Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Can Read Their Minds

First I blogged on how the extremist Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) believes light rail is "Marxist" and the Tide Guides wearing red shirts is bound to have them angry. ("We Told You It Was A Marxist Conspiracy!", 9/25/10). Now we learn that The Tide will enter revenue service on May Day (Wood Street And The Tide Launch, 11/17/10).

I can imagine what's going through the sick and paranoid minds of the VBTA now....


Wally Erb said...

New website you may be interested in.

Avenging Archangel said...

How appropriate: light rail opponents now have a fourth-rate website to go along with their fourth-rate arguments.

Michael said...

I may be in a Web Applications Developer course and my class normally does help clients build websites at no charge, but I'm not going to waste my time with such nonsense

Sorry but a website that appeals to elementary school kids isn't going to win over many

Wally Erb said...

Gosh Henry,

You don't have to so negative on opposing opinions. Everyone has got one.

Besides, I think the you-tube thingee is pretty creative.

As far as the HTML, plain an simple doesn't get a rating. Besides, how many ratings are there, and what is the criteria for assessing these grades?

Avenging Archangel said...


When LRT opponents present a constructive and realistic alternative plan for tackling the transportation and land use issues that LRT is designed to, then I'll take them seriously. Until then, it's all complaining with no solutions.

Wally Erb said...

You well know what the alternative mass transit entails. A comprehensive bus system with multiple feeder routes, extended hours, reliable units, express routes. Adding light rail is nothing more than a #20 bus with less stops. As a matter of fact, it is not as versatile as the # 20, because the tracks and overhead wires are fixed.

Avenging Archangel said...


To get Federal LRT funding, Virginia Beach will have to dramatically boost bus service - and keep it there. Reducing it will mean losing Federal LRT funds in outlying years.

To suggest more 20 service alone can be an alternative to LRT is ludicrous. As I ride the 20 virtually daily, I know it gets caught up in the stop and go traffic on Virginia Beach Blvd. A real solution to the 20 is going down the Norfolk Southern ROW and bypassing that.

Notice you never touched on the land use side. Where would Virginia Beach's future growth go and how?

Amanda Jennings said...

Wally, your challenge is this:

Ride the 20 from Cedar Grove to 19th & Pacific during the middle of rush hour. Compare the scheduled time vs. what time it really is as you head down VA Beach Blvd. Also note how many cars are out these - especially cars with just a driver and no passengers. The 20 gets caught in that.

Now image: 200 of those cars that have just a driver can be taken off the road with just a single light rail vehicle (meaning: one Siemens S70 LRV can hold 200 passengers)

Jessica Clark said...

Wally, you don't know rail that well I take it

Where I live (in the Seattle area), it works like this:

On a Friday evening, the 590 (Seattle-Tacoma express) is supposed to take about 30 minutes non-stop from Downtown Seattle to Tacoma Dome Station.

The Sounder commuter rail is supposed to take 59 minutes making several stops in the Kent Valley.

The Sounder (which costs $4.75 to ride vs the 590 costing $3.00) is often packed because everyone knows the Sounder will always beat the 590 (which is a straight shot down Interstate 5) to The Dome.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - no citizen list of supporters. Kinda like that whole "No means no" campaign?

Wally Erb said...

LRT funds in out years? After new starts is completed, I don't see fed funds for lrt operation. Maybe some maintenance. What light rail spurs do you anticipate in Virginia Beach?

Amanda your challenge is this. Get those 200 drivers out of their cars and on light rail or a bus.

@AA Since you bring up feeders, what I see missing in past EISs is cost analysis regarding optimizing intermodal transfer coordination.
This "dramatic increase" in bus service is not funded under new starts. Where do the units come from and how many additional are required? Is the coordinated (inter-modal operations center) or uncoordinated feeder operational costs included in the EIS? Better look!

thesh00ter said...

u always have all these facts and numbers and other things i don't understand and really don't feel like reading because i know ur like the other citizens in this region that have the same argument but with less filling. no i'm not trying to attack all of HR but just the ones who want to continue to fight growth. but the rest of us are going to proceed forward while everyone else will...well like the HRBT, GO NOWHERE!!!

Avenging Archangel said...


Based on the regional vehicle occupancy rate, a full Siemens would remove 191 cars from the road, not 200.

However, you touch on a central point: even if you never ride LRT, LRT will take cars off the road for those who want or have to drive.


HRT receives Federal funds annually for mass transit. It's a reasonable expectation that they will continue to come for the foreseeable future.

I've heard 3 spurs mentioned in Virginia Beach, but none start to have the required density today. Therefore, I believe any spurs are years away.

Coordinating the feeder bus operations with the train is largely a Planning Department issue that would have to be maintained in the field by Dispatch. The cost is negligible.
(FYI, Norfolk's feeder routes are in the process of being tweaked for coordination with The Tide.)

Personally, I'd use local Gas Tax revenue to pay for Operations & Maintenance. Both Virginia Beach Vision (2009) and Bill DeSteph (2010) have proposed a local Gas Tax for transportation. I'd like to tap some of those funds for mass transit, just as the Federal government and state do with their Gas Tax money. When Vision and DeSteph actually agree on an idea, it's a no-brainer.

The only way you could start to approximate on Virginia Beach Boulevard what you could do down the Norfolk Southern ROW would be to dedicate the outer lanes on VB Blvd. as "Bus Only" lanes and give buses traffic signal preemption. That obviously isn't going to fly politically, so it's down the NS ROW we go.

Still haven't heard you on how we grow without the SGAs.

Wally Erb said...

So we can alleviate any semantic incoherency, let's first arrive at a common definition of growth. And is it acceptable growth? What is your definition?

Avenging Archangel said...


Growth is the construction of structures to absorb future population expansion and economic development. Such obviously needs to be coupled with transportation improvements to move labor and goods.

Having been around politics as long as you have, you know as well as I do that the finances of localities in Virginia turn on Property Tax revenue. Given such, failure to build would result in the prime revenue source relatively flatlining in subsequent years. It's the nature of Virginia's tax code.

Also, at the end of the day developers are going to build. It's not a question of "if?", but rather "where?" and "how?" If you listen to Robert Dean and Reid Greenmun, you'd get the impression that if we don't do TOD in the SGAs, developers will simply pick up their construction equipment and sulk off to Suffolk. Utterly Deanlusional.

The only way we can grow, hold the Green Line, and protect existing healthy neighborhoods at the same time is redeveloping the SGAs per the Comprehensive Plan.

Ever play Avalon Hills war board games? (Sam Reid tells me some did in the Navy.) It's similar to the "soaking off" strategy: you soak off the SGAs to preserve the rest of the City largely as is. In channeling future growth to the SGAs, we protect the rest of the City.

Wally Erb said...

Okay, I can see where you are confining growth microeconically to Virginia Beach and empathizing from a governmental point of view. I think that is where we differ and formulate our opinions. Growth is measured and directly proportional to governmental budget and revenue increases. It is also a view that purports economies of scale yet in reality results in diseconomies and diminishing returns.

My view, a populous one, is that extreme urbanization is not necessary in South Hampton roads. Of course, one must accept that there are vasts amounts of land for population distribution. That requires disregarding that the imaginary municipal boundary lines does not hamper employment, vendors, and buyers. The amount of available property in out reaching areas is abundant.
The thought of high-rise, high density centers to some, suggest confinement by limiting human separation. One is not necessarily right or wrong, it is a matter of preference.
I do suggest, however, that over the long term, that extreme population densities will lead to gentrification, loss of significant revenues, ever increasing subsidies.

I will address my opinion on a local gas tax separately.

Avenging Archangel said...


First of all, "extreme urbanization" is what you have in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Our SGAs pale comparison.

Second, what abundance of greenfields that is left in South Hampton Roads is in the City of Suffolk and Isle of Wight County. Obviously the City of Virginia Beach can't tax them, so it's largely moot.

Finally, I probably realize city lines aren't imperiable boundaries more than most. I do most of my shopping in Norfolk (while living in Virginia Beach), and Chair a regional subcommittee.