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Traffic study complete

A traffic operations study of Grigsby Chapel/Smith Road yielded key recommendations and other conclusions as presented to Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioner at its Thursday, Feb. 21, meeting in Town Hall.

Among the recommendations from Cannon & Cannon, Inc., Knoxville, the engineering firm conducting the study:

• town should not plan major changes for the roads until a traffic signal is installed at the Kingston Pike-Everett Road intersection. “Fox Run, that subdivision, if they could get out at Kingston Pike and Everett with a signal they might not come down Grigsby Chapel,” said Allen Childress of Cannon & Cannon.

• narrowing through lanes to 11 feet would reduce traffic speed, discourage cut-through traffic and “yield a wider center turn lane (14-foot). This wider lane will improve safety and ease of movement for vehicles turning left from side streets onto Grigsby Chapel,” the report stated.

• Also proposed to discourage cut-through traffic and eliminate unnecessary three-way turns are various raised median islands along three-lane roadway sections where a non-intersection turn is not immediate. Introducing median islands and other traffic calming measures near the sharp curve just north of the Grigsby Chapel-Smith Road intersection “is something we really wanted to accomplish,” Childress said. “Tell the driver that things are a little different and I think that’ll help slow traffic a bit.”

Some islands would include staggered crosswalks — cutting across at an angle versus straight through — where pedestrians are more likely to stop at the island and reevaluate vehicular traffic versus racing straight through and endangering themselves, Childress said.

• a roundabout “might be appropriate” for Grigsby Chapel-Smith Road intersection “as opposed to a traffic signal,” the report stated.

The study also came to a number of basic conclusions:

• although traffic speeds “do appear to be a factor in a significant portion of crashes along the study roadways,” and “a significant number of vehicles” drive in excess of the posted 40 mph speed limit where 85 percent of such speeders were in the 43 to 45 mph range, this is not considered extreme “to the point of constituting a major concern.”

• the highest area for crashes was the portion of Grigsby Chapel Road approaching Campbell Station Road.

• right angle type crashes do not appear to be a major crash issue.

Cost-wise for this stretch of road, Childress estimated a “ballpark” figure for islands, signage and pavement markings at $125,000. Town unanimously accepted the study’s recommendations (8-0, with Commissioner Connie Rutenber absent).

In other town matters, FMPC:

• unanimously approved a 48-foot/four-lane variance for an intersection driveway connection at Kingston Pike across from Peterson Road into Ingles’ new supermarket complex at Farragut Towne Center. Commis-sion also unanimously approved Ingles’ overall site plan.

Ruth Hawk, Farragut Community Development directory, said a traffic signal is warranted for the intersection. Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III praised Ingles for its success dealing with Tennessee Department of Transportation officials in securing traffic light approval. “It’s a major benefit seeing that Peterson Road serves, according to our Annual Report, over 626 homes … approximately eight percent of our population is served by this road,” he said. Town staff recommended a three-lane/36-foot intersection because, for example, pedestrian traffic would have more trouble crossing a 48-foot intersection walking area. On a recommendation from Bob Hill, Commission chairman, drivers turning right onto the new driveway entrance would have their turn limited by a red light arrow, making the intersection safer for walkers. Ingles also is planning to construct a sidewalk extending from its store to connect with the sidewalk leading to Smith Road intersection. Sidewalk plans depend on obtaining an easement from a property owner along the route. Commission also agreed to have town staff research a cost-sharing plan between the Town and Ingles’ representatives to provide curb and gutter services along the entire Ingles sidewalk area.

• unanimously approved a site plan for an office building, 102 Chaho Road, located on the southeast corner of Kingston Pike and Chaho, zoned O-1, approximately .6 acres (Chris Malone, applicant)

• came to a tentative agreement with representatives of the new Kroger shopping complex to amend text of Farragut Municipal Code, Title 9, Chapter 4, Sign Ordinance, Section 8-406, to provide for additional signage for large tenant spaces. A maximum of 350 square feet is permitted for any one sign, with a maximum of one square foot of signage for every linear foot of space.

With Kroger’s 460-linear-foot complex being the biggest in a seven-state area according to Chad Priest, an account representative for Rainbow Signs, Greenwood, S.C., Kroger would be allowed 460 square feet of total signage.

It was agreed that in addition to an anchor sign with the Kroger logo in the center of the complex, addition signage representing other businesses would be located near the closest entrance to that business.

A maximum of one sign per entrance, plus the logo anchor sign, would be allowed in the tentative agreement.

• unanimously approved a site plan for Ott’s Bar-B-Q, 12828 Kingston Pike on the southeast corner of Kingston Pike and South Hobbs Road, to enclose the carport. Zoned R-1, .897 acres (Ott’s Bar-B-Q, applicant).

• unanimously approved a site plan for the recreation area at The Battery at Berkeley Park, lot 52, Prince George Parish Drive, R-1/OSR, .36 acres (Phillip E. Cobble, applicant)

• unanimously approved the 2007 Annual Development Activity Report. “Though residential building permits slowed somewhat, permits for commercial/office and other non-residential development continued to be very strong,” the report stated. Mark Shipley, development coordinator, gave an overview concerning what he called “developable” land. “The southwest part still has a lot of developable land. And there’s a fair amount of commercial properties for development, with South Campbell Station Road and what will be Brooklawn Street and, of course, Outlet Drive,” he said. Other “opportunities” Shipley listed were along Kingston Pike, Watt Road and Campbell Station Road.

• unanimously approved an amendment to Farragut Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 4, Section XXIII, Site Plan Regulations, to provide that a grading permit be rescinded for a site plan if a building permit is not issued within three months of grading permit issuance, and to incorporate the new stormwater ordinance requirement into the site plan process.

• unanimously approved an amendment to Farragut Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 4, Section XIII, Outdoor Site Lighting, to clarify fixture housing and globe requirements.

• unanimously approved an amendment to Farragut Subdivision Regulations, Article III, General Requirements and Minimum Standards of Design, F. Suitability of the Land, 2, Land Subject to Flooding, to incorporate new flood regulations.

• unanimously approved an amendment to Farragut Subdivision Regulations, Article II, Procedure for Subdivision Approval, C. Preliminary Plat, to provide for expiration of a preliminary plat within six months of approval if a grading permit is not obtained.

• came to a tentative agreement, subject to its March vote, on a request to amend text of Farragut Municipal Code, Title 9, Chapter 4, Sign Ordinance, Section 9-406(3), to allow signs to be placed on the interstate side of buildings (Farragut Land Partners, LLC, applicant)


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