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Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012

As Suffolk’s Baby Boomers enter their golden years, the need for services directed at them will continue to increase. That’s one of the main reasons behind the explosion of businesses in the health care field in both North Suffolk and the downtown area. And it’s one of the reasons that developers are looking to build a Walgreens pharmacy by the McDonald’s restaurant at the corner of Constance and Main streets.

But not every location in Suffolk lends itself to retail development, no matter how well that development might fill a need. A new West Constance Road pharmacy would give senior citizens and others in the southern part of the city another option for filling their prescriptions and picking up sundries, but it could cause a variety of problems in that area that would counteract any potential benefits.

Anyone who has tried to get to Pruden Boulevard from the downtown area or vice-versa during a half-hour lunch break on a Friday will be familiar with the traffic problems endemic to that area. The intersection at Constance and North Main is one of the busiest in Suffolk, if not the busiest. For anyone attempting to leave the parking lot at McDonald’s headed east on Constance or south on Main Street, the wait for a break in traffic can seem interminable.

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Adding another exit into the street between the McDonald’s and the Super 8 Motel would cause traffic to snarl even worse than it does currently, especially if the exit were configured to allow people to attempt to cut across the lanes on North Main Street to get to the turn lane headed east on Constance.

The flooding that has become an all-too-regular feature of life in the Kimberly area would only add to the traffic misery there.

Suffolk’s Planning Commission was right this week to table consideration of a rezoning request for the new Walgreens. Unless engineers can devise a solution that eliminates exits from the business onto North Main Street, the next time planners consider the request, they should withhold their blessing.

There are other properties around the downtown area that are far more suitable for this needed new business.