The Virginia Beach Trail (#VBTrail) will be a 12-mile long, 10' wide paved shared-use path spanning our city from the Norfolk border at the Newtown Road HRT hub to Town Center all the way to the Oceanfront. It will occupy a narrow strip of the 66' wide City-owned former Norfolk Southern railroad right-of-way, leaving room for other public purposes.
The easternmost 1.5 miles of the trail are already constructed in the Resort Area, on the north side of Norfolk Avenue between Birdneck Road and Pacific Avenue. The remaining 10.5 miles have been designed to 15% construction drawings. The Trail will serve pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users, strollers, runners, workers, students, families, and tourists by providing a safe, non-vehicular travel corridor across Virginia Beach.
This project will link other active transportation routes into a network, increasing the value of existing pathways by connecting more neighborhoods with more destinations.
The City of Virginia Beach, VA is seeking $12 million to design and construct Phase 1 of the remaining 10.5 miles of the Virginia Beach Trail. The 3.2-mile stretch of the Virginia Beach Trail from the western city limit line at Newtown Road heading east to Town Center includes a pedestrian-bicycle bridge over ten lanes of Independence Boulevard to separate active transportation users from automobile traffic. This segment will terminate at Constitution Drive, linking with the Thalia Creek Greenway.
The Virginia Beach Trail is the easternmost segment of the regional South Hampton Roads Trail, a proposed regional trail that runs through Suffolk, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Chesapeake. The Trail will provide equitable access to a regional active transportation network, increase pedestrian and bicycle user safety, and spur economic strength and vitality.
The Virginia Beach Trail is also the final segment of the Regional Trail System that will connect Richmond to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, giving it regional and statewide reach and significance. The Trail will also be part of Virginia's Beaches to Bluegrass Trail.
The VB Trail has been a part of the City Council-adopted Virginia Beach Active Transportation Plan since 1981 and has continued to be a priority project. Continuation of the design and construction of the project is pending future funding. Bikeways and trails have topped Virginia Beach resident surveys of the most important and needed public recreational amenities because they benefit people of all abilities and all walks of life.
The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization has ranked the Trail as a top regional priority, and it is part of strategies for recreational tourism, workforce recruiting and retention, and economic development.