Ship’s Blog

April 8, 2019
Road Usage, Capacity, and…Sea Level Rise?

by Gail Whittaker, York County Public Information Officer

Not long ago, a portion of Route 17 was widened from four lanes to six.  While the work impacted travel, the increased capacity was desperately needed.  In fact, plans are for the widening to continue further up Route 17 towards the historic area.  At the April 8 meeting of the Comprehensive Plan Review Steering Committee – or York2040 – a Historic Triangle Transportation Study provided interesting and sometimes brow-raising information.  For example, currently, daily vehicle travels on Route 17 total approximately 44,000.  That’s per day!  In 2040, that number is estimated to be 80,000.  Other facts…freight tonnage in 2012 (the latest figures) on Route 17 was between 500,000 to 1 million tons per year; jump to 2040 and that number is estimated to increase to 1 to 3 million.  The number of York County traffic crashes reached a 13 year high in 2017 with 1,101 crashes.  And that’s not to mention the figures on potential submergence of roadways by 2045 due to projected sea level rise! 

The Williamsburg Area Transit Authority serves the Williamsburg area with some coverage into York County.  Ridership is increasing.  But is our area conducive to busses for daily commutes?

As York2040 continues to gather information before updating the county’s Comprehensive Plan, Charting the Course to 2040, the committee members are faced with this data and how to best address situations such as these in the comprehensive plan. 

What would you do?  What do you suggest?  Additional public transit including transfer hubs?  Incentives for businesses with carpooling initiatives?

Our phone line is up for your use.  Simply dial 890-DATA (3282) and leave a message with your comments and suggestions.  Please leave your name and address so that we can ensure you are a York County resident.  While we love to hear from our visitors and neighbors, this is York’s plan and we especially need to hear from our neighbors.

If you don’t want to leave a recorded message, please send us an email to planning@yorkcounty.gov

York2040 is making plans for public outreach and that means in person, face-to-face, chatting about the future of your county.  First up, Yorktown Market Days on April 27.  That happens to be the Pirates Invade Yorktown weekend and we will set up with tablets and a quick survey.  Give us your opinion and get some swag.  There’s a special treat for the kids in attendance!  So, please stop by, meeting the committee members and staff, and let us know what you think.  Thanks in advance and see you on April 27.

February 18, 2019
Walking and Biking - two very popular ways of getting around and also great for you!

by Gail Whittaker, York County Public Information Officer

Walking and biking – two very popular ways of getting around and also great for you!  Bike paths and sidewalks were the topic of conversation at the March 6 meeting of the Comprehensive Plan Review Steering Committee (or York2040 for short).  With presentations from York County staff as well as the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, the committee – as well as a few members of the community and newspaper reps – learned about what is already in place, what is funded, and what is proposed.

As our society moves toward environmentally-friendly activity, the call for bike paths and sidewalks increases.  And that’s not unique to York County.  Be sure to take a look at the presentation materials that were discussed at the meeting.

The County has hired SIR (Southeastern Institute of Research) to conduct a random telephone survey to gather public input.  This, along with an online survey, will help the York2040 committee to determine the direction in which the Comprehensive Plan could proceed.  If you receive a call, please take the five to ten minutes required to complete the survey.  You’ll be helping your community!  Also, once the survey is available online, be sure to visit this website to complete it.  Your opinion matters.

If you do not wish to complete the survey – or are not selected to receive a call – but have some ideas, please send an email to planning@yorkcounty.gov.  We are establishing a phone line where you can leave your input – 890-DATA (3282). 

If you haven’t already, please sign up to receive notices of website updates.  You’ll be the first to know when new meeting items are posted, a video is loaded onto the page, and even comments from your neighbors. 

February 1, 2019
Weigh Anchor and Set Sail for 2040
(The Comprehensive Plan Review process is underway)

by Gail Whittaker, York County Public Information Officer

Welcome to the Ship’s Blog – the official online journal of the Comprehensive Plan Review Steering Committee. As the members of the committee work to gather citizen input and review the draft plan – Charting the Course to 2040 – we will update this blog to keep you informed of where we are in the review process, what we’ve heard from the public about the vision for York County in the next 20 years, and the perspective of committee members regarding the importance of citizen participation.

Here’s a quick review of where we are….

The Comprehensive Plan Review Steering Committee was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 2018 and is made up of your neighbors!  In addition, for the first time, we have on the committee a member of the York County Youth Commission.  Jacob Rizzio is a sophomore at York High School and brings a young person’s perspective about the County and what people in his age group would like to have available.  This means that people Jacob’s age now will be in their late 30’s in the year 2040, and many that age will have a career and/or will be raising a family.  They will have searched for (or will be searching for) the right community in which to live.  What will lure them to York County?  Or, what will cause people to stay in York County?  Those are the questions we need help answering.

But, back to our review…

The committee met in November and December.  At both meetings, members received a presentation from staff about the plan review process and demographics in and around York County and the region.   Members shared a wide variety of perspectives and it was interesting to listen to what their experience brings to the table. 

One item that was clear….the committee definitely wants to hear from the public (aka YOU!) and ensure that a sound and functional draft plan is developed.  The committee will be discussing several outreach methods to use in gaining citizen opinion of York County in 2040.  So, be on the lookout for these outreach methods.  You may even receive a telephone survey.  If you do, don’t hang up!  Your opinion is extremely valuable and helps us determine the long-range plan for the development of the County.  Are you on Facebook?  We will be there, too.  Watch for videos updating you on the committee’s progress.  We may even post a poll or two. 

The Steering Committee’s next meeting is in February, so keep checking back for updated information.  In the meantime, thanks for visiting.