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Old 04-13-2012, 09:51 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,357,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
The non-presidential election would matter because most people don't vote in them. Typically those who vote in non-presidential elections are older, and I'm guessing much less likely to want the light rail.
That is good though right? To get more of the population voting on something not just a small segment of the population. Most people don't vote in the local elections because there are a bunch of unchallenged incumbents that are going to win no matter what, you don't want people who happen to live in a challenged district getting a disproportionate voice over things... you want to hear everybody's voice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post

I agree with rtandc it's crazy to expect the citizens to give the city a blank check. Next thing you know VBPS will be getting rid of more teachers to fund the light rail. It's bad enough they have to get rid of 200+ to fund a rec center.

That being said it will most likely pass because most of the people voting will have no true understanding of what they are actually doing.
I really can't get into the funding arguments and whether we have the proper number of teachers or not because I don't know enough to speak intelligently about it. Obviously there is some ideal balance between taxes, services, # of public employees, operating costs etc... that cities have to strive for. Just because they are laying off teachers does not mean that quality of education will appreciably suffer, it certainly could, but it could also be that we had a lot of redundancy, unnecessary classes, or more teachers than we needed. I am really not in a position to make that call.

What I would like to know is what power the referendum will give the city if it passes. The wording seems vague to me, what are considered "reasonable efforts"? Is that why you think it is a blank check? Because "reasonable efforts" leaves a lot of wiggle room? I don't see it is a blank check, I see it as a question of whether the people want rail and should the City of VB explore all options/funding sources available to make it happen. It becomes a chicken or egg question after a while, how do you get funding without plans and how do you plan without funding?

The city webpage does actually provide some good info on this project but some of the major details are definitely lacking.

VBTES - Frequently Asked Questions :: VBgov.com - City of Virginia Beach

The actual request for this from Councilmenbers Uhrin and Wood:

http://www.vbgov.com/government/depa...Res4-10-12.pdf

Last edited by UHgrad; 04-13-2012 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
That is good though right? To get more of the population voting on something not just a small segment of the population.
the off year electorate in Virginia generally (not sure about VB) is older, richer, and whiter.

Whether or not thats a good thing depends on your POV I guess. I suppose the folks who set up our statewide elections to be in off years thought it was a good thing.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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It is a blank check issue, as I have stated the mayor wants light rail and this is his last hope for the next few years.... I would like to see light rail but not the way he is trying to get it..... You wait for the study to be completed, gather a of the information including cost, who/what will be impacted etc and then allow the citizens to have a voice be it via public meetings or a vote...

It's a blank check issue because the mayor wants the citizens to decide on something without having all the facts....

Dont let your opinion of light rail cloud the true issue here...you can substitute anything in place of light rail.... Say the mayor wanted people to vote for a pro football stadium.... The mayor does not have a team lined up to play in the stadium, does not have a true idea of the cost to build it or who/what might be effected in doing so but wants the citizens approval to start the construction of the stadium.... Would you vote yes to allow him to do that?

If the mayor and city council really wants the public opinion on light rail again then they should wait until the city has all the information and the findings from the study that will be completed next year then present it to the public and let them decide
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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If I'm not mistaken the NS track is still in place along most of the corridor.

It makes no sense to me as to why they don't spend the money to simply fix up the track and run a diesel locomotive on there for the time being. They could build small crossing loops along the line to allow for two way traffic.

Coordinate with the Tide so there's enough time for a transfer and the trains arrive at the same time.

Why are we reinventing the wheel and spending money to remove one type of rail just to put in another? It's ridiculous. It's just as dumb as the idiots in Portsmouth wanting to take out their now unused tracks and put in a walking path.

If you look at this map, you'll note the Tide in blue (existing) VA Beach in red (existing rail line currently unused) and Portsmouth/Chesapeake/North Suffolk in purple (existing line in good condition that is unused)

The green would be the ~5 miles needed to extend the rail to Norfolk from Portsmouth. Since the new Midtown Tunnel is coming, it's the perfect time to put a rail link through there.

Attached Thumbnails
VB Rail Referendum likely to be on November ballot-rails.jpg  
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
It is a blank check issue, as I have stated the mayor wants light rail and this is his last hope for the next few years.... I would like to see light rail but not the way he is trying to get it..... You wait for the study to be completed, gather a of the information including cost, who/what will be impacted etc and then allow the citizens to have a voice be it via public meeting or a vote...

It's a blank check issue because the mayor wants the citizens to decide on something without having all the facts....
Dont let your opinion of light rail cloud the true issue here...you can substitute anything in place or light rail.... Say the mayor wanted people to vote for a pro football stadium.... The mayor does not have a team lined up to play in the stadium, does not have a true idea of the cost to build it or who/what might be effected in doing so but wants the citizens approval to start the construction of the stadium.... Would you vote yes to allow him to do that?

If the mayor and city council really wants the public opinion on light rail again then they should wait until the city has all the information and the findings from the study that will be completed next year then present it to the public and let them decide
I guess that is where I can't agree with you, I don't see anything that implies a blank check and you saying that it does doesn't make it so unless you can back it up with something more concrete. It may be the case, I don't know, but I need something more substantial than your opinion to convince me. They are not going to start construction, it is a referendum on whether we should pursue funding as far as I can tell.

Maybe I am dense, can you explain to me how:

"Should the City Council adopt an ordinance approving the use of all reasonable efforts to support the financing and development of The Tide light rail into Virginia Beach?"

equates to a blank check?
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:01 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,357,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
If I'm not mistaken the NS track is still in place along most of the corridor.

It makes no sense to me as to why they don't spend the money to simply fix up the track and run a diesel locomotive on there for the time being. They could build small crossing loops along the line to allow for two way traffic.

Coordinate with the Tide so there's enough time for a transfer and the trains arrive at the same time.

Why are we reinventing the wheel and spending money to remove one type of rail just to put in another? It's ridiculous. It's just as dumb as the idiots in Portsmouth wanting to take out their now unused tracks and put in a walking path.

If you look at this map, you'll note the Tide in blue (existing) VA Beach in red (existing rail line currently unused) and Portsmouth/Chesapeake/North Suffolk in purple (existing line in good condition that is unused)

The green would be the ~5 miles needed to extend the rail to Norfolk from Portsmouth. Since the new Midtown Tunnel is coming, it's the perfect time to put a rail link through there.
yeah, that is a good point about the Portsmouth extension.

As far as VB goes, I don't think those old NS rail lines are in very good shape and I have no idea how much it would cost to do what you proposed. Seems like a reasonable idea though, the tracks are already there like you said. I think eventually they would just want the same train to be able to run end to end though without having to transfer at the city line, so light rail would make sense for VB in that regard I think.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
yeah, that is a good point about the Portsmouth extension.

As far as VB goes, I don't think those old NS rail lines are in very good shape and I have no idea how much it would cost to do what you proposed. Seems like a reasonable idea though, the tracks are already there like you said. I think eventually they would just want the same train to be able to run end to end though without having to transfer at the city line, so light rail would make sense for VB in that regard I think.
I don't know if they are or are not. I know there are weeds all in them by Town Center, but I'm not a rail condition expert.

I know the number for VA Beach light rail came out to be $800M a few months ago.

Would it cost that much to refurbish tracks? Like I said, I don't know. Doesn't seem like it would, though.

Obviously nobody likes to transfer, but if they coordinate the schedules to make it as painless as possible it's at least IMO a good way to get things up and running.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
I guess that is where I can't agree with you, I don't see anything that implies a blank check and you saying that it does doesn't make it so unless you can back it up with something more concrete. It may be the case, I don't know, but I need something more substantial than your opinion to convince me. They are not going to start construction, it is a referendum on whether we should pursue funding as far as I can tell.

Maybe I am dense, can you explain to me how:

"Should the City Council adopt an ordinance approving the use of all reasonable efforts to support the financing and development of The Tide light rail into Virginia Beach?"

equates to a blank check?
Sure it's very simple, it's 1st grade political CYA....it's all just a ploy.... The mayor wants light rail, he does not have the backing of his council so he has to go out and get the backing from the citizens.... He has been advised by his handlers that they best chance to get a positive vote to go forward is this years election even though the city dies not have the findings yet from the study. If the mayor gets a positive yes for light rail it's a green light that will never change red again.... He will build light rail no matter the cost.... He will spin all of the issues and cost over rides right back into the publics face.... No matter the issues and cost he will just say, this is what the voters wanted so this is what I am giving them...... So the bottom line is the citizens of Va Beach gets screwed but hey, they asked for it.......
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:20 AM
 
1,477 posts, read 5,468,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
I don't know if they are or are not. I know there are weeds all in them by Town Center, but I'm not a rail condition expert.

I know the number for VA Beach light rail came out to be $800M a few months ago.

Would it cost that much to refurbish tracks? Like I said, I don't know. Doesn't seem like it would, though.

Obviously nobody likes to transfer, but if they coordinate the schedules to make it as painless as possible it's at least IMO a good way to get things up and running.
It's a safe bet that the cost will be way over 800 million, my guess is the mayor knows this and that is what the study will show... That is another reason he is pushing for a vote before the study is made public....

Again its not the total cost that concerns me, but how will it be paid for.....
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:27 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,357,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
Sure it's very simple, it's 1st grade political CYA....it's all just a ploy.... The mayor wants light rail, he does not have the backing of his council so he has to go out and get the backing from the citizens.... He has been advised by his handlers that they best chance to get a positive vote to go forward is this years election even though the city dies not have the findings yet from the study. If the mayor gets a positive yes for light rail it's a green light that will never change red again.... He will build light rail no matter the cost.... He will spin all of the issues and cost over rides right back into the publics face.... No matter the issues and cost he will just say, this is what the voters wanted so this is what I am giving them...... So the bottom line is the citizens of Va Beach gets screwed but hey, they asked for it.......
Thats certainly plausible, but I personally think that does not equate to a blank check. I think you are speculating a lot. No sense argue about it, you have your opinion and I am going to suspend mine for the time being until I get more info. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on it.
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