NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Hampton Roads Transit held the first of three workshops on the proposed light rail extension to Naval Station Norfolk.
Dozens of citizens from all seven cities attended the public meeting at the Holiday Inn on Greenwich Road in Virginia Beach Tuesday night.
Participants had the chance to interact with maps, and place push pins on areas they hope will have a future light rail stop.
"I use the Tide to get to and from hockey games, and I am ODU alumni, so it would be nice to get on the Tide and go to a basketball game," said Christina Ammens, of Virginia Beach.
Two common corridors chosen by the focus groups were as follows:
- Military Highway, Norfolk International Airport, Wards Corner, Naval Station Norfolk
- Ghent, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Old Dominion University, Naval Station Norfolk
Many participants also expressed interest in expanding light rail into Virginia Beach and onto the peninsula.
"People loved it. It's very engaging," said Julie Timm, a Transit Development Officer for HRT. "There is something about picking up pins and putting them on a map that makes you feel like your opinion really matters."
Timm says HRT will geocache the results to create interactive data.
"We put it into a GIS system," she said. "Over the course of meetings, it gets layered and layered and layered, and it weighs it where most people are saying, 'This is the best line. This is the best area where we want to go to.' And, it becomes clear what the will of the public is."
The other workshops are scheduled for Wednesday at the Norview High School cafeteria in Norfolk and Thursday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
All three workshops will begin at 6 p.m.
The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission has said 80,000 vehicles enter and leave the base daily.
HRT is currently conducting a Naval Station Norfolk Transit Extension Study. The study began in April and is being done in phases, identifying any issues, alternatives, and defining appropriate routes. The 15-month study will cost about $1.8 million.
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