Embrace yourself Hampton Roads! The new Patriots Crossing is going to redirect traffic crossing between the Peninsula and the Southside and force even more traffic onto the Monitor Merrimac! Call it a shortcut and a cheaper alternative to the long needed third crossing! Call it another dumb plan to take another two lanes from the HRBT and put it into the Monitor Merrimac! Ingenious; taking 4 lanes of traffic and forcing it through two, you have to love it!
Haven’t we seen this same dumb planning before with the roads around this place that whittle down from four lanes to two with some of the “arterial roads” (otherwise known as State Routes) around this metropolitan area? Isn’t that part of the catastrophe that occurs when the four lanes on one side of the HRBT, whittle down to two lanes to get through the tunnel, instead of routing two of those lanes across a bridge, or another tunnel!
You can have your dense, high-rise, mixed-use lifestyle center development; I’ll be out on the highway enjoying this new Patriots Crossing moving from one traffic jam to another as I move across this great region! I tell you, while cities like Virginia Beach are trying to increase density, boroughs like Brooklyn that are already as dense as Virginia Beach’s leadership would like for the city to be are trying to compete with Manhattan with new 40 story condominiums! Let’s not forget what they did to Long Island City in Queens! Yes the rich want to build up into the heavens to get away from you peasants, that are stuck living in 3,000 square feet houses on the ground, and 700 square foot apartments.
I thought the rich already had their neighborhoods far, far, away from the city out in the country! Now they want to return to the city and humor us with “solutions” to the infrastructural issues that plague the city. Oh I forgot, this is not about the rich, but the upwardly mobile “upper middle class” that earn a high six figures that have money to waste and the business owners that can afford to ride a train that goes from downtown Norfolk, to downtown Virginia Beach. As small as Norfolk is, and as many buses that run through there as often as they do, why waste your time with light rail? If anything Virginia Beach, with 248 square miles of land, needs light rail. Norfolk is only 53 square miles of land; you have to appreciate the irony.
Let’s be totally honest here; light rail is not going to do anything to increase density in Virginia Beach. You know what increases density, when people actually want to live in a neighborhood and do business there, and the city runs out of space. Cities in this region are not going to see centralized business districts and high rises downtown alone. That is an old way of looking at things. Build high rises where they are needed and let the rest take care of itself. You cannot use a high rise to create a demand that does not already exist! If the people want it bad enough someone will build it.
In real life, high rises pop up in unexpected locations because land prices are high, not just downtown. I am sick at looking at vacant superblocks in Virginia Beach because someone is holding out until they can acquire enough money to execute a grand vision! Allow someone to build on that property instead of letting that land go to waste! A lot of areas in cities across this country with high rise buildings are not exciting or vibrant at all.
Okay I confess, I enjoy a nice high rise as much as the next person. But I hate to see them go to waste, and I hate to see the rest of us priced out of the opportunity to enjoy them.