Hampton Roads Transit will host four public hearings in April to allow public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) of the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study. The study explores the possibility of extending light rail or bus rapid transit into Virginia Beach from Norfolk.
Here is the schedule of public hearings:
- Monday, April 13, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
- Thursday, April 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Linkhorn Park Elementary School, 977 First Colonial Road
- Monday, April 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, 1881 University Drive
- Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Renaissance Academy, 5100 Cleveland St.
HRT staff will be present and handouts will be available, but agency staff will offer little input. This is a time for the public to comment. A court reporter will be present to record statements and all comments will become part of the official record. The formal 45-day public comment period will begin Friday, March 20.
HRT also will hold an informal, informational meeting to review the purpose and timing of the public comment process on Monday, March 30, from 6 to 7 p.m. at The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center, 4535 Commerce St. HRT staff will discuss required elements for the DEIS, how comments can be submitted to HRT and how and when comments will be responded to.
Citizens also may submit comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie Arnt, Hampton Roads Transit, 509 E. 18th St., Norfolk, VA 23504.
The DEIS provides various transit alternatives in Virginia Beach, including extending light rail from Newtown Road to various locations in the city. Four alignment alternatives were studied, each with two different transit modes (light rail transit and bus rapid transit):
· Alternative 1A: Newtown Road to the proposed Town Center Station (Town Center Alternative) – Extends from The Tide station at Newtown Road east along the former Norfolk Southern right-of-way to a new station in the vicinity of Town Center (approximately 3 miles).
· Alternative 1B: Newtown Road Station to the proposed Rosemont Station (Rosemont Alternative) – Extends from The Tide station at Newtown Road east along the former Norfolk Southern right-of-way to a new station near Rosemont Road (approximately 4.8 miles).
· Alternative 2: Newtown Road Station to the proposed Oceanfront Station via the former Norfolk Southern right-of-way (NSRR Alternative) – Extends from The Tide station at Newtown Road east to a proposed station at the Oceanfront, largely following the former Norfolk Southern right-of-way and includes segments along Birdneck Road, 17th Street, Washington Avenue and 19th Street (approximately 12.2 miles).
· Alternative 3: Newtown Road to the proposed Oceanfront Station via Laskin Road (Hilltop Alternative) – Extends from The Tide station at Newtown Road east along the former Norfolk Southern right-of-way and then through the Hilltop area on Laskin Road to a new station at the Oceanfront via Birdneck Road and 19th Street (approximately 13.5 miles).
The DEIS compares the potential benefits and impacts from each alternative on the human and natural environment. It also provides a summary of the full public involvement process leading up to the release of this DEIS.
For more information on light rail and the Virginia Beach Transit Extension study, visit www.VBgov.com/lightrail.