- City of Virginia Beach
- United States of America
Parking at Owl Creek Municipal Boat Ramp currently consists of approximately 66 spaces reserved exclusively for trailered vehicles and approximately 22 spaces open for individual vehicles without trailers. There are 3 handicap parking slots and one kayak/paddleboard load/offload slot.
Overflow parking is provided across General Booth Blvd, accessible at the light locate at the entrance to the Virginia Aquarium and another lot across General Booth Blvd accessible North of the Owl Creek boat ramp entrance.
Due to the growth and popularity of kayaking and kayak fishing, the Owl Creek facility has seen a large growth in usage. The Owl Creek, Rudee Inlet, and Lake Wesley waterways are wonderful locations to fish throughout the year. This area is also very popular with those participating in leisurely kayaking and paddle boarding.
Fishing in Virginia requires a license. A large amount of funds obtained through fishing licenses comes from the ever growing kayak fishing community. It is reported that a portion of these funds help to pay for creating, upgrading, and sustaining boat ramp facilities. We believe that safe and adequate parking should be provided to all citizens using Owl Creek Municipal Boat Ramp, much in the same way it is provided for those trailering their watercraft.
Limited spaces to park. The parking that is provided within the Owl Creek facility for vehicles without trailers is used by a large number of folks that transport their bikes to the location, park their vehicles, and then ride their bikes to the oceanfront. These spaces are also utilized by guests of boaters who tow their boats and utilize the boat ramps. Both of these situations dramatically limit the number of spaces available to those kayakers and others using the boat ramp.
Physical location of overflow lot.
Walking the distance to the overflow parking can be difficult for those using kayaks and paddle boards after several hours of physical exertion on the water. Extreme air and water temperatures play a part in this as well and can present safety concerns.
When using the overflow lot, each kayak or paddleboard is potentially left unattended at the launch area and theft of equipment is a concern.
The designated overflow lot entrance is across 4 lanes of General Booth Blvd. and northeast of the boat ramp. The distance required to walk is at least 1000 feet. This distance is required both before and after using the boat ramp.
Nighttime launches and recovery security concerns.
Many times kayakers launch or remain on the water past sunset and walking across General Booth Blvd. and down to the overflow lots can present security issues not only with traffic, but with potential robbery or assault.
Ticketing and potential towing of vehicles.
For reasons already stated, there are times that kayakers have parked in the trailer designated area and have been ticketed even if the lot was otherwise empty. The purpose of the designated trailer parking is ensure adequate trailer parking, not to punish anyone when the lot would otherwise be empty.
Rudee Inlet/Owl Creek is supported via Adopt A Stream by the Tidewater Kayak Angler's Association. Members and non members use this waterway frequently and want to have easy and safe access to this precious resource.
There are several possible remedies to the current inadequacies of safe parking for kayakers and other paddlers without trailers.
Designate specific spaces for kayak and paddle sport vehicles.
Increase the size of the non trailer parking lot to accommodate an addition number of vehicles. There is a lawn area that could possible be used to increase the lot size.
Increase security by locating paddle sport parking spaces in near proximity to the boat ramps.
Increase the number of non-trailer spaces to equal the number of trailer designated spaces.
Do not ticket or tow away vehicles parked in the trailer designated spots when the lot is otherwise not at capacity.
Allow multi vehicle parties to double park in a single trailer designated parking slot.
We respectfully request that the City of Virginia Beach remedy the current lack of adequate non trailer vehicle parking and overall security for kayak fishermen and other paddle sport enthusiasts utilizing the Owl Creek Municipal Boat ramp located at 117 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA.
The Owl Creek Parking petition to City of Virginia Beach was written by Tom VanderHeiden and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.