Skip to main content

2050 Long-Range Transportation Plan - Public Review Opportunity

Action Alert: The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) is asking for feedback on its proposed Exploratory Scenario Planning approach for the 2050 Long-Range Transportation Plan. This is apparently a plan on how to do the plan by "asking what could happen?" rather than try to predict what will happen or picking a preferred scenario.  The stated objective is to "evaluate candidate [transportation] projects across ALL plausible future scenarios." 

The big gap that I see is the lack of any criteria for how they would evaluate candidate transportation projects.  While the stated goal is "understanding how our system responds to different 'drivers of change' and increased growth, [and then] make better informed decisions about priorities and investments", my concern is that this will result in self-fulfilling prophecies. If we end up planning to build infrastructure to support the worst-case scenarios, i.e. suburban and exurban sprawl, we'll end up encouraging exactly that kind of development. The highway planners will say we need these big roads to support potential development on the fringes, and the developers will say the planners are building the roads they need so it's OK to approve their projects, and the negative cycle continues.

HRTPO shared a slide show that says they would use 4 scenarios for analysis, but they only list 3: Greater Urban Growth, Greater Suburban Growth, and Greater Inland/Westward Growth. There seems to be another scenario layer that predicts various Employment Growth with benchmarks of +5%, +24% +33% growth.

Suburban and exurban development are unsustainable in the long term. The cost of MAINTAINING the miles and miles of roads, sewers, water lines, etc. in low density sprawl will ultimately cost more than the property tax revenue generated. [Ref 1, Ref 2]. The environmental costs of the farms and tree canopy lost, of the increased impervious surfaces, of the increased light pollution, and the energy to drive longer distances is likewise unsustainable. [Ref 3] 

We should establish clear evaluation criteria to incentivize planning for the future we need to build, not just for any and all plausible futures which include future states that ultimately bankrupt our fiscal security and our ecosystem. While it is unrealistic to expect no suburban or exurban development, our transportation system should not be driving us toward those ends. We need a transportation plan that ultimately reduces dependence on long distance commutes, enables more multimodal (walking, bicycle, transit, remote work, etc.) options, that electrifies our freight transport, and ultimately reduces our carbon and energy consumption footprint.

Review the proposed framework and submit comments at News Flash • Public Review Opportunity: Exploratory Scenario (

Ref 1:

Ref 2:

Ref 3:


Top Posts

Support Tree Bills in General Assembly

Update 2:  Urge Governor Youngkin to sign HB529 and HB1100 into law to ensure our community is able to conserve and plant more trees that will benefit the health of all Virginians! Contact him today -   Update: Both of these bills have been passed by the House and Senate and are now heading for the Governor's desk for signature.  Stay tuned for any Action Alerts asking folks to contact the Governor to urge him to sign these bills.  There are several bills in the General Assembly that would give the City of Chesapeake the option to do more to protect trees and restore tree canopy during development.  Current state law limits how much Chesapeake can require of developers during construction.   HB 1100 would enable all counties, cities, and towns in Virginia to adopt tree conservation ordinances to conserve healthy mature trees during construction projects.  HB 529 would increase how much canopy must be replaced when trees are cut down during development.   B

CBPA proposed change details

April 23 Public Hearing Package with rationale for the proposed changes - Consideration of the change was Continued (deferred) to the end of June. Below the proposed CBPA changes provided by Chesapeake Planning Department were compared against National Wetlands Inventory maps - 1. Fernwood Farms/Riverwalk Areas Proposed for removal (red), addition (dark green) National Wetlands Inventory City Drainage Map Background on Interrupted and Disconnected Wetlands for CBPA Guidance Documents Google Earth 4/8/1990 2. Great Bridge Blvd Areas proposed for removal (red) National Wetlands Inventory Close-up 3. Oakbrooke (East of Arboretum) Areas proposed for removal (red)/addition (dark green) Nat

Welcome to Greening Chesapeake

Kicking off this new blog for 2024 to work on the goal to green Chesapeake by increasing natural area - green spaces and blueways - across the City.   Steps include protecting existing tree canopy, encouraging protection of natural areas, and planting trees and native plants across the City on public, institutional, commercial, and residential properties.   Other key tenants to building a greener city include connectivity - enabling people to reach destinations safely by foot, bicycle, and public transit, not just automobiles - and adopting sustainable practices. Stay tuned for information about upcoming events, actions, and information related to Greening Chesapeake.