An ode to Route 17 traffic lights
Published 7:29 pm Saturday, February 13, 2016
By Dr. William H. May
This past Sunday, a pretty day, I decided to take a ride,
To see my hospitalized daughter and my beautiful bride.
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As I left Crittenden and headed to Norfolk town,
I was astounded that there was not another car around.
It was a five-mile drive to the 164 expressway,
So I planned to enjoy the trip on this most peaceful day.
Over the Godwin Bridge, to Bennett’s Pasture Road,
The light was green – that’s against the Route 17 code.
I should have known better, as the light flipped to red,
So I sat and listened to a CD of the Grateful Dead.
The one car went through, and I thought to myself,
Now there is a row of seven cars, waiting on my left.
We went down the road another quarter of a mile,
Where Lee Farm Road met us with a big red-light smile.
I waited for a while, and then what did I see?
A line of 14 cars was now sitting behind me.
We made it to the strip shops; I thought we would be OK.
One car was turning from the center – now another delay.
At last, Shoulders Hill Road, where the light should be green.
But, alas, only the red was all that could be seen.
So we waited again, but I started to have some fear.
Now there were 26 cars sitting in idling gear.
Breezeport Way was next – one rarely has to stop there.
But of course the red light shone with a grinning glare.
Thirty-three vehicles were now sitting at the light.
Would I get to Sentara General before we hit the night?
At Plummer Boulevard, we stopped yet again to wait.
Now there were 39 vehicles that would be late.
As I drove down the expressway, I began to ask,
Why should we have to put up with such a task?
I know the city of Suffolk feels the costs are way too high,
But it seems such a waste that we just let it go by.
On a Sunday, 39 cars had to wait for six lights.
I hate to think of the commuters – both morning and nights.
Not only is the gas wasted – a considerable expense –
But the pollution it causes makes everyone tense.
For 25 years, I have made Suffolk my home,
And on this issue, I don’t think I stand alone.
On a four-lane roadway with a 45-miles-per-hour speed,
Delays causing expense and pollution we must heed.
If I am not the only one with these concerns to show,
Then call up the city, and please let them know.