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Andover stop signs approved

The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen entertained a motion to place a stop sign at the intersection of Andover Boulevard and Smith Road at its Thursday, Aug. 23, meeting at Town Hall.

Following discussion on the merits of shaving down the road versus adding the stop signs at the intersection, the Board unanimously approved placing the signs.

Mark Sadlowe, president of the Andover Place Homeowners Association, spoke in regard to the limited sight distance at the intersection.

“In April I came to talk to the Board about the limited sight distance [at the intersection]. There was a lot of construction going on at the time, and Mayor W. Edward “Eddy] Ford [III] asked me to come back in a few months and report to you then,” Sadlowe said. “Now that construction is finished and we are in normal operation, we definitely have a limited sight distance situation.”

Sadlowe added, “If everyone drove 25 miles per hour we would probably be able to live with that, but unfortunately, that is not the case.”

Town engineer Darryl Smith said, “Several months ago, it was pointed out that staff might want to take another look at the crest on the east side of Andover Boulevard. We measured the sight distance, and at the time it was reasonable given the speed limit and what was felt was the 85th percentile speed out there.

“It was pointed out not long ago that the construction on the Smith Road sidewalk limited the sight distance a little more. We have gone back out there and re-measured the sight distance, and it is a little more limited by the fact that the sidewalk is there.”

Smith added that he was hesitant to put a stop sign in that location because the manual on uniform traffic control devices is very clear that stop signs should not be installed where they are not warranted.

“Unwarranted stop signs provide a sense of security to motorists on minor streets that oncoming traffic is going to stop. The problem is, if the sign is not warranted, they often become rolling stops for motorists on the major street and occasionally, they are ignored altogether. This creates a big conflict,” he said.

Sadlowe pointed out, “If you are driving a small car, you cannot see another small car coming. I drive a Buick LeSabre, and I have to see who goes behind the hill and note the color of the car to see them come out before I pull out.”

He added that people driving larger vehicles have problems as well if they are shorter and sit lower in the seat.

“We took a survey in Andover Place and the overwhelming majority of people who responded were in favor of having a stop sign.

“There is a problem there, it is a fact. We would like to see a three-way stop put there to help control that situation,” Sadlowe said.

Vice Mayor Mike Haynes asked Smith if the stop sign was the safest route, or if there was an engineering approach that might be safer.

Smith stated that the only other option would be to cut back the crest on the east side of Andover Boulevard and that the idea was not proposed during the construction of the Smith Road sidewalk because the project was already “way over the proposed budget.

“My feeling is that the stop sign there might be a safer condition than the blind spot in its present form. I am not particularly happy with that, but at such time that we extend the Smith Road sidewalk, I will recommend that we carve that down and do it correctly,” he said.


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