Thursday, December 10, 2009

Transit Station Planning Workshop

Last night there was a station planning workshop for the Virginia Beach Transit Extension at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. I'm told "about 50" people were at last week's session at the Westin. Last night there were about half that number at the opening, with more drifting in later.

The need for such meetings is that 2 of the 3 build scenarios being looked at in the Alternatives Analysis (AA) are BRT or LRT down the Norfolk Southern Right-Of-Way. Both will require similar stations along the ROW.

The meeting opened with remarks by Jim Wood, City Councilman and TDCHR Chairman. That was followed by three Staffers from HDR, the consultant doing the study. Afterwards, citizens broke out to three separate tables based on segments of the line: Newtown Road - Town Center, Town Center - Lynnhaven, and Lynnhaven - Oceanfront.

With it being my home area, I went to the Newtown Road - Town Center table. There were a couple things of interest:

1. A member of the City's Historic Preservation Committee wants to keep the former Kempsville Building Materials building and use it as the Witchduck Road station. A couple of us thought the idea was nuts.

2. A gentleman was there who claimed he's been part of talks on a Witchduck Road - Great Bridge extension. The discussions reportedly involved the City of Chesapeake and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The rail line would shoot down the Witchduck Road/Kempsville Road Corridor to Greenbrier, then on to Great Bridge. We'll see if such a routing is included in the study that the Chesapeake City Council has requested.

The PowerPoint Presentation given is supposed to be on HRT's website by Friday. There will be another stations meeting in the Spring. WVEC had a camera crew there, so you might find video on their website.

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