WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With new construction, new students, and new traffic patterns, getting anywhere downtown is harder than ever. Downtown Wilmington is packed with people on both roads and sidewalks, all in a hurry to get where they need to go. The corner of Front Street and Red Cross is especially busy because it’s smack in the middle of the Cape Fear campus.
"When there's a lot of people out on the sidewalk it's a little bit of an issue with all the traffic getting backed up and everybody looking for a parking space at the same time,” said CFCC junior Dominic Cambese.
Students are trying to get to class while commuters are trying to drive through campus and not hit anybody. It all makes for a potentially dangerous four-way stop intersection.
“There will be minor accidents I'll say. A lot of that is contributed to people being in a rush,” Wilmington Police Cpl. Myron Irving said. “A lot of students wait until the last minute and report to class. If they would just leave a few minutes early and leave themselves a little bit of time to get where they need to go and if people just paid attention as pedestrians enter the cross walks, I think we'll be able to get along without having any of these minor collisions."
Cape Fear Community College says it knows the traffic and pedestrians are a problem. They hope some of the issues will be resolved once the new parking deck on 3rd Street is finished later this year.
"The students will not have to walk on heavily traveled road to get to class,” CFCC representative David Hardin said. “They will actually be parking in the parking deck which is on campus, walking actually on campus property to get to their classroom. So, we hope to move most of those students off the city streets when that deck is completed."
When the new buildings are done, CFCC says the center of campus will shift which will hopefully change the traffic patterns as well. Meanwhile, the City of Wilmington says it does not have plans to change the traffic patterns or signs. So, it looks like the only solution seems to be to leave earlier, take your time, and watch out for the other guy.
CFCC says it has resources available for students to making parking on campus easier. They say it is as simple as following “CFCC Parking” on Twitter for the most up to date information on where to park.