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GCR ‘islands’ draw Board vote

Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford requested the Grigsby Chapel Road traffic-calming island closest to Campbell Station Road be removed at Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Thursday, March 26.

“I think with the number of comments received, I would be willing tonight to make a motion that we remove that island and restore that area to the way it was before, just based on the calls I have received and the comments I have read,” Ford said.

Haynes seconded the motion, which ultimately failed 3-2.

“I’ve had a number of comments as well … one of the reasons I would oppose this motion is that I would like to see if there isn’t something we can do with traffic timing,” Alderman Tom Rosseel said.

Currently, the signaled intersection at Campbell Station and Grigsby Chapel roads allows about a 29-second left turn. Rosseel asked if a few seconds could be added to the time, even if only during the morning rush.

“We’re only talking about an hour in the morning,” Rosseel said.

Town Engineer Darryl Smith said the intersection’s timing likely would be changed following a study being conducted by the City of Knoxville on intersections all along Parkside Drive.

The intersection also will change when Campbell Station is widened. Campbell Station southbound will be re-striped to allow a double left turn from Interstate-40/75 onto Parkside Drive, freeing several seconds that could be redistributed to the left turn from Grigsby Chapel.

“I support in its entirety the placement of these traffic islands … I think stopping people from queuing at the speeds they have to make that left turn on northbound Campbell Station Road needs to take place,” Alderman John Williams said.

“If the placement of these islands discourages people who use Grigsby Chapel and Smith Road as a cut-through … I’m all for it.

“I don’t support removing this traffic island or any of them until we’ve had a chance to see how effectively this works,” he added.

Alan Childers, Cannon & Cannon, said the easternmost island was primarily designed for pedestrian safety: the walking trail crosswalk will be rerouted to the island, where pedestrians will have a place of refuge.

Answering other common motorist complaints, Childers said the curbs on the islands were not sloped because motorists “tend to shy away” from vertical curbs, which would help prevent drivers hitting the islands.

“We would prefer someone hit the curb rather than actually hit a tree,” Childers said.

He added the islands will be marked with paint and reflectors as construction continues.

“There are three big cross-hatches in advance of the noses, with some pavement reflectors as well,” he said.


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