Thursday, December 3, 2009

TPPC December 3, 2009

The Transportation, Parking, and Pedestrian Committee (TPPC) of Virginia Beach's Resort Advisory Commission (RAC) met this morning. It was the delayed November meeting, as the normal November date would have fallen on Thanksgiving morning.

Barry Frankenfield gave an update on the Laskin Gateway Project. The sticking point is the configuration of 32nd Street. One of the consultants (Kimley-Horn) is working on a hybrid of the first two options. That hybrid is slated to be presented to the Laskin Citizens Advisory Committee at it's December 10 meeting. On the one hand, land takings are trying to be avoided; on the other hand, such would require some serious engineering of the curve swinging 32nd Street over to Laskin Road.

Speaking of Traffic Engineering, the TPPC was briefed on the Pedestrian Signs installed on Pacific Avenue. (Similar signs are on Shore Drive.) Through a Federal grant, signage was purchased for 7 intersections along Pacific to alert drivers of crossing pedestrians. The signs are topped with solar-powered lights that can be turned on at given times to enhance the effect. Data from automobile/pedestrian accidents on Pacific was used to determine which intersections, though other locations were disqualified because encroaching buildings wouldn't have permitted enough sunlight to reach the solar units.

Concern was expressed by some over the appearance of the units, whose poles and light units don't meet the design recommendations for Resort Area signage. Traffic Engineering retorted that you wouldn't want them to blend in too well, as that would defeat the purpose. In the end, it looks like the wooden poles and light units might be painted gray.

Intriguing fact: for all the media about people being hit by cars on Shore Drive, there are actually more such accidents on Pacific Avenue.

Finally, while everyone seems to agree that the long term goal should be to replace the existing light units on the Boardwalk with LED units, Budget constraints will probably prevent any such work in FY 2011.

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