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FBMA OKs Turkey Creek speed sign

The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to increase signage at the intersection of Turkey Creek Road and Red Mill Lane after discussing the results of the Turkey Creek Road Speed Study and Sight Distance at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, Dec. 9.

The Board voted unanimously (4-0) to install an automated, illuminated “vehicles entering roadway” sign for westbound Turkey Creek Road motorists as they approach Red Mill Lane, even though Darryl Smith, town engineer, did not find it necessary in the study.

“On Turkey Creek approaching Red Mill Lane we found an eighty-fifth percentile speed of forty-six mph in a forty mph zone. I do not consider this to be a significant speeding problem,” Smith said. “We also measured the sight distance at Red Mill, and found an estimated four hundred-fifty feet, which is adequate. Because of the topography and a retaining wall to the east, people tend to pull up closer from Red Mill to the intersection before stopping, which gives a more realistic sight distance of roughly five hundred fifty feet.”

Smith told the Board a sign could be considered, which would cost about $7,000, “but my belief at this time is it is adequately signed, and I would want you to take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to do the sign.”

Capt. Ben Harkins, of the Knox County Sheriff’s office, said, “I use that road almost daily, and I do believe there is adequate sight distance to make the turn from Red Mill. It’s not a serious problem if you look both ways.”

The mayor said, “Randy Stevens and his wife asked us to look at the intersection after her son, his stepson, was killed. I would rather err on the side of being overly cautious in installing a warning sign.”

Vice Mayor Mike Haynes added, “It probably is technically adequate, but if a sign saves one person, it would be worth it.”

Smith said, “The other area we looked at [in the study] was around the west entrance to Anchor Park, where the eighty-fifth percentile speed is about fifty-two mph.

“This is a more significant speeding problem that requires greater enforcement,” he said.

The sheriff’s department did set up a period of traffic enforcement on Turkey Creek after the tragedy, but did not find significant speeding problems from the radar, Harkins said. “We only issued six citations in several days. We patrolled for several days after school, from late afternoon to early evening.” He added, “We do have plans in the near future to monitor traffic in the morning.”

Sgt. Roger Sexton, KCSD traffic division, said, “Our experience in monitoring Turkey Creek was similar to Smith’s report. We didn’t find any cars speeding at the Red Mill intersection. We issued the citations when we moved closer to the park.” He added, “the speeds were between fifty to fifty-five mph.”

The mayor decided to have an open forum the first meeting of each quarter to discuss speeding problems in the town. Harkins agreed to attend the meetings.

The annual Comprehensive Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30 was presented to the Board. The independent auditor’s report, conducted by Ingram, Overholt, & Bean, P.C., found the financial statements in the report “to end in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted by the United States of America.” Auditor Bob Bean said, “In layman’s terms, it was a clean audit report with no qualifications or exceptions. It was a smooth audit.”

Ford said, “the town is in great financial shape and debt-free.”

In the mayor’s report, Haynes congratulated Ford on his election to the National League of Cities Board of Directors for

a two-year term recently

at the national meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. Ford said, “It is indeed an honor to represent the town of Farragut and the state of Tennessee.”


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