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presstalk 671-TALK

I agree with your caller in presstalk (recently) regarding the dangers of driving on Virtue Road. With the recent tragic loss of the young womanís life on Virtue, I couldnít help but notice these past few weeks how fast the cars travel on this road ó at least 45 to 60 mph. Iím especially concerned with the sidewalks so close on the east side of Virtue. This sidewalk is within 6- to 24-inches of Virtue Road with no curb and gutter. Anyone walking this road is in grave danger of getting hit by a car. Is anything going to be done to improve this road? There has been so much death on roads in Farragut over the past couple of years. It just really upsets me. Letís not have another one.

ē I am calling about the lack of attention to retail businesses in Farragut. It seems to me that the town of Farragut is making a serious mistake by not developing sales of retail businesses in the area of Turkey Creek rather than let Knoxville do all of it. Weíre dependent almost entirely, locally, on sales tax. Yet weíre seeing stores close and so forth. I think that this needs to be taken into account by the voters when they go to the polls next month. We should be electing people in Farragut who will not only preserve the quality of development in Farragut, but also look after a revenue stream and try to open up some of these buildings that are closing.

ē Iím calling about somebody who called into presstalk about (Farragut Mayor) Eddy Ford selling his property. If he wants to sell it, let him sell it. Itís his business. They (mayor and his wife, Linda Ford) have no children, they have no one to leave their property to. They canít take it with íem. Let them enjoy the benefits while theyíre still here.

ē I am calling about the trees along Virtue Road that theyíre discussing removing. I walk on that road quite often when I walk and the trees being removed is not the problem. I see it as being the elevation of the road is whatís causing the accidents. So before they cut down all the trees, they need to have an engineer inspecting the roadís elevation because I watch those cars come flying by there all the time. And between the speed and elevation, I feel like thatís the problem.

ē Iím calling on the Virtue Road situation. From the picture in the paper (through the lens, Feb. 17) it looks like youíve got reverse super-elevation at that point. That road needs to be reconstructed to provide the proper super-elevation, which would be the reverse of what you have. Itís causing the driver to lose control, so itís definitely an engineering problem.

ē Iím calling about the trees on Virtue Road, the possibility of removing them on the curve. It seems to me that the problem is that people are not observing the speed limit on the curve, and I donít think that the tree removal is a good idea. Unfortunately, it may be unsightly, but it might be a better idea just to put a guard rail along that curve since people donít seem to be able to slow down and there are a lot of people hitting the trees. We had the same thing in an area that I lived in south Georgia, where the trees were very, very close to the road. The answer was not in taking trees down, it was in people observing the speed limit and that area was monitored a little closer by the police. I still think that, as unsightly as it is, the guard rail would be a very good idea rather than taking trees down.

ē I just finished reading about the Virtue Road design safety question, and I noticed that the three folks that were mentioned having accidents ó all three of them were teenagers. And, at the time, all three of them were driving in the rain. Iím just wondering if itís being taught in driverís education, or if these kids have taken driverís education? (Taught) that even though there is a speed limit posted, that you donít observe that in the rain. Youíre supposed to slow down. Possibly, if this was reinforced with teenagers, there would be less teen driving accidents. These kids donít have the ability to control a car yet ó and they are young ó so maybe if this was drilled into them that even if thereís a speed limit, when itís raining you slow down, especially in a curvy area. Also, it might be a good idea to put up a guard rail in that area. Why take down beautiful trees? Thatís a very pretty, pastoral curve. But it does need to be observed, and especially in inclement weather. Kids need to slow down, and they need to be taught to slow down.

ē Iím calling about the school uniforms. I think that itís a good idea for the kids to have some sort of standardized clothing that they should wear. I know that in some areas, uniforms, per se, arenít being bought, but there are guidelines of the different clothes where they could have different colored khaki shorts or slacks and certain types of tops like the golf shirts, but only certain ones. Parents that complain that they would be expensive to buy need to realize that theyíre buying school clothes anyway, so the idea of uniforms or standardized clothes to buy for their children would probably work out very well. And I agree with that very much.

ē The person that called in complaining about bicycles on Turkey Creek might want to review the Tennessee Department of Safety laws. Bikes have just as many rights as motorists do on Tennessee roads. As a biker on this road, I would say that all my fellow bikers try to stay on the side out of peopleís way and wave people past; and perhaps the (caller) might want to slow down and take life a little easier. I donít know why everyone has to be in the kind of hurry they are out in West Knoxville anyway. Thank you for keeping your eyes out for cyclists.

ē A caller in the Feb. 10 presstalk asked about the bridge at Turkey Creek and Virtue Road. People need to know that Mayor (Eddy) Ford and the Farragut (Municipal Planning Commis-sion) granted a variance to Shaad Development so they would not have to improve this bridge for the new Sheffield Subdivision on the old Galbraith Farm. The townís ordinance required this improvement, and it is very much needed. The Shaads are one of the wealthiest families in Knox County, yet the mayor and (F)MPC gave them this gift. This town has a problem with priorities. Time and time again we see that the convenience of people that do not live in Farragut takes precedence over the safety of Farragut residents. If Farragut elects a new mayor, we will also have a new (F)MPC. It is time for a change. The safety of the people that live in Farragut should be the first priority.

ē To the reader that made a comment about bicyclists; by the way, the rules say that you share the road with bicyclists.

ē I live on Turkey Creek Road and have been for the last five years. Iíd like to comment on the accidents that have been on Virtue Road and several others. It seems to me that it would be not as big a problem as people make it out to be if the people drove the speed limit. I drive the speed limit regularly and am always tailgated. Obviously, itís a tragedy that teenagers have lost their life on the road; however, Iíve negotiated the road on several occasions at the speed limit, in the rain, and there seems to be no problem at all. As a retired auto engineer, I recommend that everyone wear their seatbelt at all times, and it would be virtually impossible to lose your life on Virtue Road regardless of impacting a tree, if you drove the speed limit.

ē Iím calling in regards to the Virtue Road accidents. My son was involved in an accident January of 2004. His car was completely totaled, wrapped around a tree. Thank God that he was OK, but I just wanted to report that accident. I think that guardrails should be put on there, on the road; remove some trees.

ē Iíve just read your (through the lens) regarding Virtue Road, and I canít believe that they are actually going to cut down those trees. Iíve been driving on Virtue Road numerous times a day for the past seven years, and I have yet to have one of these trees jump out in front of me the way they seem to with these teenagers. These deaths and accidents are teenagers who are just driving too fast. Come on parents, stop trying to find someone else or something else to blame for your childís actions. Maybe the parents should be blaming themselves for not monitoring their childrenís ability to drive before turning them loose with a car. I would like to think these parents would rather hit the trees that are decorated with flowers and bows to remind the other kids to slow the (heck) down. I guess it just makes everyone feel better to be able to blame someone else or something else ó certainly not their child. And come on, do you really believe that (drivers) were driving 35 mph and lost control (from Feb. 17 page one story)? See what I mean.

ē On commenting on your Feb. 17 issue (page one story) ďVirtue Road design, safety (questioned),Ē as well as through the lens, not once did I see any responsible journalism discussing the possibility that maybe it was youthful, inexperienced drivers and putting the responsibility on them as opposed to putting the responsibility on the road design or the city or the golf course or things external to the people that actually caused the accidents. Of course, their loses are tragic, but they were also responsible. I wish journalism would be.

ē This is an answer to through the lens (Feb. 17) about the traffic accident-prone roads that are in Farragut. Old Stage, Virtue and Turkey Creek ó Turkey Creek up to Brixwood; McFee to the railroad; Northshore from Pellissippi all the way down Northshore to Harvey Road. It just seems like the roads in Knoxville and Farragut are user-unfriendly and they are usually winding, narrow, there are no shoulders. The sides drop off into ditches, and itís almost like we dare you to live, which is really pretty scary. And on top of all that is the litter that are on all these roads that is really scary. And Iím talking big pieces of metal; and if someone actually does go off the road, chances (are of) something going through your windshield and killing you that may not even be a tree. There needs to be more traffic signals. It seems like weíre putting in a new road, for what reason the people Iíve talked to we donít have a clue. And no traffic signals are being put up at Concord and different places that need it. And the speed limits, the people run through stop signs all the time out of neighborhoods, in neighborhoods. We just need a re-thinking. ... We need to start getting smart behind the wheel.

ē Regarding uniforms in public schools, I say absolutely no. As for the lady who sends her kids to a school where they wear uniforms, good for you. I pay my taxes and donít want to have to pay for forced clothing. And the solution is quite simple: The public schools have rules regarding proper attire. Hereís the problem: The principal and his staff are not enforcing the rules. Why doesnít Mr. (Michael) Reynolds, the principal at (Farragut High School) and his staff start enforcing the rules? Yank that guy or that girl from the crowd, march them to the office and call their parents, guardian or whomever let that child out of the house in that inappropriate attire. I will not pay for uniforms ó just enforce the rules. Just like weaning a baby off of the bottle to a cup, it takes a lot of time. The baby will not be happy but the ones in charge have to hang in there and be consistent. You cannot break down, and thatís whatís happened here. All we have are very weak principals and staff, and these students are making them look like fools being able to break the rules day in and day out. Looks like thatís what happened here. It may take two to three times of sending these students home ó obviously we have to break a habit here; or having their parents embarrassed at work by having to explain why they have to leave an important meeting because their kid canít follow the rules and dress themselves in a decent outfit. But soon, after being consistent, theyíll get the message. And if theyíre really dense, how about suspending that student? Then, while theyíre home, they can go shopping for the appropriate clothing required for them to return to continue with their schooling. Thatís the whole goal here, isnít it? And you donít have to wait until the next semester or the beginning of the next year. How about on Monday (Feb. 28)? Mr. Reynolds, you donít need a vote or hold a big meeting to discuss this. Just a memo to the staff and start enforcing the dress code. No one should be surprised or state they didnít know the rules. They should have signed a form stating they read the rules and regulation of whatís required of each and every one of them ... Why donít you start, letís say, Monday, Feb. 28, fresh and early? I say letís start now before spring and summer comes, when theyíll be wearing even less clothing.

ē Once again it is another teen (who is) injured and another loses her life on Virtue Road? Family and friends and other concerned citizens try to shift the probable fall and blame of these tragic events to the shoulders of someone or something else easier to blame. Statistics show that speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths across our country. I have traveled Virtue Road daily for five years and have come up on three separate accidents three-quarters of a mile further south. In each case the vehicle was driving too fast, lost control on the curve and flipped their vehicle. The posted speed of 30 mph is seen as, as soon as you turn onto Virtue Road it is posted as such as to navigate the road safely and under optimal driving conditions. Should we also post a sign saying ďto drive with caution if raining, to drive with caution if snowing?Ē Of course not. But someone wants you to believe that since it doesnít it is OK to drive at least 30 mph even if it is raining or snowing. Itís our responsibility, the drivers, to use better judgement when less than optimal driving conditions are present.


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