Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kudos To Will Sessoms

After taking office on January 5, new Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms did an interview with The Virginian-Pravda's Deirdre Fernandes. With a video camera rolling, he pledged to have the negotiations on the Norfolk Southern Right-of-Way acquisition done within two weeks. Fernandes chuckled...as most of us did. After all, there had been on-and-off talks with Norfolk Southern for over three years. How did Sessoms think he'd get it done in two weeks?!? He did, with time to spare http://hamptonroads.com/2009/01/virginia-beach-buy-rightofway-likely-lightrail-route

Okay, what now?

1. Obviously, complete the right-of-way acquisition

2. Do Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEIS) on Newtown Road - Dome site and EVMS - Norfolk NOB alignments.

3. Boost Virginia Beach's year-round bus routes to get to Federal Transit Administration (FTA) standards for light rail funding. Hopefully that can be done in the City's FY 2010 Budget.

I learned about this around 6:50 P.M. When HR Transit Ideas' Michael Ragsdale called me about twenty-five minutes later, I answered by yelling into my cell phone "We got the right-of-way!" (He hadn't heard.)

Mister Mayor, I owe you a beer.

8 comments:

Reid Greenmun said...

From the Virginian-Pilot discussing a referendum for extending Light rail into Virginia Beach:

"Mayor Will Sessoms, Vice Mayor Louis Jones and council members Harry Diezel, Bob Dyer, Bill DeSteph and Ron Villanueva said they favored letting voters decide."

That would be 6 votes.

Anonymous said...

Extending light rail and buying the right-of-way are two different things.

I bet there are plenty of votes to buy the line.

(By the way, count again, there are 7)

Michael Ragsdale said...

Light Rail doesn't qualify for a referendum under the TLP plan since it's well under $2 billion

Avenging Archangel said...

The VBTA's desperation for a referendum is telling.

Michael is correct: under the VBTA's own Transportation Plan, light rail doesn't reach the treshold for a referendum.

Reid, read your own plans before releasing them.

Jessica Blaine said...

So it's official? We have the right-of-way? Too bad Reid won't go by his own policy (the TLP/VBTA transit plan).

Henry: I think your poll was rigged looking at all the "poor" votes

James Alex said...

This poll looks rigged (and it looks like it's not the fault of the blog author)

Perhaps the problem with your poll is VBTA payback for your funny song

Avenging Archangel said...

Yeah, their fingerprints are all over it. Since the poll doesn't close until Thursday evening, there's still time to counterflood.

Anonymous said...

How will Mayor Sessoms/Town Bank benefit from Light Rail? (there is a Town Bank at Town Center) Who is financing Light Rail, and which banks do Norfolk and Virginia Beach use to house the "taxpayers"
billions? If light rail didn't meet
the theshold for a referendum, then
why did VB already have one?

Am I the only one who finds it rather odd, that with bailout funds going to help banks, that Town Bank has merged with Decker
Realty?