't.

Regardless, the point is that this is a major destination point--far bigger than anything in Ghent. Look at any subway or train system in the country. Whether you're talking U of Maryland in DC or Villanova in Philly, most attempt to serve local colleges and universities.

P.S., just let me rant. Walk away. Don't make eye contact.

Edited by Sky06
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I agree. That is a heavy pedestrian road. And it is right next to a historic district. I think that the Ghent Neighborhood League would fight tooth and nail to get light rail away from Colley and support having light rail run up Norfolk Southern's rail yard outside of West Ghent. Of course, I could be totally wrong.

Now one possibility, would be to run the line straight down Hampton Blvd, along with traffic until you get past the railroad tracks. I thought this would be impossible, but I just got back from Boston, and their "E" "Green line" runs a 2 car light rail right on the street with electrical wires above. It sits in traffic and at lights, but this is a possibility. The only problems would be fitting the rail under the railroad, and the possibility of creating gridlock on Hampton....But if, if, the third crossing was a success in routing the trucks off Hampton, and if the midtown tunnel got the expansion with a light rail tube. Then it may in fact free up traffic enough to work, and connect the highest density Norfolk area to the rail line.

A very high-hoped idea I know...

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Just finished looking at the progress presentation HRT submitted to the city and got a glimpse of the future. You can see the presentation here. It is the first line below Construction Updates at the top. They talk about what is being conducted in the studies for the future extensions to the Beach and Navy Base. The route to the Navy Base generally follows I-64 or Military Highway to 564 and possibly over to the third crossing in the future. They are not looking at the extension at this time going from the medical center past ODU and up to the Navy Base. If it does happen it will be in the future.

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