Parking deck entrance and traffic patterns changing while Children’s Lane will be extendedNorfolk, VA (June 2011)– A surface parking lot at the Eastern Virginia Medical Center will be converted to green space during a traffic improvement project on the campus, which is shared by Eastern Virginia Medical School, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.
By late summer, the parking lot will become a 2.4 acre expanse of lush grass bordered by trees and laced with pleasant sidewalks.
As part of the traffic pattern changes, the entrance to the visitors’ parking garage, which currently faces Sentara Norfolk General on the west side of the structure, is being relocated to Wagner Road on the east side, facing Colley Avenue.
“Our three institutions and the City of Norfolk are working together to create a more people-friendly campus,” says Mark Babashanian, Vice President for Administration and Finance at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “We think the new green space and the changes to traffic flow will create a more pleasant environment for motorists and pedestrians.
City of Norfolk Public Works is funding traffic improvements
EVMS is serving as project manager for the road work, using $2.2 million in design and construction funds provided by the City of Norfolk. “These are public streets inside the perimeter of a medical campus,” notes Chris Chambers, design engineer for the City of Norfolk Public Works Division. “Letting them manage the work creates a more cohesive project that meets their specific needs."
The planned traffic pattern changes include:
- Extend Children’s Lane one block south between Olney Road and Fairfax Avenue along the west side of the parking garage.
- Change one-way patterns on Fairfax Avenue and Wagner Road to two-way.
- Change the intersection of Olney Road and Fairfax Avenue in front of EVMS’s Hofheimer Hall to a ‘T.’
- Add a left-turn lane from northbound Colley Avenue onto westbound Fairfax.
- Locate handicapped parking on Olney Road directly in front of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and CHKD, improving access for persons with disabilities.
Three institutions to share green space
The new expanse of grass and trees was conceived and encouraged by Sentara Healthcare CEO David Bernd. “It’s a very urban campus,” Bernd says. “With EVMS, CHKD and Sentara Norfolk General all facing each other, I thought a pleasant green space in the middle of the campus would be a great benefit for hospital patients and their families.”
The grassy space is just a beginning. Other amenities are planned later, including a fountain, a labyrinth for contemplative walking and additional landscaping.
In addition, a large green space in front of EVMS’s new education and research building facing Children’s Lane will further add to the ‘college campus’ atmosphere.
Medical Center Planning Board approved the campus project
The Medical Center Planning Board, a consortium that manages the medical campus, approved the traffic plan and submitted it to the City of Norfolk for funding. The board includes of the top executives of all three institutions and other appointed representatives.
“These traffic and green space projects are a testament to our three institutions using the various parcels of land we own for the common good,” Mark Babashanian concludes. “The result will be a campus that looks much nicer and works much better for everyone who uses it.”
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