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Mayor, Board ponder traffic signal for Cracker Barrel

The subject of a traffic signal at the intersection of Campbell Station Road and Campbell Lakes Drive highlighted the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Thursday, Aug. 9.

Todd Spoon, a Corryton resident, represented Cracker Barrel restaurant, and Jack Moore, spoke on behalf of Baymont Inn, both Campbell Lakes Drive businesses, during the Citizens’ Forum.

“I’m here on behalf of the Cracker Barrel restaurant on Campbell Station Drive,” Spoon said. “With the addition of the new Wild Wings restaurant behind us, which seats three or four hundred people, and our agenda of about 1,200 guests a day, along with Mr. Moore’s hotel behind us — he has 105, 110 rooms on a daily basis — and all the smaller businesses beside us, the traffic on that small inland road, that Campbell Lakes Drive, is increasing everyday.

“A lot of our guests, they come from the Farragut side, which means they come down Campbell Station and make a right into our building. When they leave they try to make a left. I am not very versed at how many accidents have occurred at that exact juncture there, but directly across from us they are now adding a new strip mall that is going to add, I guess, four or five businesses to that area. That’s going to increase the traffic flow there even more.

“The big concern that we’re having is that a lot of our guests are 55[-years-old] and older and when they go to that stop and make that left turn, it is almost impossible to see a car until it’s within about 75-feet of you with that turn. Now, they have moved that wall back somewhat, moved that visibility back somewhat.”

Spoon added that a big concern is that traffic is going faster than the speed limit allows from Campbell Lakes Drive to the Interstate.

“My thing is that we go up on Turkey Creek [Parkside Drive] and we’re adding all kinds of new businesses up through there and we have red lights at stop places there that there is not a building. The business that are already there and are fortifying our tax base, that are already there, don’t have a red light. My concern is not only that someone is going to get injured there, when they pull out of that parking space, but how much tax dollars do we lose by guests not stopping into our restaurant, or to [Moore’s] hotel or to the restaurant behind us or the businesses that are there because it’s a hard in-and-out?

Spoon did recognize that developers had created an alternate exit onto Parkside Drive at the other end of Campbell Lakes Boulevard, but claimed that he was not allowed to put up any directional signage indicating egress was available.

“It’s a no-win situation for us as a business,” he said.

Darryl Smith, Town engineer, said that he had met with Spoon at the Baymont Inn and discussed Town procedure for placement of traffic lights.

“We would come out and perform an intersection count, looking at the counts on minor streets,” Smith said. “If the counts are high enough, that it approaches meeting warrants, then we would have a warrant analysis performed by a consultant to come out and do a full count — a 12-hour count — and if it meets warrants at that point we would recommend a signal be placed.

Smith added that the Town did a count resulting in a maximum of 34 vehicles in two hours.

That, at that point, is far from meeting warrants,” Smith said.

Smith concurred traffic is growing at the site everyday and more and more people will be cutting through there … “I feel that it will probably meet warrants at some point. Is that two weeks from today or a year from today? Maybe six months, at that point we would recommend a signal be placed there. Right now I cannot even recommend a warrant analysis be done based on the numbers that we got. We will keep an eye on it.

Smith said Town staff was at the intersection three days — morning and midday — making its count.

Ruth Hawk, Town community development director, said, “With regards to adding signage to encourage traffic to go left, we would consider that a regulatory sign and I think that would be a good interim measure to take because if you’re local you may not realize that Lakesedge Drive has been completed and that’s a great alternative.

Hawk added that the Town had required the completion of Lakesedge Drive because of the problem with left turns from Campbell Lakes Drive onto Campbell Station Road to give people an alternative. Regulatory or directional signage would be a good thing to pursue at this time.

Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III said, “Members of the Board, Mr. Spoon, I’m going to go out on limb here. I am a frequent customer of Cracker Barrel, let me tell you I deeply appreciate you being in our community. Members of the Board, I’d like to take the inititive of proposing that we put this on our agenda one month from now, in other words, the first meeting in September, with the objective of addressing whether or not, yes or no, the time has come to put a traffic signal at the intersection he is proposing. I fully believe that now is the time. We’ve made two trys at cutting down that bank and we realize what the situation is. As you said, that is a major business in the town of Farragut and it draws tremendous traffic off the Interstate and these folks don’t understand our signage and they’re coming, they’re probably one-time shots at your restaurant. And us locals that come there, I’ve learned to go round the back way.

The Board agreed to put the item on the agenda.

In other business, Town administrator Dan Olson discussed a list of 54 projects that Town staff would be involved over the next months.

Adding to the list, Alderman Thomas Rosseel requested, and the Board approved, seven additional items to the list.

1. Develop and adopt a policy to address the issue of blighted commercial and residential properties.

2. Review the Town’s Urban Growth Boundary and propose changes as necessary.

3. Evaluate and implement as appropriate traffic calming for Grigsby Chapel Road.

4. Review the Traffic Management Program for possible simplification and modification.

5. Review and evaluate possible Traffic Calming measures for collectors and arterials.

6. Evaluate the need for and appoint, if appropriate, a town of Farragut liaison with the Knox County School Board.

7. Charter a Farragut Economic Development Board.

The Board also approved a request for a variance from the Farragut Municipal Code, Title 16, Chapter 4, Driveways and Other Access Ways, Section 16-406. (1)(a) Distance from intersections, and (1)(b) Distance between driveways, for access to Kingston Pike to 12828 Kingston Pike, the site of the old Ott’s BBQ, Zoned C-1 (Ott’s BarBQ, LLC, Applicant)

Under New Business, the Board approved traffic calming measures on Clover Fork Drive (Clover Fork Traffic Team, Applicant) and also a request for variance from the Farragut Municipal Code, Title 16, Chapter 4, Driveways and Other Access Ways, Section 16-406, (2)(a) Number of Access Points, for two driveways at 826 Loop Road, Zoned R-1 (William & June Lindsey, Applicants).


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