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letterstotheeditor


Sugarwood resident offers rebuttal

Having just read the Sept. 22 edition of the farragutpress, I find it unfortunate to see Weigel’s and former Farragut Mayor Bob Leonard resorting to the desperate tactic of trying to attack the credibility of those that oppose them. It is even more unfortunate that former Farragut Mayor Bob Leonard does not verify the accuracy of his statements, which he bases on information being leaked to him by persons that seek to further their own personal agendas. But such is the nature of politics and business. I would think a more appropriate focus would be for them to address the safety concerns that form the basis of the opposition to the expansion of their antiquated facility on the corner of Kingston Pike and Smith Road. It is these concerns that I wish to focus on.

To begin with, this “opposition” is not addressed at the Weigel’s facility itself. The building that is there now is considered an eyesore by many and responsible improvements would be considered a welcome change. Many question the need for a 16 pump fueling station, as this is far larger than any other station except what you would find next to I-40.

Weigel’s has employed Barbara Hatcher, a certified traffic engineer (with Site, Inc.) to do their traffic studies for this project. Based on the information provided at the Weigel’s/Sugarwood meeting, she has estimated that a Weigel’s with 16 fueling positions will generate around 8,682 trips per day. Typically 80 percent of that traffic is already on the street system, which would be more than 6,400 cars. Of that, it is estimated that more than 3,000 vehicles will be entering and exiting the Weigel’s facility!

That represents a significant increase in traffic on the corner of Kingston Pike and Smith Road! The “opposition” knows that commercial development along this section of Kingston Pike is inevitable but our interest is to ensure that adequate safeguards are implemented to maximize the safety aspects of ingress and egress onto Kingston Pike and Smith Road. These concerns have been addressed with Weigel’s and before the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission with limited success.

The current recommendations of the “opposition” are as follows:

• Align the Smith Road access directly across from the Walgreen’s access. This action is currently recommended by Farragut. While it does create some engineering challenges and expense, it is achievable. This would permit a longer section of Smith Road (southbound) to serve as a stacking lane for those waiting to turn onto Kingston Pike.

• Prohibit left turns out of the Weigel’s access directly across from Sugarwood Drive. This action would minimize the possibility of Weigel’s customers using the center turn lane (which is a designated left turn lane onto Sugarwood Drive) as a safety lane to merge eastbound. This would reduce the probability of a head-on collision at that intersection.

 

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