NORFOLK, Va. — More bike lanes are heading to Ocean View, but some community members are against it.
The new bike lanes would start down at Bayview Boulevard off Granby Street and stop at Ocean View Avenue.
“To take away the lane just seems like a little bit of overkill,” Linda Lundquist said.
Lundquist is part of the Ocean View Advisory Committee and is the Bayview Civic League president. She said she is not against bikes lanes. She just doesn’t like the idea of cutting four lanes down to two on a busy road.
“There is a lot of traffic that comes through when it’s backed up on 64, and people are seeking alternative ways to access 64,” Lundquist said.
This project is part of the City of Norfolk’s Bicycle Strategic Plan and Complete Streets Policy. The goal is to improve safety for everyone while maintaining the flow of traffic.
Last summer, bikes lanes were completed on E. Ocean View Avenue. That model could be similar on Granby Street.
“What works in one place doesn’t always work in another place. It’s not necessary a one size fits all kind of problem,” Lundquist explained.
Many community members hope the plan doesn’t happen.
“Having one road to actually access to where they need to go would cause a lot of commotion I think,” said Teighlor Kingsbury.
13News Now did speak with a bicyclist off camera who said adding bikes lanes is a good idea, but he said he would be nervous to ride on them because Granby Street is a busy area.
“Sometimes folks don’t think ahead, and so I would see people trying to go around me through the bicycle lane,” explained Lundquist
The first community meeting is set for February 11th at 6 p.m. at Pretlow Library.
Councilman Thomas Smigiel, who represents Ocean View sent a letter to civic league leaders:
I wanted to give you a heads up that I will be sending a letter to the City Manager and my colleagues on City Council opposing any road diet (from 4 lanes to 2 lanes) for bike lanes from Ocean View Avenue to Bayview Blvd. As part of this letter, I will also be asking to rescind the ordinance originally passed for supporting bike lanes or to ask for an amendment that each project would have to come before council for a vote. The original ordinance was only advisory, however it gives city staff carte blanche to implement. Once the letter is completed I will make sure you have it for distribution.
I am letting you know this in advance because the first public meeting on the Granby bike lanes will be on February 11th. You will need to make sure your members are informed of this meeting and attend to voice concerns. I have already informed Councilwoman McClellan of my opposition. We have agreed to disagree on our positions.
While I supported the bike lanes on East Ocean View Ave. because of civic league support and the addition of a turn lane made minimal impact on traffic, I cannot support the mess that will be created from this project on Granby St. There was opposition to the bike lanes on Ocean View Ave., however the support outweighed that opposition. I have not heard of any support for the bike lanes on Granby St. In addition, multiple cyclist have shared concerns that this is not a good idea. I have been told to sit and wait for the data, but I am not convinced that going from four to two lanes will be a benefit for the quality of life for residents in Ocean View who have to take that route each day. I would be supportive of better sharrows and signage or looking at alternate routes. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know.