Old Trolley Route

The following is an editorial written by Tim Smith and printed in the Virginian-Pilot this past weekend titled “Old trolley route”:

Now that everything is a go with light rail in Norfolk and The Tide is moving forward, Norfolk must begin to move on the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan. Looking at aerial images of Norfolk, extending light rail from the Saint Paul’s area of the city to the beaches of Ocean View via Fenchurch, Church and Granby streets seems to makes perfect sense.

This route uses old trolley rights-of-way laid down decades ago but, for the most part, still maintained as public land. It cuts through the center of Norfolk and would serve more residents than a Hampton Boulevard route.

This route ties together five retail areas (Ocean View, Wards Corner, Riverview, 21st Street and Downtown). It also ties together the Virginia Zoo, Lafayette Park and Ocean View Beach Park. And it would provide access to DePaul Medical Center.

In addition, this route links Naval Station Norfolk to a large number of condo units. Tying light rail to the Peninsula would also be easy from the Wards Corner area.

For this extension of light rail to work efficiently and cost effectively, the revitalization of Wards Corner must begin now. That way, the infrastructure will be in place to just continue on with the light rail system when the downtown line is completed.

For light rail to truly work in Norfolk, The Tide must benefit those in the core neighborhoods as well as downtown.

Timothy P. Smith



3 Responses to Old Trolley Route

  1. RJ Luce says:

    Truly ensightful comments, I wonder if our elected representatives are reading and taking note.

    RJ Luce

  2. Laura Thom says:

    BRAVO! The route you suggest makes perfect sense. Our elected officials are focused on downtown, so I suggest you forward your letter to the Va Pilot editorials.

  3. John Knight says:

    Great idea Tim! I moved here from the city of Denver, Colorado which had a light rail. Because of their careful planning, the light rail was a bigger success than they had hoped for. Personally, I was able to ride a bike to the station and take the light rail to work. Many others were able to do the same and Denver has one of the highest qualities of life in the country.

    I invite one and all to come to the Book Exchange and see our old photos that show the trolley lines going right through Ward’s Corner. Early leaders had good vision. Let’s hope our current leaders will improve their vision.

    Great meeting tonight! Thanks Elyse for making it happen.

    John Knight
    Secretary- Greater Ward’s Corner Business Association

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