Six new pathways could help Virginia Beach become more pedestrian- and bike-friendly

Six new pathways could help Virginia Beach residents safely get to their destinations. (Courtesy of ms.akr/Flickr)

VIRGINIA BEACH – Over the next two years, pedestrians and cyclists may be able to use safer pathways to get to their destinations.

City council will vote to support the public works project during Tuesday’s formal session. If approved, the applications for six pathways could receive more than $4 million in upgrades – $3.26 million of which will be eligible for federal reimbursement after completion – if accepted by VDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program

The transportation project focuses on “providing for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and community improvements,” according to documents provided by the city.

Starting in the second half of 2018, the first three projects would begin construction.

The first location is the Violet Bank Trail – a 0.6-mile path along Violet Bank Drive. A 10-foot wide asphalt pathway would connect the eastern end of the street to Selwood Drive, providing a safe pathway for pedestrians and cyclists.

According to the documents, the pathway is intended to serve as an alternative to pedestrian or bike traffic alongside Providence Road, which does not have a sidewalk. As many as 15,000 vehicles travel along the roadway each day.

Another path, approximately a third of a mile long, would connect the Sherwood Lakes and Highgate Greens neighborhoods to Three Oaks Elementary School. The new path would connect to Tallwood Trail, replacing an older path that currently connects to Tree Garden Way.

The 10-foot wide pathway would also include a small footbridge and qualifies as a “Safe Routes to Schools” project.

A third pathway, which would be roughly 0.2 miles long and five feet wide, would be constructed along the southern side of Parliament Drive, from Coventry to Green Kemp Road.

According to the documents, this path will also focus on student safety and “improve safety for pedestrians walking to Point O’ View Elementary School.”

In 2019, phase II of the Parliament Drive Sidewalk project would add another 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the southern side of the street, extending the sidewalk from Green Kemp Road to Arrowhead Plaza Shopping Center.

The South Boulevard Sidewalk would add a 5-foot-wide sidewalk at two points along South Boulevard, connecting an existing sidewalk from Independence Boulevard and Expressway Drive. The new path would allow for safer travel to and from Mount Trashmore Park.

Along the north side of Euclid Road, another 5-foot-wide sidewalk would be put in between Onondaga and Kellam Roads.

Council will vote on the projects during a formal session on Tuesday night.

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