Welcome to the Beach - April 8, 9, & 10

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​​​​​​As another busy spring weekend approaches (April 8-10), our goal is the same as it is for all major events: to enable our visitors to enjoy their time in our city while making sure we are fully prepared to address issues such as crowds, traffic, safety and communication.  

Here's What Residents Need to Know

Virginia Beach welcomes all visitors. We get more than 15 million every year. Several contracted sporting tournaments and events, as well as college spring break activity similar to 2018 College Beach Weekend (estimated attendance 30,000+), will generate significant volume to our city with a heavy saturation within the resort area. 

While most of our visitors are well-behaved, the City and the Virginia Beach Police Department are stepping up communications to ensure there is no misunderstanding about our intent to maintain order and continue to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for all. 

Our goal is to provide our residents, businesses and visitors with the information and resources necessary to plan ahead. We expect everyone to adhere to the laws and ordinances, be respectful of our property and the people who live here. Rest assured, the City of Virginia Beach will utilize all available resources to maintain order and continue to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for all. 

Disorderly conduct, illegal weapons and assaults will be met with zero tolerance. Violators will be arrested. 

BEFORE THE WEEKEND

  • Plan for heavy traffic and potential road closures or traffic diversions from I-264 Friday, Saturday and Sunday night 
  • If you live near the oceanfront, plan trips early in the day and take local roads instead of the interstate  
  • Anyone hosting guests are encouraged to inform them in advance to expect delays and potential road closures getting to and from their final destination 

DURING THE WEEKEND

  • Did we mention heavy traffic? Plan accordingly.  
  • VBPD will have a strong presence in the area and monitor cameras located throughout the oceanfront
  • Maintaining access for emergency services (EMS, Fire and Police) to reach all neighborhoods is a priority  
  • Traffic Operations will work to minimize impacts of traffic in neighborhoods  
  • Parking lots will fill up early 
  • City crews will work quickly to empty trash receptacles and clean up the area  
  • We will use PublicInput.com for feedback from residents, business owners and visitors  

TRAFFIC

In anticipation of heavy traffic, and to accommodate the larger-than-normal crowds entering the resort area April 8-10, traffic on I-264 eastbound may be diverted at Parks Avenue and redirected westbound on I-264 as early as 7 p.m. on Friday, April 8; 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 9: and 5 p.m. Sunday, April 10, until traffic is flowing safely.  

During this traffic diversion, the eastbound exit for South Birdneck Road and the westbound exit for First Colonial Road would be closed. Other routes into the resort area would remain open.  

City Code 21-3 states: The City Manager shall have final authority over the management and direction of all vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the City and of the parking and routing of vehicles in the interest of the public safety, comfort and convenience, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter and Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia.  

Police will monitor traffic to ensure emergency vehicles can move quickly and safely respond to calls for service. 

For updates, please monitor:

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Only call 911 for true emergencies. Call 385-5000 for non-emergencies and 311 for City information. ​


FAQs

Q. What has the City been doing to evaluate this event?

A. We built this year’s plan based on revisions to operational plans from previous events, and meetings with stakeholders – college students, residents, business owners, community organizations, city employees, and representatives in other cities – that also attract spring break or beach weekend activities. We also closely monitored recent spring break activity in other coastal cities for lessons learned to ensure public safety.

Q. What is being done to make sure visitors and residents feel safe?

A: The most important thing is to provide a sense of safety and security. While Virginia Beach is the safest city of its size and the crime rate is the lowest it’s been since the 1960s, we know perceptions and reality can differ. That’s why we have robust safety plans and work with local neighborhoods and businesses to address safety concerns. Staffing is increased for these weekends and Police will have a zero tolerance policy for crimes that threaten the safety of our visitors and our community.

Q. Can the Police do something about the loud music and hanging out that goes on this weekend?

A. Asking people to turn down the volume usually works. Just so you know, Police try to gain voluntary compliance in many situations, like excessive noise, carrying an open container and impeding traffic. What Police absolutely will not tolerate – and will make arrests for – is disorderly conduct, illegal weapons and crimes against persons, like robbery or assault.  

Q. What activity is not allowed?

A. We DO NOT Allow:
• Consuming alcohol on public property, including beaches and sidewalks
• Underage drinking
• Use, possession or sale of illegal drugs
• Destruction of public or private property
• Urinating in public
• Sex in public

Arrests could result in jail time, court appearances and fines. They also could result in Code of Conduct inquiries from a college, university, or workplace.