by Aegious Perkins
Machiavelli once said “Tardiness often robs us of opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.” Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common occurrence for Norfolk State University students commuting to campus through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.
“It is kind of frustrating,” said NSU Junior Tiana Dillard. “When I am creating my schedule for the semester, I have to keep in mind that traffic incidents may hinder me from getting to my classes on time. I leave an hour early every day and, on most days, I’m still late for class.”
“I was stuck in traffic” is hardly ever an acceptable excuse for tardiness. Most instructors feel that students should manage their time well. Unquestionably 8-10 a.m., noon-to-2 p.m., and 3-7 p.m. are the times where the bridge tunnel traffic will be backed up during the work week commute.
Sometimes there is not even an accident that is holding up traffic.
“My classes usually end at 4, so when I get on the interstate I am automatically in bumper to bumper traffic,” said NSU commuter student Emily Mitchell. “And, by the time I get to the tunnel, I’m looking for an accident and there isn’t one.”
On a positive note, Virginia.gov says there is a project underway to expand the four lane bridge tunnel to six lanes. They hope that will improve safety by reducing congestion and improving vehicular level of service. This will indeed ensure that everyone, including the commuter students of Norfolk State University, can travel through the bridge tunnel smoothly.
On the other hand, commuters can probably look forward to even worse congestion during the construction. Hopefully, it won’t take so long that Hampton Roads out grows the six lanes before they are available to commuters.