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GCR opponents ‘no shows’ at FBMA


Despite recent criticism of the Grigsby Chapel Road traffic calming islands, no residents spoke against them at a discussion of alternatives to the islands at Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Thursday, April 23.

Mul Wyman, a Wyndham Hall resident, lauded the islands during the discussion, placed on the agenda at the request of Mayor Ralph McGill.

“The folks I’ve talked to support the islands,” he told the Board.

“The construction of the traffic islands is recognition that [Grigsby Chapel] should serve as a residential area. That’s the primary purpose for the road,” Wyman said.


“I understand the concern of the citizens that use it and don’t reside there … [the islands are] not what they’ve been accustomed to,” he added, but said those drivers simply will have to change their driving habits.

Cannon & Cannon representative Alan Childers agreed with Wyman, saying studies indicated that, if nothing had been done, by 2020, Grigsby Chapel would have needed to be a five-lane road.

“And I don’t think any of us want that,” he said.

Town Engineer Darryl Smith then took the board through alternatives to the islands, the first being removing them immediately. Installing the islands cost about $176,000, Smith said. Removing them would cost between $125,000 and $150,000.

Smith also said the project was “days away from completion.”

The second option was to remove select islands, but Smith said if that was done, “you lose the overall effect of the project.”

The final option was leaving the islands and studying their effect at a later date, which McGill requested be done.

“When could the speed tubes go out?” McGill asked Smith.

“I’d like to see some measurable decrease [in speed] even before the landscaping,” he added.

Alderman John Williams said the time GCR was studied needed to be carefully planned, so as not to be affected by upcoming construction to widen Campbell Station Road or to be skewed by being done when schools are out for the summer. Construction on Campbell Station is expected to begin in fall.

“Most likely we might have to look at this right in the beginning of the next school year,” Smith said.

“[But] if traffic is diverted to Grigsby Chapel from Campbell Station during construction, I don’t expect we would have a huge difference in the speed people would be traveling.

“The biggest purpose of this project was to prevent passing in the center turn lane … and to reduce speeding,” he added.

According to Smith and Childers, in coming days, the islands will be backfilled with topsoil and mulched. The ends of the islands will be painted and reflectors will be placed on painted crosshatches before each island approach.

Landscaping will be completed in the fall, when plants will not need as much irrigation to survive.

“They’re going to be very attractive and that will help the calming,” Childers said.

Alderman Bob Markli asked Smith if the curbs would be reflective.

“I’m not sure it’s needed. We do have street lights out there,” Smith said.

The agenda item was for discussion only; no vote was taken.

 

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