A rally is gaining speed to “Save the Tide” extension to Virginia Beach Town Center. Supporters from all over Hampton Roads will come to Norfolk’s MacArthur Station on Monday at 5 p.m. to pack the Tide and ride it to the end. Then they’ll have to take buses or drive to Town Center since the Tide doesn’t go there yet – showing the current struggle.
The movement will end with a finale party at 6 p.m. at Gordon Biersch in Town Center.
The vision is cheerleaders and ambassadors for light rail to offset the recent negative energy and misinformation.
A small, anti-progress group is trying to stop the Tide from crossing into Virginia Beach entirely. Virginia Beach citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of light rail and 91% of millennial’s believe investing in public transit is important for economic growth . We have an opportunity to help sculpt the bigger picture of smart growth, economic prosperity and regional collaboration.
At the upcoming “Save the Tide” events, activists from Virginia Beach and the all over Hampton Roads will take a stand together to show the importance of regionalism. Local artist Alex DeJesus designed the campaign’s artwork, a superhero “Captain Hampton Roads,” sweeping in to save the Tide, pointing toward our future of regionalism and moving to energize the next generation to stand up for light rail.
Light rail is needed to help prepare for an increasing regional population projected to exceed 2 million by 2040, according to Hampton Roads Planning District Commission data. Cities like Norfolk and Virginia Beach have run out of land to develop another suburban community.
We now need to grow “up” with more urban density along light rail to accommodate our projected population increase. Strategic growth areas along the Interstate 264 economic corridor allow for higher-density and transit-oriented communities.
Virginia Beach Treasurer, John Atkinson is gathering signatures for another referendum in November 2016 on another “Yes” or “No” for light rail. Community leaders believe a better path is waiting for more accurate cost estimates for the Town Center extension, which should be available in late 2016.
The price is worth it for a multitude of reasons. Experts project healthier, transit-oriented communities and millions of dollars in investment and economic impact along the expanded Tide route, making it attractive to Millennials who want to call Hampton Roads home.
Hampton Roads has the third highest automobile-to-population ratio in the U.S. and ranks in the bottom fifth of metro areas attracting and retaining the next generation of leaders.
Light rail is part of a larger, multi-tiered regional transit network (rail, car, bus, bike, walking, etc.) that will keep our region competitive in an increasingly connected marketplace, and an important step in connecting to a Northeast Corridor high-speed rail commuter system.
5 p.m. Arrive for “Save the Tide” Rally right outside of MacArthur Station
5:30 p.m. Depart for Newtown Road station, shuttle to Town Center for finale party at Gordon Biersch Town Center Virginia Beach.
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