Virginia Beach City Manager proposes redesign of Atlantic Ave.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach City Manager is presented a proposal to redesign Atlantic Avenue at Tuesday's city council work session.

In a letter to the Mayor and councilmembers, Dave Hansen said the Cavalier development project may cause several issues.

He said one of the possible issues is the impact of the development on traffic congestion and pedestrian safety on Atlantic Avenue.

The proposal would eliminate the by-right access, the stretch of roadway between 40th street and where Atlantic Avenue meets Pacific Avenue. It's also where the resort end of the oceanfront meets the residential north end.

The proposal would turn this section of Atlantic Avenue into a cul-de-sac, and drivers would have to connect between Atlantic and Pacific through 39th and 40th streets.

The goal of the project, according to city officials, is to control the heavy traffic going in and out of the hotel without it backing up onto Atlantic or Pacific Avenue.

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"I'm optimistic and nervous at the same time," says Paul Benton, Sous Chef at Eat-An American Bistro, which sits on the by-right access. "I don't know how they are going to redirect traffic, what's going to happen with our parking, there's so many variables I'm hoping he's considering."

Hansen said at Tuesday night's meeting that they would have to look into how to accommodate off-street parking for Eat staff.

North End Civic League past president, Kimberly Goold, says she does not see an adverse effect.

"If I'm going to work I just go straight down Pacific Avenue, church or restaurants too. We really do turn on the street for the business we're going to, moving it one block doesn't really affect us."

However, neighbors in the Historic Cavalier Shores neighborhood, who are adjacent to the project, say they have their concerns.

Civic League President, Bernice Pope, says the project is aesthetically pleasing, but they have to work on solutions with the city to provide protection for their homes.

"Safety, traffic, parking, there's going to be a lot more activities going on at the hotel," she says. "People are concerned about cutting through."

Hansen said the opportunity to recreate the grand lawn entrance of the old historic Cavalier could also be done with his proposals.

The cost of the project would be between $2 and $2.5 million, according to Hansen. He says the tax revenue generated within the first year of the Cavalier development project should offset those costs.

Hansen says they have several meetings scheduled with different civic leagues to discuss this project.

He is also looking at a tentative date of January 9th to hold a public information meeting for the city before any decisions are made.

Click here to see Hansen's proposals for Atlantic Ave.