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Virginia Beach Light Rail and Transit


vdogg

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27 minutes ago, tallguy81" said:

I'm only 31 years old and even i'm saying no to light rail but yes to the arena and they should consider monorail instead which is not just an amusement ride anymore.  Look up the number of cities that have successful monorail systems.

No.

 

Aside from the cheesy Simpsons reference, it makes no sense to have a well-performing system in place and create another just because it looks fancy. You would have to create a separate station to transfer people from system to system ---> A LOT OF MONEY- much more money that you would be spending with light rail. Light rail is perfect for Hampton Roads: you can start off small and then add more cars as the system gets more use.

Edited by OBXastronaut
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41 minutes ago, OBXastronaut said:

No.

 

Aside from the cheesy Simpsons reference, it makes no sense to have a well-performing system in place and create another just because it looks fancy. You would have to create a separate station to transfer people from system to system ---> A LOT OF MONEY- much more money that you would be spending with light rail. Light rail is perfect for Hampton Roads: you can start off small and then add more cars as the system gets more use.

Voting no is anybody's perogotive, but I just think it would be foolish to do so when the city only has to come up with 1/3 of the cost.

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Light Rail has very low ridership in norfolk.  The monorail system would require a multi-modal station however it would not be much more of a cost than if there were a station with only one use and it would be worth it because people would use it because it is much more cost-effective then a light rail system AKA Streetcar.  

It would also pay off in the long run because monorail transportation is just as efficient as Light Rail transportation and has a lower operating cost and would require much less maintenance.   It also requires less energy than light rail.  Unlike light rail monorail could be operational during power outages because monorail has the ability to run on compressed air and solar power.

Edited by tallguy81"
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Using the ridership numbers is a bit of a misnomer. Unless you're going somewhere in downtown Norfolk or live in the suburban parts (Ingleside, the neighborhood at Newtown Road), there's not much incentive. When they first started, HRT wanted an average of about 3,000 per day. I know their site used to show the daily passenger numbers, but I can't seem to find it now. I have a hard time believing, even with the decline of passengers, they're not meeting the 3,000 goal.

Extending to the Beach will help. Extending to ODU, the base, airport, etc. will help as well.

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8 hours ago, tallguy81" said:

Light Rail has very low ridership in norfolk.  The monorail system would require a multi-modal station however it would not be much more of a cost than if there were a station with only one use and it would be worth it because people would use it because it is much more cost-effective then a light rail system AKA Streetcar.  

It would also pay off in the long run because monorail transportation is just as efficient as Light Rail transportation and has a lower operating cost and would require much less maintenance.   It also requires less energy than light rail.  Unlike light rail monorail could be operational during power outages because monorail has the ability to run on compressed air and solar power.

Penny-wise and Pound-foolish.

What you do when you require people to transfer from one mode to another (hell, even one train to a *different type of train*!!!), you're creating a barrier that limits how many people will ride it. If the light rail system gets built out fully, you could have an uninterrupted system that stretches from the oceanfront to the naval base and connects two of the biggest downtowns of Hampton Roads. That is worth a lot more than saving pennies on maintenance costs.

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On 10/4/2016 at 10:38 PM, tallguy81" said:

Light Rail has very low ridership in norfolk.  The monorail system would require a multi-modal station however it would not be much more of a cost than if there were a station with only one use and it would be worth it because people would use it because it is much more cost-effective then a light rail system AKA Streetcar.  

It would also pay off in the long run because monorail transportation is just as efficient as Light Rail transportation and has a lower operating cost and would require much less maintenance.   It also requires less energy than light rail.  Unlike light rail monorail could be operational during power outages because monorail has the ability to run on compressed air and solar power.

I don't quite get how a monorail would work from Newtown Road to Town Center or better yet, why? Most monorail systems I have been on were either looped tracks or a very short distance like Disney World or an airport. 

The problem is that Norfolk took a big (and arguably stupid) gamble with LR. It built it on the assumption that VB would jump on board once it was up and running. That has not happened. I live near a LR station and have used it often. It is good for extending bike runs and for avoiding traffic when I want to meet my husband after work. But honestly, it is almost always empty, it goes nowhere that I would be interested in stopping that I cannot walk/bike to, it took large amounts of funding away from the already cash deprived transit system and lastly, where is the TOD? Newtown Road area around the station is still underdeveloped and even Ruby Tuesday's can't stay in business over there. I like LR, I am one of the very few people I know who use it and I would really like it if it went to Town Center BUT if it gets voted down by VB city council, I wonder if Norfolk might want to consider an exit strategy or if it is even possible. 

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The issue I can see with light rail in Hampton Roads is the fact that it is a system designed for a single car train rather than multi car trains, two to three trains in most cases. No matter how much they expand light rail there, it will never be a viable solution if there is always going to be this barrier. I have come to terms long ago that the chances of seeing a real rail system throughout Hampton Roads is slim to none until all the cities come together and form a regional government that is in charge of handling things like this. The people in Norfolk and Portsmouth should have as much say on where the light rail goes, as those in Virginia Beach do. 

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http://pilotonline.com/news/local/transportation/virginia-beach-light-rail-referendum-is-in-a-dead-heat/article_331993ae-3547-57f5-98a6-92ae820b8e87.html

This vote is unfortunately very close. If we can't get this through I might seriously consider another city. I just can't stand the lack of progress. No dome site, no arena, possibly no light rail. These are not the actions of a growing and vibrant city. This only leads to stagnation. Perhaps I'm spending too much time trying to get Va. Beach to be the city it's obviously not. The light rail folks need to run a better campaign, they are letting the opponents control the narrative. 

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This is ridiculous. People with an agenda holding the region hostage with grandstanding and scare tactics. The people had their say 4 years ago.

My only hope is that 700 people don't speak for the entire city. I know they called cellphones too, but I'd like to think the landline and rural users skew the numbers. 

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Honestly, we need to just lop the southern half of the city off and let them form their own town. We are not a city in the traditional sense, and the differences between the urban and rural population are night and day. There is little benefit to either party from staying together. It is time to go our separate ways. 

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Honestly, I've felt for a while that Princess Anne County becoming an actual city hurt this area in the long run, and it's caused a city that's way too big. IMO, P.A. County should consist of a bunch smaller towns (i.e., Pungo, Lynnhaven, Kempsville, etc.). Kinda how York County and Isle of Wight are set up.

Like you said, as long as the southern half exists, VB (and the region by extension) will have a hard time making progress.

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13 hours ago, vdogg said:

Honestly, we need to just lop the southern half of the city off and let them form their own town. We are not a city in the traditional sense, and the differences between the urban and rural population are night and day. There is little benefit to either party from staying together. It is time to go our separate ways. 

I always thought the area would do better if you lopped off the southern halves (give or take) of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk and created a new county out of them. Then the folks in those areas could vote for their own rural interests while those who want to actually live in a city (or city-like area) can. Combine Norfolk and Portsmouth into one city as well while we're at it. I know it'll never happen. 

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9 hours ago, HRVT said:

I always thought the area would do better if you lopped off the southern halves (give or take) of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk and created a new county out of them. Then the folks in those areas could vote for their own rural interests while those who want to actually live in a city (or city-like area) can. Combine Norfolk and Portsmouth into one city as well while we're at it. I know it'll never happen. 

That is actually a great idea. Combine Portsmouth urban area, Norfolk and Virginia Beach urban area into one city with three boroughs. Then the other suburban/rural area could be a county and control their own destiny.

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According to this article, the proposed expansion to Town Center would only make up two percent of the city's total area. About half of the city is actually rural, which surprises me, given how much of Pungo has been developed over the last 15 years.

http://pilotonline.com/inside-business/if-virginia-beach-takes-next-steps-light-rail-leaves-light/article_39dbfbc8-f762-543b-921d-341751199aa2.html

I still wouldn't be against converting that 50% back to Princess Anne County, and let it consist of the towns of Pungo, Blackwater, Creeds and Sandbridge. If they want their small town status, that's perfectly okay. And the more I think about it, the more the idea really does make a lot of sense. VB gets to continue growing as a city, and maybe even works more with the other cities. The rural side of PA County gets to maintain its small town charm it so desperately longs for. The only issue is VB might be neck and neck with Norfolk for largest city in the Commonwealth, but even then, I think they only lose 50K of the population. I can't see that many people living in the rural parts.

Edited by BFG
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On 10/12/2016 at 2:56 AM, vdogg said:

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/transportation/virginia-beach-light-rail-referendum-is-in-a-dead-heat/article_331993ae-3547-57f5-98a6-92ae820b8e87.html

This vote is unfortunately very close. If we can't get this through I might seriously consider another city. I just can't stand the lack of progress. No dome site, no arena, possibly no light rail. These are not the actions of a growing and vibrant city. This only leads to stagnation. Perhaps I'm spending too much time trying to get Va. Beach to be the city it's obviously not. The light rail folks need to run a better campaign, they are letting the opponents control the narrative. 

I feel your frustration, looking back on my life, the best thing I have ever done was moving away from VB to someplace better that better matched my idea of what a city should be. One can only be so proactive for a city before it becomes a waste of time. I feel like VB and Hampton Roads will always be that type of metro that lacks any true vision for growth. I feel like the metro put itself in that situation when it became a metro of seven independent cities with no real way to work together through some sort of metro government.

You will probably be much better off moving to a city that better matches what you want a city to be like. My suggestion would be to really start visiting other cities and getting a better feel for what works and what doesn't work for you.

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On 10/12/2016 at 8:11 AM, vdogg said:

Honestly, we need to just lop the southern half of the city off and let them form their own town. We are not a city in the traditional sense, and the differences between the urban and rural population are night and day. There is little benefit to either party from staying together. It is time to go our separate ways. 

This is why the city structure of Hampton Roads is extremely flawed, which this is also a flaw that comes from the state level. Hampton Roads should be like most regions where it is made up of cities, towns, and counties all working together and independently if they choose to. Virginia Beach should have been the town that runs along just the beachfront and possibly outward to maybe First Colonial. Princess Anne County should have covered much of the southern half. Then the area between Norfolk and Virginia Beach could have been the city of Pembroke.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Pilot laid out all the facts of LRT and addressed a few myths. I like that they explained the tax increase would only amount to about $45 a year on a $250K home. It's minimal and most homeowners prolly wouldn't bat an eyelash, but it's enough to get the NIMBY anti-progress crowd riled up.

http://pilotonline.com/news/government/local/major-light-rail-vote-coming-soon-in-virginia-beach-here/article_f7e20daa-3dd3-5d1d-bc9d-45f7c409f0f7.html

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You have to remember that the city of vabeach(I know about the 8 mile city before the sixties) was created with Princess Anne county to stop Norfolk...Vabeach, Chesapeake and Suffolk were are really created in stopping Norfolk from expanding...this region really has been born with anti regionalism to begin with. This region has shot itself in the foot a long time ago and will continue to be dysfunctional. We really need to get rid of the 7 cities and have one central city with counties around it. This will never happen but one can only hope. The only way to turn this region around is for these local govt to actually have a working relationship for the positive. Vabeach needs to get rid of the negative image that they portray of people from Norfolk. I grew up in Norfolk and remember how I was viewed by people from Vabeach. Yes, some of this has changed but it is still lingering around and these are the antis that want to block anything that pushes progression for this region. We need to expand the regions economy beyond the govt sector. We do have some positives with the fiber from spain etc. but we need more to at least sustain this region and light rail is only a small thing that can make this region stand up to its potential.

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http://pilotonline.com/news/government/sessoms-light-rail-is-dead-for-now-votes-still-rolling/article_a36b8dd8-6f6e-5f1e-a101-5b354db544c8.html

The mayor said light rail is dead for now. All the anti development, anti progress, bigots, and tea partiests got their way. Kerry Daugherty is probably throwing a party with John Moss. Next month they'll work to end the stadium deal so we can never build a better infrastructure, attract business and entertainment, and lose all of our young educated minds. I hope Norfolk doesn't give up their goal of rail expansion.

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The one silver lining is that it's a non-binding vote. Hopefully the final numbers next spring show a reasonable number, and council doesn't decide to turn down free money.

It really pisses me off that Atkinson won with his BS platform.

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I can't say I didn't see this coming. Light rail is pretty much dead for another decade or more for Virginia Beach. Hopefully Norfolk continues to look at the big picture and looks to expand it within their city limits, but Virginia Beach looks like they will continue their whole backwards, anti-progress stance. Ugh.

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On the bright side we now know which route Norfolk will take. They were just waiting to see if Virginia Beach would move forward or not. Military hwy if VB doesn't move forward. Hampton Blvd corridor if VB does. Plus Norfolk is already getting its study over with and should be done in a year.  

VB eventually will see Norfolk's success once it's built out then add to it. Unfortunately it might be too late for VB to get actual funding.

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