20 Jun 2013 Thursday
|Notes from Citizens' Voices on Transportation - Sept. 6, 2011|
Present: Bruce Drees, Carolyn McPherson, Carolyn Caywood, Dan Koach, Emily Fisher, Kenneth Kuchta, Mike Aschkenas, Todd Solomon
Next meeting Oct. 3, 5:30pm, Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation office, 2400 Potters Road, Suite 300. We noted that Jeryl Phillips was to head up the City's new Complete Streets program, but Todd talked to her and learned that Mark Schnaufer is now going to be the lead on this project. We'd like to bring Mark back to talk to us about Complete Streets, but October may be too soon since he will be new to the lead position, and since we need to finish the work from the Sept meeting.
We opened with discussion of the proposed bike lane along Shore Drive. There is concern among current cyclists on Shore Drive over retaining the rumble strips in their current location. This creates a barrier that is difficult and sometimes unsafe for cyclists to cross such as when needing to merge into the travel lane to pass other cyclists or avoid debris. A large swath of the current users are expressing a preference for a simple 4-5 ft shoulder with unimpeded access between it and the travel lane. The Bikeways and Trails Advisory Committee will address this.
An upcoming meeting on the Lynnhaven Strategic Growth Area was mentioned. Information on the SGAs can be found at http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/sga/pages/default.aspx (Note: the city government just reorganized its website.)
We then talked about the significance of what we've learned about bus service. The two improvements with the greatest potential for impact seem to us to be increased frequency on the most heavily traveled existing routes and a cell phone app that would inform those waiting of when to expect the bus.
We looked at four categories of improvements: Availability, Accessibility, Technology, & Convenience.
Availability (where it goes, timing)
increase frequency on existing routes
more connections to light rail
better connections to job locations – better research on where the jobs are (see HRPDC below)
ADA compliance is understood, dependably wheelchair-accessible buses
sufficient bike racks - multimodal
“have to & want to” riders – public transit needs increase of “want to” who ride regularly (green, adventurous, casual, commuters)
scrolling marquee & audible voice announcements (communicate to both senses)
cellphone notification of how soon bus will arrive
EZPass for frequent riders
technology that tells where bus is – phone app
more locations where you can buy ticket, easy ticket machines, information for first time user
better bus shelters
free bus weeks, or special holiday bus events – to provide initial positive experience for new riders
educate children/students to ride public transit – field trips?
Parking – free & convenient parking competes with public transit. Rethink code that mandates parking.
Finally, we looked at the http://envisiontransportation.com/ website to see how we can use it. (I hope someone noted our ideas because My hand was on the mouse, not the pen!)
Here are links from Bruce to some of the documents that we discussed at the meeting:
HRPDC website: (research on traffic and routes)
2010 Va Beach Comprehensive Plan:
2010 Va Beach Master Transportation Plan (section of Comp Plan):
And here's a link to Try Transit Week, September 19-23, 2011! :
http://www.trytransitweek.com/ and commentary http://smartregion.org/2011/09/try-transit-week/