Letter – Bad location for a Wawa
Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
The fact that the Wawa Inc. convenience chain wants a store in Isle of Wight is good news. The company has an excellent reputation, produces a superior product and represents a windfall of revenue for the county.
However, the proposed store site will diminish public safety. I understand that Wawa Inc. marketing professionals like the proposed site since it gives the store excellent exposure. The problem is that the intersection at Benns Church Boulevard and Turner Drive is already a traffic choke point during nine months of the year. Everyone is “on the clock.” Students and teachers are attempting to turn onto Turner Drive while commuters are attempting to proceed through the intersection to get to their jobs in Greater Hampton Roads on time.
Those who have used a Wawa know that all of the customers in the store are in a rush. They all know that time in the store to catch the breakfast they missed at home is jeopardizing their ability to get to their jobs on time. In addition, building contractors arriving from Newport News or Norfolk will be attempting to cross the intersection to buy food before proceeding to one of the many housing developments approved by the county.
Now, engineers are attempting to develop a unique traffic pattern to minimize but not eliminate this looming traffic nightmare.
Certainly there must be some location in Isle of Wight that would be acceptable to Wawa that is not close to our schools.