How does a month pass so quickly? September is a long month and I feel like it disappeared in a minute. Florence was an interesting experience. The hurricane missed our region but allowed us to partake in a real-life crisis drill for the city and residents. Do you know your zone? I think Florence showed that we are becoming aware of our zones. Thank you for knowing! The preparation for the hurricane allowed the city, schools and residents to learn much from the experience and better prepare for the future.
Last month I mentioned how many residents and business owners have reached out to me about issues. Some concerns that I was able to address included fixing potholes that caused real issues in a neighborhood; fixing punch list items from a newly installed playground; getting Norfolk to cut back trees on city right of ways impeding cars and parking on a neighborhood street; planning for the installation of a gate in a fence so a neighborhood has access to its Adopt-A-Spot along the Elizabeth River Trail; getting abandoned cars towed; adding stop signs to a busy intersection in a neighborhood filled with children near a park; helping new businesses navigate City Planning and City Economic Development; and more. I really enjoy this advocacy aspect of my role on City Council.
Additionally, I, along with city leaders, hosted a meeting on traffic issues on Hampton Blvd in advance of the school year. This is a major issue that all on council need to address for pedestrian and traffic safety. Other areas of the city are facing similar challenges. They must all be addressed. Mayor Alexander and I will kick off a Traffic Advisory Committee (October 11, 2018) looking at issues on Hampton Blvd (between Terminal Blvd. and Redgate Avenue) and subsequently on Tidewater Drive. I have been working with Councilwoman McClellan on this very issue. The truck accident at Bolling Ave. and Hampton Blvd. in Larchmont this past spring on the very day of the Larchmont Carnival can never happen again. The number of accidents and near misses is just not acceptable. The Traffic Advisory Group will be an opportunity for all to be involved in finding and implementing solutions. In the meantime, Norfolk has taken action on Hampton Blvd. There is a no-tolerance for speeding between Terminal Blvd and Redgate Ave. The number of citations is inordinate as a result. At Spotswood/Hampton, Norfolk replaced signal heads so that the red, yellow and green are brighter to the driver, restriped the pedestrian crosswalk, adjusted light timing of a red, yellow and green and added pedestrian signage in the corridor between Azalea and Redgate. The City is now researching what intersections along that corridor are best suited for red light cameras. These are important measures but there is much more to come in terms of making it safe for adults and children alike to cross Hampton. The same issues exist on many city roads and we need to incorporate best practices, new technology and new traffic engineering approaches across the city.
Norfolk Southern and Norfolk Southern employees and their families are an important, vital and integral part of our city and greater region. The Mayor and many others are in communication with Norfolk Southern to encourage them to stay in Norfolk and for them to understand the value of being in our vibrant city vs. being in Atlanta. Many will say that the corporate move out of Norfolk is a done deal. Well, wait and see. More to come.
I have enjoyed getting to know many new Norfolk residents and learning about the issues facing our great city. Storm water and flooding was a major topic at our City Council meeting on September 25. We have to invest resources across the city to make us sustainable on many levels.
Enjoy pictures below of me at a civic league, a senior event, ODU football (sorry Hokies) and of course, my puppy Grady who is almost 11 months old. He is enjoying Plum Point Park with Jack.