VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – It’s the time of year when the streets surrounding area beaches become congested with many beachgoers.
In Sandbridge, residents are concerned about safety on some side streets where visitors coming for the day are now allowed to park.
“We moved to Sandbridge because we love the beach like everybody else, but it’s a residential neighborhood,” said Marsha Krieghauser. “And our main concern as residential homeowners who live here all the time is safety.”
Krieghauser described an incident last year where someone needed medical attention and traffic impeded with medical crews getting to the patient.
“We can’t get ambulances in here adequately in time to help. I had someone come up to my door who was having a heart attack - chest pain, arm pain. I happen to be a cardiac nurse, and I said, ‘Let me help you.’ I called 911. It took 20 minutes to get the cars out of the street,” described Krieghauser.
She hopes the city will build an additional parking lot.
“It’s a complicated problem, and I think the city and the residential people need to come together.”
Just off Sandpiper Road and Chubb Lane, Trey Whitworth is also concerned about safety and hopes the city will make a change.
“There’s just not enough room for two cars to be coming in different directions and pass each other. So, they basically meet head-to-head, and then one car has to reverse down the street,” described Whitworth.
He added that sometimes visitors going to the beach for the day also park too close to the stop sign and create a hazard for those who can’t see around the cars. He said it poses a serious threat to pedestrians.
“You have families walking up and down the street. All of it combined creates a very dangerous situation that we’d love to come up with a solution for - whether it be removing the parking or creating a one-way street,” Whitworth stated.
Meanwhile, the city has implemented changes at the public parking lots.
The parking lot at Little Island Park and the lot just past the Sandbridge Market on Sandpiper now have kiosks where visitors pay a flat rate of $5 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A representative for the Parking Management Office for the City of Virginia Beach said it should help alleviate long lines that can form, especially on the weekends, since drivers no longer have to stop and pay at the entrance.
The representative added that visitors can also leave and return on the same day without having to pay again. That was not the case in the past. Visitors should be prepared to pay with a credit card or through their phone with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
According to a parking attendant as well as new signage, Virginia Beach residents can show their driver’s license to an attendant to receive a discount, making the total price of $3.30. The plan is to still have an attendant at the corner lot at Sandbridge Road and Sandpiper Road as well as Little Island during the transition to a more automated system.
For more information and to purchase a seasonal parking pass, click here.