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Resident petitions FMPC to remove Campbell Station road signage

A Farragut resident, citing a “money-making scheme,” asked Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioners to remove a “Right turn on red after stop” sign from a prominent intersection at the monthly FMPC meeting Thursday, Aug. 19.

Sherman Patterson said he’d like to see the “stop on red” sign at the intersection of Grigsby Chapel Road and Campbell Station Road removed and replaced with a “Yield” sign.

“At Campbell Station coming south, where you turn onto Grigsby Chapel, that used to be a yield. It’s got the turn lane and the acceleration lane. It’s always been there.

“And when the cameras started going in, you put a sign up there: ‘Must stop at red light prior to turning right.’ That’s what’s there now,” Patterson said.

“The sign appears to be for money generation rather than safety.

“This also impedes the flow of traffic from Campbell Station onto Grigsby Chapel. I think the camera company should be able to ignore this yield, as they do at Lovell Road and I-40,” he added.

Mayor Ralph McGill pointed out there wasn’t a camera at the GCR/CSR intersection.

But Patterson said the cameras would be installed once the construction on Campbell Station was complete, which McGill agreed was true.

However, McGill said that wasn’t the only change to be made to that intersection: “That lane with that ‘yield’ place there is going to be rearranged into an ordinary intersection.”

Patterson asked why the Town would do that to “impede the traffic flow.”

Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said that particular change — the removal of the acceleration lane onto Grigsby Chapel — had been in the works for a while. The red-light cameras were merely an impetus.

“When people don’t stop, we get a lot of near hits of pedestrians and bicyclists because the vehicles are turning right and they’re not looking for pedestrians,” Hawk said.

“The idea is to make it safer not just for vehicles, but also for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing that intersection,” she added.

Patterson said he’d never seen a pedestrian cross there.

“That may be because they’re afraid to go across there,” McGill said.

“Well, a yield sign is the same as a stop sign if there’s a pedestrian in the cross[walk],” Patterson said.

“Well, [drivers] don’t really look for us,” Hawk said, citing a personal example of almost being hit crossing the road there.

“I have no problem with cameras for safety reasons. I like abiding by the law; I don’t have a problem with that,” Patterson said.

“I just wanted to voice my opinion on that, because I think this is just a money-making scheme and not about safety,” he added.

McGill asked if Patterson was aware the Town was going to give away all the profits from the red-light cameras through the Town’s community grant fund.

“You are giving it away, and I don’t understand that either. I’d like to see you negotiate,” Patterson said.

“Well, it’s not about revenue. It’s about safety,” McGill answered.

Patterson said the Town still gets half the money generated by the tickets. McGill said that wasn’t true — payments to the Town are based on a fee schedule, and the fewer incidents there are, the less the Town makes off each ticket.

“Then why would you put them in?” Patterson asked.

“Safety,” McGill answered.


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