New Project Threatens to Ramp Up Congestion on Norfolk’s Northampton Boulevard
Backups and congestion can be a way of life in Hampton Roads and the problems on Northampton Boulevard in Norfolk are likely to get far worse.
At least that’s according to an article in the Virginian-Pilot that describes how the city and the developer Simon Property Group Inc., are working up a proposal to bring an outlet mall to the former Lake Wright Golf Course. The article referred to a road the company says it will build to the mall to link it with Northampton.
Concerns that the proposal will exacerbate traffic congestion are contained in a traffic study published in May 2014. As Norfolk-based car accident lawyers we are well aware of the fact congestion can make drivers more impatient and increase the numbers of accidents. Congested links such as Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels and parts of I-264 see numerous accidents.
In the case of Northampton Boulevard, the Pilot noted Simon had wanted to build an access road midway between Wesleyan Drive and Burton Station Road on Northampton. A private consulting firm produced a study that showed that the road would lessen the impact of increased traffic along the corridor in many cases.
However, Virginia Beach City Council voted down that proposal, meaning the new development could double the length of time it takes to drive the stretch of Northampton Boulevard between the Interstate and Diamond Springs Road. Now the developer will be forced to extend Wesleyan Drive on the Norfolk side, raising the prospect of more congestion.
Hampton Roads Transit’s most recent congestion alleviation report from last October, listed this stretch of road as the third most congested area in the region. The Midtown Tunnel between Portsmouth and Norfolk was the most congested highway.
In 2011 the AAA examined the relationship between crashes and congestion. It stated In the 99 urbanized areas that were studied in the United States, the total cost of crashes, involving 16,032 fatalities and 1,613,236 injuries, was a staggering $299.5 billion.
However, academic studies don’t make a conclusive case for a relationship between increased congestion and more accidents. A study in Chicago found that on about half the streets studied the accidents increased with traffic volume, but on the other half they did not. A study on the Lodge Freeway in Detroit showed that rear end crashes increased with a rise in the volume of traffic.
If you have been injured in a car crash due to the fault of another driver, you should call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.