Thanks for asking, and here is exactly what I recommend for the South side
1. Bulldoze everything that is not in the Waterside, St. Pauls, Brambleton circle, north west to the rail yards, and north to 38th Street, and everything inside of Ballentine and Lafayette to the Zoo. The use of this land for residential single family like Park Place and Huntersville, and slums like Young Terrace is ludicrous. This land should be all zoned high rise commercial and residential. Any existing medical complexes or schools in the area can be kept. This area will be constructed as very walkable, and have tree lined streets, lots of benches, and police beat cops. I wish that Norfolk didnt use so much of their downtown on cemeteries, but I dont advocate moving them, so instead, we will just ban new burials in Norfolk.
2. Get rid of Portsmouth altogether. Annex west to about Frederick and South to the shipyard to Norfolk, give the rest to Chesapeake. Chesapeake would give up everything south to Providence, east to Military and west to the Elizabeth River. Do exactly the same thing with the annexed portion of Portsmouth and Chesapeake as you did with the rest of Norfolk. Most of this section should be nothing but high to midrise commercial and residential.
Now that we've constructed a downtown thats actually worth a crap
3. Get rid of the Scope, get rid of Chrysler Hall. They are dilapatated, and are taking up good downtown land, rebuild an arena that is large enough for NHL or NBA. You can build this where Chesterfield Heights used to be, and build a couple parking garages in the area that might be useful to Norfolk State and could be shared.
4. Speaking of Norfolk State, I would favor grants to help them eject the random housing and buildings unrelated to Norfolk State out of the campus and condence the campus some. I would also favor removing major roads such as Park Ave out of the campus.
5. Since weve already bulldozed all that crap along E. Virginia Beach Blvd (like the houses that have on street parking from Ballentine to Park Ave), we need to widen all of Virginia Beach Blvd to 4 lanes at least on each side all the way to the the Virginia Beach ocean front from Monticello. The back ups on this road where it shrinks to 2 or 3 lanes are insane (such as the Newtown intersection). This will require knocking down some businesses and houses past the Ballentine bulldoze point. Oh well. The only real problem I see is Booker T. Washington High School, and Im not sure what to do about that. Maybe we do all the road widening southward. The craziness of 264 getting off right in to Downtown Norfolk needs to go. This exit needs to be much further back, and feed in to Virginia Beach Blvd.
6. Construct an excellent public transportation system. I think the major hub should be constructed between Ingleside and Ballentine on E. Virgina Beach Blvd. Here there will be several parking garages, and it will be a stop for the rail line, and a number of buses. I dont know if that track going through is still in use, but if it is, it needs to go. Light rail will have several destinations. There will be a stop possibly on the corner of east city hall and St. Paul. A stop on Bousch close to the TCC, another stop by Sentara and CHKD, a stop by ODU, and stops on either side Norfolk State, to be used by students and for Harbor Park and the new Arena. This could possibly be covered by one line. Another line should be constructed to go to the Zoo, Bon Securs and the Naval Base. A third line will go across to Portsmouth and stop at the Naval Hospital and the Shipyard. The downtown tunnel needs to be widened. Express buses should be added that go between the following and the hub station, Janaf/Military Circle, Towncenter/Pembroke, Lynnhaven Mall, Dam Neck/Oceana, Greenbrier, Princess Anne Park/Amphitheatre/Sportsplex, VB Convention center. Express Bus lanes should be built wherever possible. Park and Ride stations will be at PA Park, Town Center, Convention Center. There also needs to be a high capacity, high end fairy, like the Staten Island fairy. I would build 1 terminal right near Harbor Park (which would be right near a train stop as well) 1 terminal near Portsmouth Naval, and 1 terminal where the Ford plant was. 1 fairy between the three should be sufficient.
7. A tremendous campaign needs to be developed by the region. Corporations who will build large office towers will get free land, and corporations who will relocate their HQ here will get whatever tax breaks we can hand them. We can use the fact that we have so many local colleges and an excellent public transportation system as well as our geographic benefits to try to lure in business.
8. When we have significant corporate presence, do what we can to make sure the military leaves. I know that is a Federal matter, but we can jack up taxes on government contracts or whatever else we can to make doing business too expensive, and the Navy can sail down to Jacksonville.
Originally Posted by Kevin_R
I've read post after post of why isn't Hampton Roads like this metro or that metro, why is it so much traffic blah blah blah blah...Hampton Roads IS an up and coming metro whether you want to believe it or not. Every metro has started from somewhere, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Hampton Roads is actually not a growing metro at all. Its growth has practically stopped, with most of that being in Chesapeake and Suffolk. Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampton have been losing people or been basically flat for years. Virginia Beach, which once was the source of most of the areas population influx, has slowed to less than 5% growth. Turns out, the only thing it had going for it, affordable housing, has dissapeared, and nobody wants to come here any longer.
Originally Posted by Kevin_R
How can you possibly hold a metro like Hampton Roads to the same standards as a New York, or DC?
Thats funny, because, Hampton Roads is one of the oldest colonizations of Europeans in North America. Norfolk was incorporated in 1705, which makes it not too much younger than Boston or NYC. It has better weather, and just as good of natural port as New York City or Boston, plus it is generally better for growing and is nearly smack dab in the middle of the eastern sea board. You absolutely could not dream up a better place than Hampton Roads. Yet, Hampton Roads basically rotted as a backwater tobacco field for decades while NYC and Boston became some of the most important cities in the country and the world. So when you are saying that you cant compare Norfolk to NYC or Boston, you absolutely can compare them. There is no other reason for Norfolk not being a world class city other than it being an abject failure.
On top of that, how on earth do you explain cities that were founded way after Norfolk, that not only eclipsed Norfolk, but buried it. Cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta......
Originally Posted by Kevin_R
I was born here and enjoy the area it is HOME to me. I'm not going to move to Jackson, Ms then complain that its no beach in the city. Ever area is unique and has something different to offer.
What does Hampton Roads have that you cant find somewhere else better? There is nothing unique about here. Its like a giant stale suburb.
I just wanted to say that this is a well thought out reply an that I couldn't have said it better myself.
I have been here since 1991 an if it wasn't for meeting my DH I would have been gone the same yr.