NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A city task force is considering taking away lanes along Hampton Boulevard in hopes of making the road safer. It’s an idea that is sparking debate.
Last April there was a bad crash at Hampton Boulevard and Bolling Avenue involving a tractor-trailer.
Soon after that crash a task force was created with representatives from the City of Norfolk, ODU, the Navy and the Port to find a solution to the road’s safety and traffic issues.
The task force recently suggested reducing the number of lanes from three narrow lanes to two wide lanes could help reduce the number of accidents. The area is from the curve at Bolling Avenue to the bridge.
Some community members think it’s worth a shot.
“Maybe by widening the lane, slowing down the traffic, because it’s only two lanes and with the synchronization of the lights, maybe that’ll make a difference,” said Ann Hupp, a resident of the Larchmont community. “It’s a re-striping project. if it doesn’t work, re-stripe it.”
Others like Dawn Peters disagree. Peters started an online petition against the lane reduction idea ten days ago. So far it has almost 700 signatures.
“Well because the traffic just cannot handle it,” said Peters. “The morning traffic here is backed up to Larchmont and Old Dominion. What happens is frustrated drivers cut through the neighborhoods and they cut through Larchmont; they cut through my neighborhood thinking they’ll make up time and that’s where the kids are walking to school.”
Something everyone agrees on is the traffic and safety issues on Hampton Boulevard need to be solved.
“This is a major problem. This affects people from North Carolina, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach,” said Hupp. “It doesn’t matter who you are; if you’re trying to get to work and you’re an hour late because of traffic, that’s not good for anyone.”
Nothing has been officially decided. The task force wants the community’s input.