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presstalk 671-TALK


• Via e-mail: Although I do not live in a subdivision that is adjacent to Grigsby Chapel Road, I live in Fox Den, which uses Smith Road as an exit. I noticed today that the construction of the “calming islands” is continuing at the junction of Smith Road and North Fox Den Drive. There are road crews removing the left turning lane onto North Fox Den Drive and are obviously going to replace it with a “calming Island.” This means that if you are traveling north on Smith Road, heading towards Grigsby Chapel, but want to turn left onto North Fox Den Drive, and there are several cars in front of you, you shall have to wait your turn in order to make the move over to North Fox Den.

Should it be in the early hours of the morning during rush hour, and you are many cars behind, you’ll just have to wait your turn. I don’t know whose brilliant idea this was — the installation of “calming islands” — but I wonder if the leaders of Farragut, namely the mayor, bothered to ask those of us who travel on Smith Road and Grigsby Chapel what our opinions were regarding the so-called “calming islands.” Sounds like government by fiat. I’ll venture to say that within a very short period of time these so-called “calming islands” will not be “calming” at all but will be, as we call them, “road rage rectangles.” Perhaps soon, these “calming islands” will, rightfully, be referred to as “Ford’s Folly.”

Editor’s Note: Upon checking with Town engineering, we were informed that the turn lanes at that intersection are being eliminated due to low traffic counts. Staff relayed that turns would be made from the through lanes after stopping.

• First, I want to make it perfectly clear that I did not vote for John McCain or Barack Obama for president. I made a different choice because that is my right. However, to the person or people who felt it was their right to deface the Dogwood Arts Festival sign in Village Green at Campbell Station Road: grow up. No. 1, you just committed a crime, and hopefully you’ll be caught and you’ll be prosecuted. Barack Obama is the president now; get over your juvenile, petty feelings. He inherited a mess that was caused by Democrats and Republicans alike. Am I real thrilled with everything he’s done? No. But he is trying. Give the man a chance and quit defacing public property, you twerps.

• So let me get this: the Mayor [Eddy Ford] was in favor of the traffic calming devices on Grigsby Chapel Road, agreed to spend the money, and now, decides he’s not in favor of it and wants to spend more money. This makes no sense … .

• I am absolutely appalled at the traffic calming islands on Grigsby Chapel Road. I had the unfortunate pleasure of driving that area on Saturday, and I could not believe it. How many tax dollars are going into these stupid islands? I should ask the question: are we going to follow up and put those islands on Campbell Station Road as well as Kingston Pike? That only makes sense as well.

Editor’s Note: The town of Farragut does not levy taxes, property or otherwise, on its citizens. Town funds come from shared Sales Tax spent by persons from Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and any other state who chooses to stop and eat or shop in the town of Farragut.

• I am very much against the construction of the islands on Grigsby Chapel Road. We have lived in the Altamira subdivision off Grigsby Chapel and only once have I seen a car traveling in the center lane. These islands are dangerous. You can’t even see them, especially when it is dark and not at all until you’re right up on top of them. I’ve nearly run into them several times now and I know that they’re there. Please stop the construction. It is going to cause more problems or wrecks than it’s worth, even if it looks good.

• Well, I am sitting here at 7:36 in the morning on Grigsby Chapel [Road], stuck because of these wonderfully beautiful traffic-calming islands. I am furious. …

• It is 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 24. I am on my lunch break, because, as most people who live in Farragut do, I work. I work from 8 [a.m.] to 5 [p.m]. And I took my lunch break to go to the so-called convenience voting. I get there and find out they were only open from 8 [a.m.] to 12 [noon], and they’re only going to be open this entire week from 8 [a.m.] to 12 [noon]. Next week, they’ll be open from noon to 8 [p.m]. Now, how this is convenient I don’t know. There was a gentleman sitting out in the parking lot who thought they had maybe gone to lunch and was waiting for them to come back. He’s getting ready to go out of town and won’t have another opportunity to vote. But because he’d heard about this convenience voting, he didn’t think he was going to have to get an absentee ballot. He thought he could actually cast his vote and actually have a voice in the decision of who’s going to be elected to run Farragut. I don’t know who made the decision on these hours, but I am very suspicious as to why and how it was determined. I will go back out and vote, but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people who are fed up and frustrated and will not go back, and that is a very sad thing for our Town.

Editor’s Note: Election days and times have been published frequently in farragutpress.

• The calming islands in Farragut on Grigsby Chapel [Road] are horrendous. It causes great traffic back-ups, it is a waste of time, it’s going to be a distraction. If I had my backyard facing Grigsby Chapel I would be so upset, because if a car needs to swerve, it’s going to swerve into a backyard and not into the calming islands. It’s the biggest waste of money I have ever seen in my life and they need to do something about it. The traffic is backed up all the way to the school, to St. John Neumann. When you’re trying to get out of there in the morning, it is horrendous, it is just horrendous. They need to remove that; it is such a waste of money. I don’t know who would authorize such silliness; it is totally silly.

• Via e-mail: Is there any way to put visible pedestrian timers and sounds at the “Red Light” cameras for those who cannot see or who are slow to walk? I drove through a green light on Lovell Road, making a left turn, and I believe the green light was only for one second, and the next thing I knew the light had turned one second for yellow and then it turned red. I had barely made my left turn — speeding my turn in order not to have a picture taken. On Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway there are Red Light cameras, but with visible timers for pedestrians. I believe these timers could also help drivers.

• Via e-mail: Can something please be done about high school kids (and parents) speeding down West End Avenue after school lets out? On Monday, March 23, I thought I was going to be a witness to the last day of a young girl’s life. I was waiting to turn into Buddy’s BBQ so I could pick up my daughter after school and I noticed an SUV in the oncoming lane (closest to the sidewalk) stopped to let a middle school-aged girl cross the street towards the old Gondolier restaurant. She was almost to the median when, out of nowhere, came a gold or beige colored SUV with a sticker in the back window speeding like crazy in the next lane, driven by a teenage boy with short, dark hair. Because her view was blocked by the stopped SUV, the girl didn’t see this boy coming and she had to jump out of his path before she was hit. He had to swerve into the other lane then back to his own lane with such force that his SUV tilted almost to its tipping point. He missed her by mere inches and would have killed her instantly because of his speed. Over the past few months, several accidents and near misses have occurred on this same road, involving teenage drivers. Parents, please talk to your young drivers about slowing down on that road. Since the middle schoolers walk that direction to meet their parents and traffic is heavy during that time, slowing down will prevent any future accidents and potential serious injury.

Editor’s Note: Perhaps the town of Farragut will invite Knox County Sheriff’s Office to shoot radar on West End Avenue to help with the alleged speeders.

• Via e-mail: In response to the 26 March presstalk item commenting on the Lovell Heights Church of God hosting a class on self defense, the commenter might find their answer in Luke 22:36.

• Via e-mail: I am astounded that the project to “calm” traffic on Grigsby Chapel Road is actually proceeding with creating a choked Frankenstein monster. During the early project discussion I read a reported theory that a narrower road width would improve or increase flow like the Bernoulli effect of a constriction in a pipe for fluid flow. That does not make any sense because separate vehicles are about two seconds apart from each other, not like molecules constantly rubbing and bouncing off each other, not even like the linked cars on a roller coaster or a train. The engineers could have observed what happens when maintenance trucks and trailers park in the center lane while they service homes on Grigsby Chapel Road. Blocking the center lane does not “calm” traffic flow. Traffic has been flowing at the 40mph speed limit for over 10 years. It is absolutely incomprehensible that this project of island road blocks appears to be surveying to continue further onto Smith Road, where there is no middle third lane, except for a very minimal length for left turns at the 3-way and 4-way stop intersections. Note how the stone edge island in the entrance from Smith Road to Lost Tree Lane with one very narrow lane on each side slows entry traffic by luring cars or trucks to crash into the stone wall a few times each year. Cars leaving Lost Tree Lane have crashed through mail box sheds two times in six years, but never hit the exit side of the stone island. One late returnee wiped out another mail box shed at the end of the lane. Since the entrance is hit even at turning speed right after one of the four-way stop signs, island hits can be expected on Grigsby Chapel Road at 40mph speed and no stop signs. Light poles along the edges of highways and streets are designed to break away rather than impale vehicles. How good will the islands be at absorbing and surviving crashes?

• Via e-mail: The congestion project does two things. First, it makes the outside lanes appear to be narrower even if not actually narrower, and second, it carves big chunks out of the center lane, cutting a mile-long center lane into several much shorter pieces, especially short in some places close to where the third lane is needed as a left turn waiting or merging lane. The layout has a little concern for side streets, but even less for individual driveways entering Grigsby Chapel Road. The project is installing islands with heavy-duty curbs to block the use of the center lane. This decreases the number of vehicles the center lane can hold for decelerating and waiting to make left turns off Grigsby Chapel Road onto side streets. The islands also are already interfering with vehicles using it to make left turns from side streets onto Grigsby Chapel in three steps. The first step is crossing the one near lane, then second, using the center lane as a waiting and acceleration lane before, step three, merging more safely into the far lane.

• Via e-mail: This is in response to a comment regarding Obama’s policy of not commenting on “gyrations” in the stock market. The caller is certainly right in saying that the president cannot be held accountable for short-term movements in the stock indexes. Obama does not control the stock market, although over time his vast new spending and taxation will lower growth rates, reduce job growth, and lower 401k returns. Tripling the national debt to $9.3 trillion will not be good for anyone in this country, and for this reckless policy, Obama is responsible. The president is also responsible for his apparent lack of concern for 401k investors, as when he called the drop of 57 percent on the Dow a “gyration.” This remark revealed a callous lack of concern for tens of millions of Americans who have worked all their lives and seen their savings devastated. No one can hold the president responsible for the daily movements of the market, but we can hold him responsible for his bizarre budget proposals and for his flippant disregard for the suffering of ordinary Americans.

 

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