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    Norfolk City Council approves light rail study, bus transfer station
    Articles, Blog

    Norfolk City Council approves light rail study, bus transfer station

    October 21, 2019


    HOURS AGO – NORFOLK COUNCILMEMBERS PASSED A RESOLUTION TO EXPAND THE THE TIDE. THE RESOLUTION REQUESTS THAT HAMPTON ROADS TRANSIT – THE AGENCY THAT OPERATES LIGHT RAIL – START A STUDY LOOKING AT TRACK EXPANSION TO NAVAL STATION NORFOLK AND VIRGINIA BEACH. ON NOVEMBER 6TH – BEACH CITIZENS WILL VOTE ON A REFERENDUM TO EXTEND THE LINE INTO THE RESORT CITY. COUNCILMEMBERS ALSO VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE RESOLUTION TO BUILD A BUS STATION FACILITY AT THE DOWNTOWN PLAZA.

    Signs posted in Virginia Beach promote light rail extension
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    Signs posted in Virginia Beach promote light rail extension

    October 20, 2019


    ANGEL RIVAS WAS FOUND AT THE HOSPITAL. ANITA: THE PRESIDENCY OR CITY COUNCIL ISN’T THE ONLY THING CATCHING THE EYE OF VOTERS IN VIRGINIA BEACH. THEY WILL VOTE ON LIGHT RAIL EXPANSION. SIGNS ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO SAY YES TO THE PLAN ARE RAISING EYEBROWS TONIGHT. JASON JOINS US WITH THE SIGN SQUABBLE. JASON: DEPENDING ON WHAT SIDE YOU ARE ON, YOU MIGHT GET A DIFFERENT STORY. THE SIGNS ARE POPPING UP ALL OVER THE PLACE. DEPENDING ON WHICH SIDE YOU ARE ON, THEY ARE ACCURATE OR THEY ARE NOT. LIGHT RAIL IS ROLLING INTO VIRGINIA BEACH. VOTERS WILL DECIDE IF THEY WANT THE LINE EXTENDED. IT IS ABOUT THE FUTURE. JASON: THE VIRGINIA BEACH CONNECTS PEOPLE HOPE THAT TIME IS NOW. THEY BELIEVE EXTENDING THE TRACK IS THE FIRST STEP IN EXTENDING THROUGHOUT HAMPTON ROADS IT IS LIKE MISSING A PIECE OF THE INTERSTATE. JASON: SHE SAYS THE TIDE WILL RELIEVE TRAFFIC. THE CARS PASSING BY THE SIGNS EVERY DAY, SIGNS THOSE WERE AGAINST LIGHT RAIL SAY ARE FOOLING THE VOTERS. THEY ARE NOT DEALING WITH THE FACT. JASON: THE SIGNS ARE PAID FOR BY LIGHT RAIL NOW, AND THEY SAY A YES VOTE IS BRINGING THE TIED TO THE AIRPORT, AND OPPONENTS SAY THE PROBLEM IS THE REFERENDUM IS IN FOR ANY OF THOSE THINGS. ONLY TO EXTEND THE TIDE 3.2 MILES TO TOWN CENTER. FIELD DOMINION NAVAL STATION IN THE AIRPORT ARE NOT VIRGINIA BEACH ISSUES. THE OCEANFRONT PEOPLE DON’T WANT LIGHT RAIL. THEY SHOULD SAY WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO. THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE EXTENSION. JASON: SOME SAY THOSE LOCATIONS ARE PART OF THE FUTURE PLANS. IT IS ABOUT THE NEXT PIECE OF THE SYSTEM, WHICH HAS TO BE IN THIS INSTANCE, THE CONNECTION TO TOWN CENTER. JASON: A YES VOTE WILL COST TAXPAYERS $88 MILLION, MONEY WELL SPENT OR WASTED, DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ASK. ON ELECTION NIGHT, THIS COULD BE A CLOSE RACE. CRICK

    Norfolk city council approves light rail extension
    Articles, Blog

    Norfolk city council approves light rail extension

    October 19, 2019


    NORFOLK CITY COUNCIL WANTS LIGHT RAIL EXTENDED TO THE OCEANFRONT. COUNCIL MEMBERS VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE PROJECT LAST NIGHT – JUST WEEKS BEFORE VIRGINIA BEACH VOTERS WILL HAVE THEIR SAY AT THE POLLS. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S ANNE MCNAMARA ASKED WHAT’S IN IT FOR NORFOLK? SHE JOINS US LIVE FROM THE LIGHT RAIL STATION AT MACARTHUR CENTER. ANNE? TWO THINGS FOR NORFOLK. 1.) EXPANSION WITHIN CITY AND 2.) IF LIGHT RAIL BECOMES REGIONAL, OTHER CITIES WILL HAVE TO HELP FOOT THE BILL. LIGHT RAIL NATS WITH ITS VOTE LAST NIGHT, THE NORFOLK CITY COUNCIL GAVE ITS STAMP OF APPROVAL TO THE CONTROVERSIAL LIGHT RAIL EXTENSION FROM NEWTOWN ROAD TO THE OCEANFRONT. THE VOTE ENCOURAGES VIRGINIA BEACH RESIDENTS TO GET ON BOARD, BEFORE THEY TIMING OF IT WAS I THINK, IN MY VIEW, WAS NOT A GOOD TIME FOR US TO BE VOTING ON IT BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO APPEAR LIKE WE’RE TRYING TO INFLUENCE ANOTHER CITY NORFOLK COUNCILMAN ANDY PROTOGYROU WAS HESITANT TO VOTE FOR THE LIGHT RAIL ENDORSEMENT, BUT SAYS IT SEEMED LIKE AN ALL OR NOTHING DEAL. PROTOGYROU IS IN FAVOR OF EXTENDING THE TIDE WITHIN NORFOLK, SPECIFICALLY TO THE NAVAL BASE, AND MONEY IS ALREADY SET ASIDE FOR A STUDY TO DO JUST THAT. 00:53 AND I DIDN’T WANT TO LOOK LIKE I WAS NOT CONSIDERING LIGHT RAIL AND ITS FUTURE. SO THEREFORE, IT WAS AN APPROPRIATE VOTE, TO VOTE YES AT THIS POINT THE ONE ‘NO’ VOTE CAME FROM COUNCILMAN PAUL RIDDICK WHO SAYS NORFOLK HAS NO BUSINESS DECIDING WHAT’S GOOD FOR ANOTHER CITY. AND, FOR RIDDICK, HISTORY ALSO PLAYS A PART IN HIS DECISION. (6) 00:39 WHEN LIGHT RAIL ACTUALLY BECAME A DESIRE IN THIS PARTICULAR REGION, VIRGINIA BEACH WOULD NOT EVEN ALLOW AN ADVISORY REFERENDUM AND MOST OF THE PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN HERE FOR A WHILE REALIZE THAT WAS BECAUSE VIRGINIA BEACH DIDN’T WANT AFRICAN AMERICANS TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE BEACH BUT THAT WAS 1999, AND THIS IS NOW. AND IF VIRGINIA BEACH VOTES YES THIS TIME AROUND, PROTOGYROU SAYS THE BEACH WILL HAVE TO HELP PAY FOR IT. (37) 1:02 ANY LIGHT RAIL IN THE FUTURE HAS TO INCLUDE THE SURROUNDING CITIES. NORFOLK NO LONGER CAN TAKE THAT BURDEN PAYING FOR IT ALWAYS BEEN THE CONCERN WHY NOW? ANNE MCNAMARA, 10 ON YOUR SIDE. THE CITY HAS ALREADY SET ASIDE 1.8 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE STUDY TO EXPAND THE LIGHT RAIL TO NORFOLK NAVAL STATION. IT IS STILL TOO EARLY IN THE PROCESS TO KNOW EXACTLY WHICH ROUTE THE LIGHT RAIL

    Light rail extension projected to cost $243M, according to HRT estimates
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    Light rail extension projected to cost $243M, according to HRT estimates

    October 18, 2019


    NOW AN UPDATE ON THE PROGRESS OF LIGHT RAIL IN VIRGINIA BEACH. EARLIER TODAY WE LEARNED MORE ABOUT HOW MUCH THE EXTENSION COULD COST – $243-MILLION DOLLARS. AS OUR ERIN KELLY FOUND OUT, IT’S COMING UP A LOT LESS THAN ANTICIPATED. SHE IS LIVE IN VIRGINIA BEACH WITH A LOOK AT THE PROPOSAL. UNDER THE CURRENT PROJECT, CREWS WOULD NEED TO BUILD A BRIDGE OVER INDEPENDENCE AND COME THROUGH HERE — ENDING AT CONSTITUTION DRIVE. BUT RESIDENTS HERE ARE DIVIDED OVER WHETHER IT’S WORTH THE COST… THIS IS THE PLAN HAMPTON ROADS TRANSIT ENVISIONS FOR A 3.5 MILE LIGHT RAIL EXPANSION FROM NEWTOWN ROAD TO VIRGINIA BEACH. WITH 30 PERCENT OF PLANNING DONE, HRT ESTIMATES THE PROPOSED PROJECT WOULD COST ABOUT $243 MILLION — 84 MILLION LESS THAN EARLIER FIGURES. WILLIAM HARRELL – PRESIDENT, HAMPTON ROADS TRANSIT C0027 – 1304 THE EARLIER ESTIMATES WERE BASED ON FIVE PERCENT ENGINEERING. 1307 WE KNOW A WHOLE LOT MORE AT 30 PERCENT. 1310 JOASH SCHULMAN SAYS HE HOPES VOTERS NEXT MONTH APPROVE OF THE CITY SPENDING MONEY ON THE EXTENSION. JOASH SCHULMAN – VIRGINIA BEACH CONNEX C036 – 3112 THE ESTIMATE TODAY GETS US CLOSER TO A NUMBER THAT I THINK WE CAN FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH AND IT’S CERTAINLY A LOT LESS THAN THE ORIGINAL COST ESTIMATE 3124 THE EXTENSION WOULD INCLUDE THREE STOPS — ONE AT WITCHDUCK ROAD, ANOTHER AT KELLAM ROAD, ENDING AT CONSTITUTION DRIVE NEAR TOWN CENTER. HRT SAYS THE CITY HAS $155 MILLION IN STATE MONEY SET ASIDE FOR THE PROJECT, AND WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REMAINING 88 MILLION AND ANY OTHER ENHANCEMENTS. C0030 – JOHN ATKINSON – NO LIGHT RAIL VIRGINIA BEACH 2857 WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A REFERENDUM ON NOVEMBER 8TH AND I THINK THE CITIZENS OF VIRGINIA BEACH ARE GOING TO SAY, ‘NO.’ 2859 VIRGINIA BEACH CITY TREASURER JOHN ATKINSON STILL OPPOSES EXPANDING LIGHT RAIL. HE SAYS IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE AND RESIDENTS WON’T USE IT. C0030 – JOHN ATKINSON – NO LIGHT RAIL VIRGINIA HRT SAYS THE COST ESTIMATE COULD CHANGE ONCE BUILDERS GET INVOLVED. THE CITY MANAGER WILL BRIEF CITY LEADERS ON THIS TOMORROW. LIVE IN VIRGINIA BEACH, ERIN KELLY, 10 ON YOUR SIDE.

    Surveillance video shows light rail train hit man in Norfolk
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    Surveillance video shows light rail train hit man in Norfolk

    October 18, 2019


    TONIGHT, ONLY ON 10, A DIFFERENT VIEW OF HOW A MAN WAS STRUCK BY A LIGHT RAIL TRAIN IN NORFOLK EARLIER THIS MONTH. HE WAS NOT BADLY HUT. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN THE TIDE’S 5-YEAR HISTORY THAT A PERSON WAS HIT BY THE TRAIN. TONIGHT WE HAVE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO FROM H-R-T. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S DEANNA LEBLANC JOINS US NOW. DEANNA, WHAT DOES THIS VIDEO SHOW? THIS IS VIDEO FROM A CAMERA ATTACHED TO THE TIDE TRAIN. NOW WE CAN EXPLAIN HOW THIS HAPPENED – AND IT ALSO CORROBORATES WHAT TWO EYE WITNESSES TOLD US THAT DAY ABOUT ONE PASSING TRAIN BLOCKING THEIR VIEW OF ANOTHER ONCOMING TRAIN. THE FIRST THING YOU’LL SEE IS A WESTBOUND TRAIN – COMING TOWARD THE FRONT OF THE SCREEN. THE PEDESTRIANS WAITING TO CROSS ARE ON THE LEFT JUST OFF SCREEN. AS THAT TRAIN PASSES – IT APPEARS THE THE OPPOSITE TRACKS, IS COMING TOWARD THEM. THEY START TO CROSS WHEN TWO OF THEM APPEAR TO REALIZE THE SECOND TRAIN IS COMING – AND TURN AND RUN. BUT ONE MAN – SEEMS NOT TO NOTICE. AND STEPS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE TRAIN. JUST SECONDS LATER – YOU SEE THAT OTHER PEDESTRIAN START SPRINTING. TURNS OUT HE HAD COMBAT MEDIC TRAINING – AND THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW I MPORTANT IT IS TO PAY ATTENTION TO SIGNS AND PEOPLE. PLEASE WATCH WHEN YOU’RE AROUND TRAINS. LOOK BOTH WAYS, AND BE CAREFUL. 12:45:55 THAT VICTIM IS OKAY – HRT OFFICIALS TELL US THE TRAIN WAS GOING ABOUT 10 MILES AN HOUR – AND WEIGHS ABOUT ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS. I’M DEANNA LEBLANC, 10 ON

    Light rail fight heats up ahead of November vote
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    Light rail fight heats up ahead of November vote

    October 16, 2019


    INVESTIGATORS SAY CAN HELP PREVENT ACCIDENTS. THE FIGHT OVER EXTENDING LIGHT RAIL INTO VIRGINIA BEACH IS HEATING UP — AS ELECTION DAY INCHES CLOSER. VOTERS WILL HAVE THEIR SAY IN NOVEMBER. TONIGHT — PROTESTERS RALLIED OUTSIDE A MEETING IN NORFOLK WHERE SUPPORTERS TALKED ABOUT WAYS TO WIN OVER ANYONE WHO HASN’T MADE UP THEIR MIND. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S JOE FISHER IS HERE TO BREAK DOWN BOTH SIDES. TOM, ANITA — ON ONE SIDE, THERE’S SUPPORT FOR AN INTERCONNECTED REGION. FOR AN INTERCONNECTED REGION. ON THE OTHER SIDE, MANY SAY LIGHT RAIL COSTS TOO MUCH MONEY. PERHAPS THE BIGGEST QUESTION — IS WILL PEOPLE RIDE THE TIDE? OUTSIDE THE SLOVER LIBRARY IN NORFOLK — PROTESTERS STAND UNITED AGAINST LIGHT RAIL. JOHN ATKINSON/NO LIGHT RAIL VIRGINIA BEACH ((C28 7:23)) “THIS IS A DREAM, IT’S NOT REALISTIC.” INSIDE — SUPPORTERS OF THE TIDE AND ITS EXTENSION INTO THE BEACH — TALK ABOUT A VISION FOR CONNECTING HAMPTON ROADS. WILL CHRISTOPHER/HAMPTON ROADS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE ((C27 58:19)) “HOW WE DEFINE CONNECTIVITY TODAY IS MUCH DIFFERENT. IT’S MORE WALABLE, BIKABLE, HOP ON THE LIGHT RAIL, JUMP IN AN UBER.” IN NOVEMBER — BEACH NEWTOWN ROAD IN NORFOLK — TO TOWN CENTER. VIRGINIA BEACH CITY TREASURER JOHN ATKINSON LED THE EFFORT TO GET THAT QUESTION ON THE BALLOT. HE SAYS THE PRICETAG — OVER 200 MILLION DOLLARS — IS WASTEFUL SPENDING. JOHN ATKINSON/NO LIGHT RAIL VIRGINIA BEACH ((C28 6:22)) “THE STUDY THAT HRT PRINTED SAID THAT ONLY 1,100 PEOPLE WOULD RIDE IT DAILY IN 2034.” ((C28 8:25)) “1,100 PEOPLE A DAY IS NOTHING, IN THE WAY OF CONGESTION, THE ELIMINATION OF POLLUTION OR TRANSPORTING PEOPLE.” NOT THE CASE — SAYS WILL CHRISTOPHER — PRESIDENT OF THE HAMPTON ROADS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE WILL CHRISTOPHER/HAMPTON ROADS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE ((C27 57:16)) “DOWNTOWN TO TOWN CENTER, THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH BUSINESS WE DO BACK AND FORTH.” CHRISTOPHER BELIEVES THE TRACKS COULD SPAWN NEW BUSINESS AND HOUSING. WILL CHRISTOPHER/HAMPTON ROADS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE ((C27 59:20)) “THE ENTERPRISE, BUSIESS THAT HEY WE’RE MAKING INVESTMENT IN THIS COMMUNITY.” SO FAR — THE BEACH HAS SPENT $16.3 MILLION DOLLARS. MOST OF IT — TO BUY THE FORMER NORFOLK SOUTHERN RIGHT-OF-WAY. THE QUESTION NOW — SHOULD THEY MOVE FORWARD. WILL CHRISTOPHER/HAMPTON ROADS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE ((C27 3:05)) “IF WE ARE REALLY SERIOUS, WE NEED TO BE TALKING ABOUT A CONNECTED, UNIFIED REGION.” JOHN ATKINSON/NO LIGHT RAIL VIRGINIA BEACH ((C28 5:36)) “IF NO ONE’S GOING TO RIDE IT AND IT’S THAT EXPENSIVE, DON’T DO IT.” $155 MILLION IN STATE FUNDING SITS ON THE TABLE RIGHT NOW FOR THE PROJECT. THE CITY MUST MAKE A DECISION BY DECEMBER 31 — OR THAT MONEY WILL GO TO ANOTHER LOCALITY. MEANWHILE — HAMPTON ROADS TRANSIT WILL PRESENT AN ENGINEERING STUDY MONDAY. THAT REPORT IS EXPECTED TO GIVE US A BETTER IDEA OF THE TOTAL ESTIMATED COST. I’M JOE FISHER, 10 ON YOUR SIDE WHILE DEMONSTRATORS MADE THEIR POINT TONIGHT IN NORFOLK. A NEW SURVEY FROM OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY TAKES US TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS. IT SAYS NEARLY 60 PERCENT WANT THE TIDE TO RUN TO THE VIRGINIA BEACH OCEANFRONT. 37 PERCENT WANT TO SEE IT IN NEWPORT NEWS. ONLY 13 PERCENT DON’T WANT ANY EXPANSION OF THE TIDE. FIND THE RESULTS OF TODAY’S SURVEY AND ALL OUR PREVIOUS COVERAGE ON WAVY DOT COM.

    Governor discusses Virginia Beach’s $20 million light rail expansion bill
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    Governor discusses Virginia Beach’s $20 million light rail expansion bill

    October 16, 2019


    WATCHES OR WARNINGS FOR OUR AREA. GOVERNOR TERRY MCAULIFFE WAS IN TOWN HELPING NORFOLK ACADEMY CELEBRATE ITS UPCOMING 300 YEAR ANNIVERSARY. HE WAS ALSO TAKING QUESTIONS FROM 10 ON YOUR SIDE ABOUT $20 MILLION DOLLARS VIRGINIA BEACH OWES STATE TAXPAYERS. THOSE QUESTIONS POSED BY ANDY FOX WHO JOINS US FROM THE NEWSROOM. AFTER VIRGINIA BEACH VOTERS REJECTED LIGHT RAIL COMING TO THE BEACH, EFFORTS BEGAN TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO KEEP THE 20 MILLION DOLLARS DUE THE STATE. TALK OF A PROMISE THAT THE CITY WOULD USE THE RAIL TRACK RIGHT OF WAY FOR MASSIVE OR RAPID TRANSIT SOMETIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE. AFTER TALKING WITH GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE YOU GET THE IMPRESSION HE IS SKEPTICAL VIRGINIA BEACH CAN DEVELOP THE REQUIRED MASSIVE OR RAPID TRANSIT USE FOR THE PROPERTY. GOVERNOR TERRY MCAULIFFE REMINDS EVERYONE THE $20 MILLION DOLLARS THE STATE GAVE TO VIRGINIA BEACH FOR LIGHT RAIL IS $20 MILLION DOLLARS THAT NEEDS TO BE REPAID (45:05 37) ((IF THEY WANT TO DO SOME TYPE OF TRANSPORTATION PROJECT IN IN THE CORRIDOR WE WOULD LOOK AT THAT BUT WE ARE NOT PUTTING 20 MILLION DOLLARS SO THEY CAN PUT UP CONDOS OR WHATEVER THEY MIGHT BE. THAT IS NOT FAIR TO THE TAXPAYERS OF VIRGINIA)) RUNS: 15 GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE ALSO SAYS PUTTING A BIKE PATH OR WALKING PATH IN THIS RIGHT OF WAY IS NOT WHAT THE STATE IS LOOKING FOR. (52:56 38) ((DO YOU THINK VIRGINIA BEACHES 20 MILLION SHOULD BE DIVERTED AND GIVEN OVER TO NORFOLK IF IT IS FOR LIGHT RAIL YES)) RUNS: 06 NORFOLK MAYOR KENNY ALEXANDER (53:07 38) ((THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE A BIKE PATH A WALK PATH APPROPRIATION AND THE MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR THE EXPANSION FOR LIGHT RAIL THROUGHOUT THE REGION OF SPECIALLY THROUGHOUT THE CITY OF NORFOLK )) RUNS: 13 GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE SEEMS TO AGREE WITH WHAT THE “SPIRIT OF THE $20 MILLION WAS TO BE USED FOR” (45:48 37) ((THE SPIRIT OF THE MONEY WAS USED FOR LIGHT RAIL THEY CAN COME BACK AND MAKE AN ARGUMENT FOR A MASS CAPACITY TO MOVE PEOPLE THROUGH TRANSPORTATION BARRING SOME AGREEMENT THAT MONEY IS COMING BACK IT IS ONLY FAIR)) RUNS: 11 (52:38 38) ((NORFOLK HAS LIGHT RAIL NORFOLK IS WILLING TO EXTEND LIGHT RAIL NOT ONLY TO THE NAVAL STATION TO ODU AND THROUGHOUT THE CITY OF NORFOLK.))52:47 RUNS:10 THAT’S WHAT GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE WANTS TO HEAR. (37 46;20 13) ((NORFOLK THEY’RE TRYING TO EXPAND MAYBE THEY NEED THE 20 MILLION DOLLARS 46:20 AND IF NORFOLK PUTS UP A GREAT PROPOSAL IF THEY PUT UP A GREAT PROPOSAL WHAT? WE WOULD FUND IT. NO QUESTION RUNS: 46:27 DID YOU HEAR THAT WE WOULD FUND IT NO QUESTION (38 53:22) (ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THE GOVERN R THE 20 MILLION FROM VIRGINIA BEACH GIVEN TO NORFOLK INDEED.)) RUNS: 05 I AM TOLD VIRGINIA BEACH COUNCILMAN JOHN MOSS HAS BEEN TALKING WITH MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO GET THE $20 MILLION DOLLARS RETURNED TO THE STATE. 10 ON YOUR SIDE HAS SPOKEN WITH BEACH MAYOR WILL SESSOMS IN THE PAST, AND HE HAS SAID THE CITY COULD COME UP WITH THE $20 MILLION, IT WOULD BE HARD, AND WOULD PROBABLY TAKE AWAY FROM SOMETHING ELSE. THIS STORY IS CHANGING, STAY WITH US FOR DEVELOPMENTS.

    Life after light rail: Virginia Beach owes the Commonwealth $20 million
    Articles, Blog

    Life after light rail: Virginia Beach owes the Commonwealth $20 million

    October 16, 2019


    THE 20 MILLION DOLLAR BILL IS IN FOR LIGHT RAIL IN VIRGINIA BEACH. THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA GAVE THE CITY MONEY TO BUY THE RAILROAD RIGHT OF WAY FROM NORFOLK SOUTHERN. BUT SINCE LIGHT RAIL DIDN’T PASS–VIRGINIA WANTS THE MONEY BACK. IT’S GONNA COST TAX PAYERS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER–UNLESS VIRGINIA AND THE CITY COMPROMISE. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S MATT GREGORY IS LIVE WITH WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RIGHT OF WAY BILL. IF THE CITY WANTS TO AVOID THAT 20 MILLION DOLLAR BILL FOR THIS LAND.. THE COMMONWEALTH IS OFFERING A ONE TIME SOLUTION THE CITY HAS TO TAKE IT OR PAY. ON ELECTION NIGHT LIGHT RAIL TO THE BEACH DIED IN A REFERENDUM. AND THE VERY THE NEXT DAY–THE BILL FROM VIRGINIA CAME IN. AUBREY LAYNE /LANE PHONER C0007 1:00:28 “THE STATE’S POSITION IS THAT THE MONEY IS DUE BACK TO THE COMMONWEALTH; THE 20 MILLION DOLLARS.” 1:00:35 THAT 20 MILLION BY THE STATE–HELPED TO BUY THIS OLD RAIL ROAD RIGHT OF WAY. TODAY–WE TALKED TO SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION AUBREY LAYNE BY PHONE. HE SAYS THE COMMONWEALTH GAVE THAT MONEY UNDER THE IDEA IT WOULD BE SPENT FOR MASS TRANSIT. AUBREY LAYNE /LANE PHONER C0007 1:07:51 “WE UNDERSTAND NOW THAT LIGHT RAIL IS DEAD. THE CITY HAS SPOKE, THAT’S FINE. LIVE UP TO YOUR OBLIGATIONS.” 1:07:58 VIRGINIA BEACH MAYOR WILL SESSOMS RESPONDED. WILL SESSOMS / VA BEACH MAYOR C0001 6:16:50 “WE COULD COME UP WITH THE $20 MILLION, BUT YOU KNOW IT WOULD BE HARD TO AND IT WOULD PROBABLY TAKE AWAY FROM SOMETHING ELSE.” 6:16:55 HE, STATE LAWMAKERS AND SECRETARY LAYNE THINK THEY HAVE A COMPROMISE. ITS A RESTRICTIVE EASEMENT–WHERE THE CITY PROMISES TO USE THE RIGHT OF WAY–THEY WAY THAT COMMONWEALTH WAS PROMISED IT WOULD BE USED. WILL SESSOMS / VA BEACH MAYOR C0001 6:17:50 “THE USE OF THAT PROPERTY WOULD BE USED FOR MASSIVE OR RAPID TRANSIT SOMETIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE.” 6:17:56 BUT SECRETARY LAYNE SAYS TO KEEP THE MONEY–THE CITY CAN ONLY USE THE RIGHT OF WAY FOR A STATE APPROVED TRANSIT PROJECT. AUBREY LAYNE /LANE PHONER WHICH THE ORIGINAL 20 MILLION WAS GIVEN.” 1:01:17 SESSOMS AND LAWMAKERS CONTINUE TO HAMMER OUT THE WORDING OF THE EASEMENT- HE’LL TAKE IT TO THE COUNCIL IN FEBURARY. WILL SESSOMS / VA BEACH MAYOR C0001 6:16:38 “I ANTICPATE THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE COUNSEL IS NOT TO PAY BACK THAT 20$ MILLION.” 6:16:44 SECRETARY LAYNE SAYS THIS IS THE LAST EFFORT BY THE STATE TO WORK WITH THE CITY ON THE ISSUE. AUBREY LAYNE /LANE PHONER C0007 1:06:16 “EITHER ACCEPT THIS COMPROMISE OR PAY US BACK THE MONEY.” 1:06:22 IT’S A PROMISE OF MASS TRANSIT IN THE FUTURE–OR PAY THE 20 MILLION DOLLAR BILL. THE CITY ALSO OWES 5 MILLIONS DOLLARS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE PROJECT. MAYOR SESSOMS SAYS SECRETARY LAYNE HAS STARTED TO WORK WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SEE IF THIS RESTRICTIVE EASEMENT WILL WORK FOR THEM AS WELL. A TOTAL IN

    HRT developing new light rail routes to Naval Station Norfolk
    Articles, Blog

    HRT developing new light rail routes to Naval Station Norfolk

    October 15, 2019


    (LAURA) BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. LIGHT RAIL IS NOT HEADING TO NAVAL STATION NORFOLK — AT LEAST FOR NOW. (STEPHANIE) HAMPTON ROADS TRANSIT SPENT THE LAST FEW YEARS DEVELOPING ROUTES TO THE NAVY BASE — THAT THEY SAY WON’T WORK. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S MARIELENA BALOURIS SPOKE WITH H-R-T TODAY ABOUT THESE PLANS. MARIELENA? (MARIELENA) BASICALLY THE ROUTES WOULD BE REALLY EXPENSIVE TO CREATE AND THERE AREN’T ENOUGH LIGHT RAIL RIDERS — TO MAKE THEM COMPETITIVE FOR FEDERAL FUNDING. (MARIELENA) SO TONIGHT — HRT IS HOLDING ITS FIRST PUBLIC MEETING TO EXPLAIN THE ROUTES AND WHY THEY DON’T THINK THEY’RE GOOD INVESTMENTS. BUT — THEY ARE STILL OPTIMISTIC FOR THE FUTURE. ROADS TRANSIT. JAMIE JACKSON, DIRECTOR OF TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT MULTIMODAL OPTIONS IS IMPORTANT JAMIE JACKSON IS SPEARHEADING THE LIGHT RAIL EXPANSION PROJECT. OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, HRT CREATED MORE THAN A DOZEN POTENTIAL LIGHT RAIL ROUTES. THEY NARROWED IT DOWN TO TWO — AND AFTER A SERIES OF STUDIES — REALIZED NEITHER WOULD WORK. JAMIE JACKSON, DIRECTOR OF TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT YOU REALLY HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WHATEVER YOU CREATE OR CONSTRUCT WILL COMPETE AND THESE TWO ALTERNATIVES UNFORTUNATELY DID NOT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT COMPETING FOR FEDERAL FUNDING. THE CURRENT “WESTSIDE” ROUTES WOULD NEED NEW INFRASTRUCTURE — LIKE A BRIDGE OVER THE LAFAYETTE RIVER AND OVERPASS OVER 564 AND 64 AT WARD’S CORNER. PLUS SEA LEVEL RISE WAS A CONCERN. SO WITH RIDERSHIP NUMBERS THAT DIDN’T MATCH THE COST OF THE ROUTES — HRT IS GOING BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. JAMIE JACKSON, DIRECTOR OF TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT THIS ASSET NEEDS TO LAST 50 YEARS AND ODU ECONOMICS PROFESSOR ROBERT MCNAB SAYS 50 YEARS OF A LIGHT RAIL ROUTE CAN CHANGE A COMMUNITY. ROBERT MCNAB, ODU ECONOMICS PROFESSOR LIGHT RAIL CAN HELP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. IT CAN REDUCE CONGESTION AND IT CAN MOVE A REGION FORWARD IN TERMS OF ITS ATTRACTIVENESS HE THINKS TO REALLY BE EFFECTIVE, IT NEEDS TO KEEP EXPANDING. ROBERT MCNAB, ODU ECONOMICS PROFESSOR IF WE’RE GOING TO DEVELOP HAVE TO THINK REGIONALLY WITH REGARDS TO OUR PUBLIC TRANSIT SOLUTIONS RIGHT NOW THERE IS GOOD NEWS — JAMIE JACKSON, DIRECTOR OF TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT WE DO SEE THAT THERE SHOULD BE OR COULD BE A VIABLE OPTION ON THE EAST SIDE — IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS, WE SHOULD HAVE NEW POTENTIAL ROUTES — JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY. (MARIELENA) TONIGHT’S MEETING STARTS AT 6PM AT THE HRT BUILDING ON EAST 18TH STREET IN NORFOLK. THE NEXT ONE IS THURSDAY AT 6PM AT THE LAMBERT’S POINT COMMUNITY CENTER. I’M MARIELENA BALOURIS,

    Voters to decide whether or not to extend light rail
    Articles, Blog

    Voters to decide whether or not to extend light rail

    October 14, 2019


    WE ARE BACK WITH MORE FROM YOUR DECISION 2016. ANOTHER LOOK AT TODAY’S VOTING ACROSS HAMPTON ROADS. CHOPPER 10 OVER WINDSOR OAKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WHERE MANY OF YOU WERE DOING YOUR CIVIC DUTY THIS MORNING. A BIG TURNOUT ACROSS THE AREA, AND IN VIRGINIA BEACH, YOU’RE NOT JUST VOTING FOR PEOPLE BUT EXPENSIVE THINGS. THE MUCH TALKED ABOUT REFERENDUM ON EXTENDING LIGHT RAIL TO TOWN CENTER IS ON THE BALLOT. JASON MARKS HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THE BACK-AND-FORTH ON THIS, REALLY, FOR MONTHS. THIS LIGHT RAILROAD HAS BEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING. IT REALLY COULD DETERMINE THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION IN HAMPTON ROADS. IN FRONT OF POLLING PRECINCTS AROUND VIRGINIA BEACH, IT IS THE FINAL PUSH FOR THE HOTTEST RACE ON THE BALLOT. BIAS BEING OUT HERE TODAY, IT IS REALLY A DEMONSTRATION OF HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR THE REGION AND THE CITY. TODAY WILL DETERMINE IF LIGHT RAIL IS ROLLING IN OR IF THE VOTERS PUSH BACK THE TIDE, AND THE VOTE COULD THE RAZOR THIN. PEOPLE JUST THINK OF THE BIGGER PICTURE, LIGHT RAIL LOOKS GOOD. IT BRINGS IN PEOPLE, TAKES PEOPLE OUT. IT HAS PROVEN IN OTHER CITIES IT HAS NOT BEEN WORTH THE MONEY THEY PUT INTO IT. MUCH OF THE CONCERN COMES DOWN TO MONEY. THE PROJECT IS ESTIMATED TO COST MORE THAN 243 MILLION DOLLARS, THOUGH THE STATE WILL KICK IN MORE THAN $150 MILLION OF THAT. THE COST IS JUST A SMALL LEG. IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE TO TAKE IT TO THE OCEAN FRONT. THEN IMAGINE TO GO TO THE AIRPORT, OCEANA, THE CHESAPEAKE. THINK OF HOW MUCH THAT COST WILL BE. THOSE IN FAVOR OF EXTENDING A SAY IT IS A MUST FOR TRANSPORTATION IN HAMPTON ROADS. THIS IS THE NEXT STEP IN JUST PART OF A REGIONAL COMPREHENSIVE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM THAT SERVES A BROAD RANGE OF PEOPLE. THE MAJORITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH COUNCIL MEMBERS STAND BEHIND THE EXTENSION, THOUGH THEY SAY THEY WILL HONOR WHATEVER THE VOTERS DECIDE. THIS IS EXPECTED TO BE A VERY CLOSE VOTE. I WILL BE WITH BOTH SIDES TONIGHT AND HAVE REACTION FOR