Transit Sparks Generational Conflict in Virginia's Hampton Roads

A controversy has emerged over the future of transportation in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, especially as it relates to demographics of the coveted "millennial workforce" variety.
March 9, 2016, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jordan Pascale reported recently on the case made for new investments in public transit around Hampton Roads, as presented recently to local officials by John Martin, CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research. "[Martin] said Hampton Roads needs a strategy to build a 21st century transit system that serves all its cities and connects the entire region. That’s not the only thing that will attract a younger workforce, he said, but it’s crucial," according to Pascale.

Enter Virginia Beach City Treasurer John Atkinson, "who is leading a grassroots effort to kill the light-rail extension to Virginia Beach," according to Pascale . "[Atkinson] said millennials who want public transportation and dense living aren’t a good fit for Virginia Beach and should move to Norfolk." In fact, his actual words were as follows: "Those that want a freebie can move to Norfolk."

Pascale's coverage includes more background on the planning context in Hampton Roads, which is expecting population growth and shifting demographics that will trend older in the next few decades.

Laura Bliss picked up on the controversy for CityLab, thus putting the controversy on the national map of transit planning and intergenerational conflict.

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Published on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in The Virginian Pilot
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