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presstalk 671-TALK

• I was calling in response to one of the presstalk callers that was in the Feb. 17 issue, where they described the red-light cameras as extreme enforcement. I think that if you read most of the stories that were written about the cameras, they explain how many citations they dismiss, and they’re dismissing about half of them. So that’s not extreme; it’s actually pretty lenient to let most of the people who cross that line, if they stop before they clear the intersection, they will dismiss that, kick it. So I don’t think it’s extreme. I think, in fact, they’re being pretty lenient.

• In response to the presstalk message in the Feb. 17 addition, I am more privileged than he is and so I don’t need to obey the law either. If you see me in my big pick-up truck tailgating, running red lights, driving 40 in a school zone, just get out of my way. I think we should establish a society of privileged drivers and I’ll be its president. I, too, know people in high places.

• I would like to comment on your red-light cameras. I would really like to know what the stink about red-light cameras [is]. If you don’t run a red light, you don’t get a ticket. If your child was in the car with you and the person that ran the red light smashed into your car and killed your child, would you then be for it? The people in this Town have no problem enforcing the speed limits; we don’t want speeders. So is a cop that pulls you over for going 85 just as wrong as the camera that catches you running the red light? You don’t want a ticket, don’t run the dog-gone red light.

• I just got back from visiting the new McFee Park with my children, and I want to thank Christopoulos & Kennedy for building such an imaginative and safe play-space. I am so glad that we in Farragut have competent Farragut businesses, such as Christopoulos & Kennedy. They should be commended. Thank you.

• Hi. I wanted to just make a comment about the red-light cameras in Farragut, and while I agree with what the red-light cameras are trying to do, I think it would be safer and more fair to the residents of Farragut if, when the system is trying to implement the red-light systems, they are required to put in those flashing crosswalk signs that have a countdown for the oncoming traffic. It’s actually designed for pedestrian use, but cars can also use that. So as you’re approaching the intersection you know how long you have to cross before it turns yellow, because oftentimes, say for example you’re coming out of the Stein Mart parking lot and you’re turning right onto Campbell Station [Road] to cross that intersection, sometimes the light is stale and you don’t know if you should, you know, step on the gas or step on the brake. And having a requirement that they install a countdown system for not only pedestrians, but it would benefit the cars that are approaching the intersection, I think is a good thing. That’s my suggestion and I hope somebody takes it upon themselves to consider enacting that requirement for the Grigsby Chapel [Road] one [if] nothing else.

• Via e-mail: I heard that the Tennessee State Legislature is looking to rewrite the statutes governing red-light cameras to the point that tickets for right-turns-on-red without stopping would no longer be citable violations. What a joke these legislators are. I don’t know if this is from the genius who wanted to make red lights into yields. They are actually trying to reverse a law that has been on the books for decades. Why? All because some pompous campaign check writer can’t get his spouse and kids to obey the law, not to mention he, or she, is probably too important to stop himself. All I can say is, if you hit any of mine or me, your checkbook isn’t big enough to cover it.

• Via This red-light camera controversy cracks me up! Stop signs and red lights have been around for as long as I can remember and we were taught as young drivers to STOP! Who cares if there is a camera watching us? We are supposed to obey driving laws! Maybe camera opponents would prefer a uniformed policeman at every street corner pulling them over and embarrassing them with a ticket on the spot because THEY chose to not obey the law? I am all for camera opponents shopping somewhere other than Farragut. We have plenty of law-abiding citizens shopping here and don’t need people endangering our lives with their reckless driving habits. It’s interesting how the only people complaining about ways to catch lawbreakers are THE LAWBREAKERS. Maybe these cameras could start catching people talking and texting on their cell phones too!

• Via With regards to the proposal to add new traffic lights on [Campbell Station Road] and Sonja [Drive]: Don’t we already have enough lights? Keep the light on CSR at Kingston Pike and the one at Parkside Drive; do away with the rest of them and let traffic flow smoothly. As I realize this probably won’t happen, I have another suggestion that is more reasonable: except for the above-mentioned lights at the major intersections, turn the rest to blinking yellow from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. or so. Brentwood does this, and it makes a lot more sense than having to wait to leave Kroger for a light change.

• Via e-mail: Some readers seem to think that it is unfair that some Americans do not pay federal Income Tax and rich people pay over half the total tax collected. In 2009, the filings by Exxon Mobil with the SEC (and reported on website) showed the corporation recorded $19.28 billion in profits and zero dollars for federal Income Tax. It did record $7.7 billion in other U.S. taxes (such as sales tax). If it is unfair for the working poor to avoid taxes. It is REALLY unfair for corporations to avoid taxes.

• Via e-mail: This is in response to the “bike rack” measure that passed a few weeks ago. Have we all forgotten what a “free market” is? Let the market drive the city or the business owner to install bike racks. When there are five bicycles locked to the light post outside a business on a continual basis and the customers are going next door because the neighboring business has bike racks ... well, that would be the market yelling for bike racks. I have yet to see this. You say, if we mandate these bike racks for our business owners people will start riding their bikes. There are several problems with this. First, the roads have not been developed for sharing the road with bikers. You say they will be in 15 years? Then revisit this mandate then. Second, when was the last time you rode your bike to pick up 600 pounds of mulch or have an outpatient procedure done? Sounds crazy? Third, this mandate states that one bicycle parking space would be required per 5,000 square feet of floor space. Ever tried bringing home the new sofa you just bought on your bicycle? This blanket mandate now forces surgical centers, home improvement stores, electronic stores, furniture stores and the like to make room, purchase and install bike racks. I implore the politicians of this city to think before you act next time. This is ridiculous. Who do you think will actually end up paying for these “bike racks?” The business owner or the customer?? Additionally this may actually decrease our Sales Tax revenue as businesses will choose to set up shop in a city that lets the free market govern instead of some over-reaching, short-sighted government.

• Via I think it’s completely unfair and egotistical for Farragut High School’s principal [Michael] Reynolds to hold the town hostage, on refusing to open the driveway to Campbell Station Road, until the town puts in an island or a traffic signal. I think the Town should have just said: “OK, don’t open it if you don’t want to use it!” How does that hurt the Town? We’re not in the school business. There are two very good roads feeding the high school, one street and one wide driveway, both with traffic signals already in place on Kingston Pike. Use them! If the school wants a traffic island on Farragut property for the benefit of its students, then the county or school board should fund it.

• Via Red-light cameras aren’t the only way to get a ticket for disobeying the laws of the road. I’ve even seen it done when motorists insisted on forcing themselves through a stop sign and even when making a rolling stop; although rare it does happen. I do wonder if any of the people complaining are just plain old bad drivers and they are nervous of being caught by a camera that they cannot argue with?

• Via Is there any question that having a police car parked near the intersection of Smith and Union roads right here in Farragut, they wouldn’t issue hundreds of tickets in just a few days. Many vehicles break the law every day at the intersection, not even attempting to slow down because they see no other cars or pedestrians present. There are many walkers in that area at all hours of the morning through to evening. I pray to JESUS no one ever gets bulldozed down by one of those lawbreakers who thinks it’s nothing to jettison through. Why have so many become so selfish in this society?

• Via I applaud Michael Reynolds, Farragut High School principal, for being TOTALLY committed to his students! Not opening the driveway onto Campbell Station Road until there is resolution regarding the danger of students turning left there is wise. I do believe the high school drive could be a right-turn-only exit. I can’t imagine the “snarl” there in the morning once the drive is open and students and parents are once again turning left off of southbound Campbell Station to enter the campus. Also, I wholeheartedly support a traffic light at Sonja Drive.


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