Thursday, April 23, 2009

TDCHR April 23, 2009

This afternoon the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (TDCHR), the governing board of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), held it's April meeting.

The top story was the granting of a contract for the Study of two extensions to Norfolk's light rail Starter Line. The one is the Alternatives Analysis (AA) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Newtown Road to the Dome site in Virginia Beach, the other is the AA for Eastern Virginia Medical School to the Navy base in Norfolk. The AA is only included for the latter given that there are a number of possible alignments. In Virginia Beach, the purchase of the Norfolk Southern Right-Of-Way pretty much cements that routing.

It was a historic occasion. Not only was Debbie Messina of The Virginian-Pravda covering the meeting (as usual), but WAVY-TV sent a camera crew. That's the first time I've seen a television crew at a TDCHR meeting.

Staff has proposed eliminating MAX Route 963. In addition, they want to pare down Route 960 during the off-season to weekday rush hour service only. There will be a Public Hearing on the changes at the May 28 TDCHR meeting. Opposition to the 960 changes is expected from Virginia Beach Resort Area businesses.

The TDCHR entered into a Comprehensive Agreement for Phase I of a new Southside facility. The new building would provide maintenance and operations space, replacing the current structures, which are over a century old and originally designed for streetcars.

In related news, the TDCHR agreed to a lease on the former Ford Launch Facility on Indian River Road to house maintenance and operations during construction. The lease is for two years with a six month option. The Launch Facility is part of the former Ford plant.

Finally, MV Contract Transportation was awarded a contract to provide paratransit for the next three years, with two subsequent one year options.


Jessica Blaine said...

So we're finally getting The Tide to ODU?

If it were up to my, route:
* Colley Ave (Ghent Business District)
* Hampton Blvd through campus on up to Naval Exchange
* Connect to on-base shuttle at exchange (9/11 security restrictions)

Oh and Henry, I finally have my own profile :)

Wally Erb said...

Question: Is the 960 usage during off-season, non-rush hour periods insufficient enough to justify a business case for the recommended succession of service? What rationale would the beach business community need to produce to continue the uninterrupted service?

Avenging Archangel said...


The fundamental problem with Route 960 is that it's misdrawn. HRT was told from the start that Town Center should be online by the City of Virginia Beach, both UCAC members from Virginia Beach, some HRT Staffers from the Beach, et al. HRT's since-departed Strategic Planning Manager would listen to nothing but his own ego, and now some of us are saying "I told you so." In addition, the first draft also had a 960 stop at the convention center.

Therefore, my answer is that fixing the alignment is the solution. You can eliminate frequencies, but it's still a misdrawn route. Add Town Center and the convention center and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how to use this website, but the transporation issue relates to the parking concerns in all of our poorly planned and poorly managed cities.

Have heard 2 different old post office locations at the Oceanfront for the new Walgreens. One on Atlantic Avenue and one at 32nd Street. Neither one has enough parking. There has to be dedicated parking spaces for any new construction. It sounds very political that a historic 72 year old building, can't be on a historic registry. Speaking of history, the wonderful and family
friendly Ingrams Pharmacy, became
a victim of the poor planning and
uncontrolled growth at the Oceanfront. Bigger is not always

The best use of those buildings, would be to have a really nice Virginia Beach Museum. With lots of old photos of what our little resort town used to be. The 3 mile strip is disappearing to quickly. Everything is concrete and over commercialized.

If the Walgreens goes in at 32nd Street, the customers would probably park across the street in the Rite Aid parking lot. Or the customers would have to put money in the parking meters that line that street.(from April 1st to Nov. 1st)

Wally Erb said...

Re: Avenging Archangel 4:50

I agree. That is a reasonable and corrective approach. Would a pass through the park and ride at Holland and S. Independence, in your opinion, be considered or is it too far off the route?

Michael Ragsdale said...


That IS Silverleaf (current routing)

It could stop at both Town Center and Silverleaf

Michael Ragsdale said...

In continuation to what I was saying: it is a stipulation of the CMAQ grant that The MAX must stop at a park and ride. For the 960, this is Silverleaf and it would continue to serve Silverleaf in addition to Town Center under our "correction" proposal

Wally Erb said...

I understand, Micheal. Thank you for the information. Sounds like a solid plan rather than reducing service.

Wally Erb said...

New Subject concerning Route 33. With recent Corporate Landing growth and expansion wouldn't it be advisable for the thirty-three to swing through the complex. There appears to an ever growing foot traffic. Along with GEICO, Liberty Tax National HQ, new medical center, legal offices, Lockheed Martin, among many others.

Michael Ragsdale said...

The problem with the 33 is that it struggles for time as it is.

Yes, it should go back there if there's demand, but there's currently no time in the schedule.

My Aunt works for GEICO and lives off of Route 12 (Indian River Rd), meaning only 1 quick transfer at TCC and would gladly take the quick hour-long ride if there wasn't such a long walk from General Booth Blvd.

Jessica Blaine said...

Maybe a bus up and down Dam Neck that would run from TCC to Corporate Landing Pkwy to Gen Booth (to allow 33 transfers) back onto Dam Neck to the base?

There's some new industrial storage buildings going up near London Bridge.

Personally, I don't think the Corporate Landing to TCC part would have the ridership, but Corporate Landing to the Dam Neck Base (using Corporate Landing Pkwy to do a big 'round-the-block u-turn') or the Ocean Lakes residential area?

Wally Erb said...

Perhaps six to eight iterations of the 33 through Corporate Landing would be sufficient. also, it may also assist Economic Development in marketing more properties in the complex. Thoughts?

Michael Ragsdale said...

On second thought, here it is in Google Maps. Existing route + Corporate Landing Parkway. Says 45 minutes. Don't forget to add on travel time for stopping (existing route needs full hour to account for this).

See Route 33 idea on Google Maps