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Business requests red light

A Campbell Station Road business owner has asked Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen to look into installing a traffic light at Campbell Station and Campbell Lakes Drive.

“We have been watching many, many accidents on Campbell Station,” Pamela Treacy, co-owner of Campbell Station Wine & Spirits, said Thursday, May 13.

She presented the Board with a petition signed by all but two of the business owners along the Campbell Station Road corridor between Parkside Drive and up past Interstate 40/75.

“This is the 17th most-traveled road in Knox County,” Treacy said, adding the problems are not related to the construction on Campbell Station. Traffic problems and dangerous driveways existed before the widening project.

“This is not a temporary problem. … This is an old area that has a lot of driveways,” Treacy said.

Treacy isn’t the first concerned business owner to approach the Town about a traffic light at Campbell Lakes Drive. More than two years ago, the Town did a traffic count at the intersection after a similar request, but the problem then was not severe enough to warrant a signal.

“Getting out of there is dangerous. I definitely see a need there,” Alderman Bob Markli said about motorists attempting to exit Campbell Lakes Drive onto Campbell Station.

“I fully agree it’s difficult to turn left there on either side,” Town Engineer Darryl Smith said.

People on the east side of Campbell Lakes Drive have access behind Wild Wing Café to Parkside Drive, but motorists on the west side of Campbell Lakes have no such alternate route.

Plus, Treacy said, visitors or those new to the area don’t know there’s a detour to Parkside and won’t use it. On the west side, the parking lots from Treacy’s business to Grigsby Chapel Road are all connected, but not evenly.

Treacy said she drove the length of Campbell Station to get an idea of distances between signals: from the Village Green signal to the Parkside/CSR signal is two-tenths of a mile. From Parkside to Campbell Lakes is two-tenths of a mile, and from Campbell Lakes to the signal on the other side of I-40/75 is two-tenths of a mile.

Smith said the problem wasn’t distance between signals; it was distance between the Grigsby Chapel double left turn lanes and the I-40/75 entrance ramp. Motorists in the far left turn lane on GCR wouldn’t have time to merge over to the right lane if there was a signal between Parkside and the Interstate.

“Most people will avoid that left-left turn lane … and that will cause major backups,” Smith cautioned.

Alderman John Williams agreed.

“I know that if you put that traffic light in there, we are going to have about three-quarters of a mile of Grigsby Chapel residents filling this room two days after that light goes live because they won’t be able to get out of their neighborhoods for two days.

“And that’s a deal killer. That right there is a deal killer, putting that light in,” he added.

Treacy said, “I didn’t come here to find a solution today. But there’s enough here that it needs a little attention.”

The Board asked Smith to investigate the situation.

“I have no problem doing another [traffic] count out there,” Smith said.


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