Boo! Halloween is tomorrow and I wish all a safe experience however you choose to partake. And, please don’t forget it is daylight savings. Fall behind…..
October was full of outdoor activity as well as Zoom meetings. I had the pleasure of dedicating a new art piece on the Elizabeth River Trail (ERT) alongside Larchmont Library. “The Future is in the Margins” is a beautiful art piece that represents the Elizabeth River Watershed. It is a must see. While on the topic of the ERT, neighbors and friends have expressed concerns about the speed of bikes and scooters on the trail. Please encourage these riders to follow the rules of the road and be very mindful of walkers and runners.
The Hampton Boulevard Task Force, which I chair, reconvened to evaluate our work to date. The Task Force started in summer 2018 with recommendations implemented in February 2019. The primary focus is to improve traffic safety for all users of Hampton Blvd. and take lessons learned to other parts of Norfolk. Below are a few of the safety projects completed:
- Red light camera at Hampton Blvd/Princess Anne Road (4,845 citations issued since January 2020 – citations that would have not otherwise been issued due to the challenge of police not being able to station a car at that intersection due to the narrow roadway)
- Re-timed traffic signals
- Pedestrian only signal (Spotswood)
- Pedestrian crossing at 27th Street
- Leading pedestrian intervals so walkers are crossing the road before the green for the vehicle
- LED streetlight upgrades
- Secured Smart Scale Funding for signal replacement at Azalea/Hampton (2022 installation)
- Reduce school speed limit to 15mph
- Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization conducted roadway study
- Dedicated left turn signals
Comparing traffic data before and after the start of the Task Force (while impacted by COVID-19) shows a few key points. The overall proportion of accidents involving trucks has decreased along Hampton Blvd. Collision hotspots have remained the same but with fewer accidents in those hotspots. And, COVID-19 has altered traffic patterns including a reduction in crashes. We will review the data again in March 2021 (a full 2yr review) as life, hopefully, “normalizes” per se. There are several next steps but I want to highlight two. There is talk that Gate 6 on Naval Station Norfolk will finally open in the next few months if not sooner. This will pull vehicles off of Hampton Blvd. Secondly, the task force intends to reduce the speed limit on Hampton Blvd. from 35 to 30mph, while still maintaining strong speeding enforcement.
The Monticello Village Civic League President and I took a stroll around Wards Corner with representatives from various city departments. There is great opportunity to enhance this area and there is no better way to see the needs than by walking on the sidewalks, crossing at lights, seeing stormwater drains in need of clean up and more. I enjoy seeing the art of the possible throughout Norfolk!
Enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Be well. I am grateful for much.
Wards Corner Walk Around
Ribbon-cutting at ReAlta Life Sciences
Mapping the King Tide
The Future is in the Margins – Dedicating the new art on the Elizabeth River Trail