NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk City Council has voted to move forward with the design work to add bike lanes and make safety improvements to a busy two-mile stretch of Granby Street.
In a 7-1 vote Tuesday, council members voted to accept more than $820,000 in state funds, to help complete the project that has been discussed more than any other in council chambers the last few meetings.
A majority of speakers came in support of the plan to add bike lanes, one in each direction between Willow Wood Drive and Admiral Taussig Boulevard, just south of the Interstate 564 overpass. However, there are still members in the community who believe the lanes will only cause more traffic gridlock.
Current proposals call for the vehicle travel lanes to go from six to four, two in each direction. The bike lanes would then be separated off with concrete barriers. Safety improvements would also be made as part of the project, such as adding crosswalks and turning lanes.
Deputy City Manager Patrick Roberts said completing the construction would require an estimated $1.9 million in the upcoming budget.
That is what will require another vote. It’s a vote Councilman Tommy Smigiel still isn’t sure he is willing to make. In his full-time job, he is the principal of Granby High School which sits in the project area.
“It’s going to happen, there is support on council to make it happen. We just need to make sure it’s done right,” Smigiel said. “I have confidence that concerns will be addressed.”
Councilman Paul Riddick was the lone “no” vote.