NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)---The bright, colorful walls, and the eclectic street art that line Norfolk's Neon District are a good look for the city.

But ushering in a new era of urban design and function downtown, isn't limited to just cosmetic changes.

A new dog run unveiled in the heart of downtown Granby Street is one of many improvements the city has welcomed.

Narrow, share-the-road routes for bikes have now turned into entire lanes for cyclists in some sections of the city.

And this week, the city also offered up a new way to pay for downtown parking.

Crews installed credit-card-friendly meters down Granby Street, and for local Monique Hopkins it's a long overdue improvement.

"So many tickets that could have been avoided," said Hopkins. "But now they can be avoided."

All three investments show that Norfolk is starting to not only look, but move, like some of the country's bigger destinations.