Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HRT Speaks: Bites the Hand that Feeds Comments to it

After I submitted my rather tongue-in-cheek comment to them via their feedback form, I actually got a rather interesting response.  This was separate from my previous blog rant about this whole mess.

Good Morning,


Thank you for contacting Hampton Roads Transit in regards to the Va. Beach Transit Extension Study.  I am not sure how long you have lived in the area, but in 1996 an Alternatives Analysis/Environmental Impact Statement was begun to look at light rail from Va. Beach Oceanfront to Downtown Norfolk and the Norfolk Naval Station.  In 1999 when the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was completed, the City of Va. Beach decided to hold a non-binding referendum vote for their residents to see if they wanted the city to continue with this study.  55% of the population voted “no” so Va. Beach took the city out of the study.


The Final Environmental Impact Statement was completed though in 2000.  Now Norfolk is in the process of building the first light rail system in the State of Va. And Va. Beach is once again looking light rail (an extension of The Tide) to Va. Beach.


On our webpage – at the bottom – you will see the study that was completed in 2000.  Also comments from the public meetings we had last week.


This Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2010.  Then we will be hold formal public hearings to again receive comments from the public.


Please keep watching our webpage for up to date information.  If I can assist with other questions or comments please let me know.




Marie Arnt

Public Outreach Coordinator

Hampton Roads Transit

3400 Victoria Blvd.

Hampton, VA 23661

757/222-6000 ext. 6291

And dutifully, I replied to her reply with the following nonsense…

Thanks Marie.

I've lived here for 45 years. 30 in Hampton, 5 in NN and 10 yrs in VB. I'm aware of all those phases. That was kind of my point. We seem to study things to death but by the time any action is taken, it is based on outdated parameters. Essentially, everything from 1996 to 2009 has been "phase 1".

I would just like to see something actually constructed. Even a ground clearing would be hopeful. I commute daily from VB to downtown Newport News. The only viable option is driving. HRT Max service doesn't go there from Independence (Silver Leaf terminal) so it is useless.

Sorry if I sound angry. I'm not angry at you. I'm just really tired of sitting in stopped traffic every day. It's sucking the life out of me. If a light rail system opens in my lifetime, I will be the first to ride it. But it sounds like it will only get me from Norfolk to the VB oceanfront. Oh well.

I hope you have a nice day. Take care!


Ultimately, she is right that “Virginia Beach took the city out of the study”.  We have a population of people that love to bitch and complain, but say “no!” to any “solution” offered, no matter what it is.  They just want Zorlog the Wizard to float down on a magic (hybrid-powered) flying carpet, toke from a giant gem-encrusted bong, and wave a crystal-tipped wand … and …. WoooooooossssSSSHHHHHHH!!!!   Traffic flows and never backs up ever ever again. Forever and ever.  Nevermore.  And so on.

If only I had a trillion dollars.

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