Water taxis might one day ferry visitors to Back Bay

Overview of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and transportation routes. (Courtesy of City of Virginia Beach.)

Water taxis, shuttles and bike trails could become the primary routes to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park.

Those are among the ideas the city determined will offer the best access to the parks when it concluded the penultimate phase of a transportation study that began in 2013. The study, funded by a $449,000 federal transit grant, looked for ways to get people in without personal vehicles.

A public presentation on the findings is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at Red Mill Elementary School. Curre

Attendees will be able to review maps of the study area, learn about the alternatives and share ideas, according to a media release. The study will be completed after public input.

But construction might be a long way off, said Julie Braley, a city spokeswoman. Currently there is no funding to make the improvements, she said.

People can also review the work on the study’s website and share their thoughts on a downloadable comment card beginning Nov. 4, or by emailing BackBayGrant@VBgov.com.

These potential transportation alternatives to the parks were highlighted in a media release:

  • Back Bay Refuge Trail: a shared-use path from Lago Mar to Sandbridge, and restored bike lanes along Sandfiddler Road.
  •  Sigma Trail: a shared-use path along Sandbridge Road from Lotus Drive to Back Bay Refuge Trail.
  •  Shuttles: a service to the refuge’s existing visitor contact station from a future visitor contact station, and from the Virginia Aquarium.
  • Water access: improvements to enhance canoe/kayak travel across the bay.
  • Water taxi: a shore-to-shore passenger service on a pontoon-style boat.
  • No Construction: programs for education and encouragement.

Clarification: This article was updated to reflect the fact that the city does not currently have funding to construct infrastructure designed in the study. 

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