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Virginia Beach Light Rail and Transit


vdogg

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  • 4 weeks later...

:excl: Today's City Page announced a Mass Transit Open House on Tuesday, September 16. It will be at the convention center from 7-9 P.M.

This is what we've discussed before on UP. Everyone and their best friend needs to show up and be vocal! You can bet the VBTA will make all the noise it can. We need to make it clear that most residents are pro-transit.

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Tides momentum reaches the Beach

Maybe the people who came to a community forum last week got through to the Virginia Beach City Council on the importance of light rail to the city's future.

Maybe Councilman Ron Villanueva hit home when he said city leaders need more political will to make controversial decisions on development. Whatever the reasons, on Saturday, after two days of consensus- building, the council summoned up enthusiasm for putting a light rail line along the city's midsection.

It agreed that a top priority for the next year will be extending Norfolk's starter line, which will end at Newtown Road. The council now is on record favoring its extension to the Oceanfront, as well as to Old Dominion University and the Norfolk Naval Station. It's not a formal, official vote, but it's the next best thing, expressing the sense of the council. This is a positive change for a city whose prosperity has been fueled for the last four decades by cheap land and gas. It gives the city staff a green light to move aggressively into a planning stage that could last for years.

Yay! Man, things are really moving along now. I'm getting a bit more confidant that something will actually come of all this.

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Tides momentum reaches the Beach

Yay! Man, things are really moving along now. I'm getting a bit more confidant that something will actually come of all this.

We can only hope that the naysayers do not rule the day at this town hall meeting. Packing the meeting may make an impression on the city council, but inundating them with e-mails and letters might go a little bit further. I think many people need to understand that Va. Beach is morphing from a quiet bedroom and quaint beach town community into a major urban center of note. In order to steer this transformation into a positive direction some different thinking on the part of residents is required. I propose that proponents of the light rail extension into Virginia Beach start detailing to naysayers and fence sitters what life in the beach could be like in 10, 20 or 30 years from now with the Tide. Have them imagine hoping on the train at the Town Center, Hilltop or Ocean Front stations and being whisked away on a sleek train to shop at the new Downtown Va. Beach TOD or further to the new Military Highway TOD and Downtown Norfolk. Capturing people's imagination can possibly go a long way in making the Nimby's dissappear.

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While clearly vocal, the NIMBYs and detractors of this project are far far fewer than ten years ago or even a year ago. While there are some steps to get past, chief among them how will it be paid for, it is going to happen. The one quote that resonated the most was this:

On Saturday, Councilman Jim Wood cut through the weeds and said what has needed to be said for years. Light rail or mass transit, "we can call it whatever we want," he said, "but we've got something that stops at Newtown Road, and it doesn't make sense to start something else."

Combating comments on VP aren't going to sway the council one way or another. The elections this fall however will. But there's little doubt about the outcome of all of this: Light Rail is going to be a reality in Virginia Beach. Now it's just a matter of time and money.

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  • 3 weeks later...

  • 1 month later...

Eh, I like Obendorf so I voted for her again. I've met her before and I'm sad to see she lost. I'm glad to hear that the one replacing her is still committed to light rail at the Beach. I'll give the guy a shot.

I think Sessom's argument towards Obendorf was pretty spot on. Virginia Beach has grown by leaps and bounds in the last twenty years, and while she's been a tremendous Ambassador for the city, when's the last time you heard of her pushing or controlling anything? With the rise in developments, Town Center, Convention Center and the like, it's time the mayor of VB became more of a powerful individual rather than a figurehead/spokesperson.

Plus light rail coming to VB looks much brighter now. Kudos.

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I think Sessom's argument towards Obendorf was pretty spot on. Virginia Beach has grown by leaps and bounds in the last twenty years, and while she's been a tremendous Ambassador for the city, when's the last time you heard of her pushing or controlling anything? With the rise in developments, Town Center, Convention Center and the like, it's time the mayor of VB became more of a powerful individual rather than a figurehead/spokesperson.

Plus light rail coming to VB looks much brighter now. Kudos.

He's going to sell out the city. And he CHEATED on the election. It was kind of sleezy using the uneducated like that.

But I guess he is the best that money was willing to buy!

I'm not a fan of Oberdorph but I'd take her over Sessoms.

Moss is actually probably the best bet.

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I was actually saddened by the news that Myra was voted out of office, growing up I had met her several times and knew her fairly well, so I have some bias for her because she will always be my mayor. I do however think that it makes sense for VB to change mayors to one that has a better understanding with handling a full fledged city that has a list of urban problems on their hands to deal with.

I am against how he won his office. Spending an outlandish amount of money is beyond uncalled for and is an example that he basically bought the position as mayor. Plus the linking himself to Obama...seriously, that isnt right, he wanted to be a mayor which should be about the individual and not the party affiliation.

I do hope things work out with these new city council members, I know for a long time I have wanted to see members that would be more progressve and aggressive with moving the city forward and have felt there has been too many council members that have been more interested in holding the city back.

I strongly think the city needs to fully think out this idea of light rail in the city and how development should happen in the city. It would make no sense to think of this rail line that would run to the beach as an end all solution. There needs to be a city transit plan to address the city as a whole with a solid plan to expand rail throughout the city.

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  • 1 month later...

This is good news. It's gonna be interesting to see the outcome of the study.

In the 60s, there were plans for a freeway system in DC which faced fierce opposition. Many planners thought a mass transit system, light rail, would never be self-sufficient because of low density land uses and transit ridership decline. Sound familiar?

The concept of a mixed system, a Capital beltway along with rail line radiating out, was agreed on. DC never got its proposed second outer loop, though, to connect the suburbs. Bet, they're wishing they'd set aside 1970 money for that now.

The DC Metro opened in the mid 70s with just about a 4-1/2 mile stretch downtown with five stations. The last track to be laid was in 2004. Finally, plans are in the works to extend the line to Dulles Airport. It takes a while. Everything has to start somewhere and look at where Metro is today. You think traffic is bad in DC? Just think what it would be without Metro.

Just think of the possibilities to live and work regionally with light rail. I'm lucky, I can walk to work now. But, having to drive to business meetings in other parts of the region is a nightmare. For instance, 1/3rd of our Board members who had RSVP-ed for this past Friday's meeting (that's 20 people) couldn't make it because of traffic snarls.

Let's hope the study recommends that VB connects to Light Rail. Organized urban growth versus scattered suburban sprawl makes sense in a region that is water-locked. We need to make the best use of the land we have here in Hampton Roads and stop people from referring to us as a cul de sac.

Light rail is another way to stop our foreign oil dependence and reduce man's carbon footprint on the world.

Edited by MGBlankenship
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In the 60s, there were plans for a freeway system in DC which faced fierce opposition. Many planners thought a mass transit system, light rail, would never be self-sufficient because of low density land uses and transit ridership decline. Sound familiar?

The concept of a mixed system, a Capital beltway along with rail line radiating out, was agreed on. DC never got its proposed second outer loop, though, to connect the suburbs. Bet, they're wishing they'd set aside 1970 money for that now.

The DC Metro opened in the mid 70s with just about a 4-1/2 mile stretch downtown with five stations. The last track to be laid was in 2004. Finally, plans are in the works to extend the line to Dulles Airport. It takes a while. Everything has to start somewhere and look at where Metro is today. You think traffic is bad in DC? Just think what it would be without Metro.

Just think of the possibilities to live and work regionally with light rail. I'm lucky, I can walk to work now. But, having to drive to business meetings in other parts of the region is a nightmare. For instance, 1/3rd of our Board members who had RSVP-ed for this past Friday's meeting (that's 20 people) couldn't make it because of traffic snarls.

Let's hope the study recommends that VB connects to Light Rail. Organized urban growth versus scattered suburban sprawl makes sense in a region that is water-locked. We need to make the best use of the land we have here in Hampton Roads and stop people from referring to us as a cul de sac.

Light rail is another way to stop our foreign oil dependence and reduce man's carbon footprint on the world.

I completely agree, however many residents do not, and they think that "what they want" should be hierarchal and should come before future needs. Its always best to meet the needs of the future than to dwell in the safety of the past. What we must hope and rely on, is the results of the study and the determination of the mayor. These two things may bring light rail to the region and break through the "elder barrier" who never want the area to change.

Edited by mlsimons
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I completely agree, however many residents do not, and they think that "what they want" should be hierarchal and should come before future needs. Its always best to meet the needs of the future than to dwell in the safety of the past. What we must hope and rely on, is the results of the study and the determination of the mayor. These two things may bring light rail to the region and break through the "elder barrier" who never want the area to change.

the key thing here is "need." the better question to ask people is what to they think would be best for the future of the area. When you get people to stop talking about needs and wants and more about what is important for the big picture, then you start to get somewhere. If we always got what we needed, we would be living in a really screwed up world....worse than what it already is.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In his swearing-in speech, Sessoms recognized Oberndorf's commitment to the city. He listed his agenda for the next four years: create jobs, improve the environment and neighborhoods, purchase Norfolk Southern railroad right-of-way to build a light-rail line, and address problems with youth gangs.

Sessoms said he hopes the city will reach a deal on the Norfolk Southern property within two weeks.

Lightrail from Norfolk to VB deal in 2 weeks

Edited by HarryVB
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That's pretty deceptive, there's nothing in the article about Town Center or extending light rail...Sessom's personal goal is to have negotiations completed to purchase the right of way in two weeks...which means nothing but having the ability to get it started...whenever light rail is officially announced of course it will go to TC and Oceanfront, but this is not an agreement on Light Rail or an official announcement...close and move to VB Light Rail...

Edited by spiker3
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