Drivers beware: pedestrian crosswalk planned for Watt, Grigsby Chapel roads

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to approve a proposal from Cannon & Cannon Inc. to construct raised mid-block pedestrian crosswalks and sidewalk connections at Grigsby Chapel and Watt roads

“It’s a good first step to see if that resolves the (safety) issue,” Mayor Ron Williams said just before the vote during the Board’s meeting Thursday, Oct. 25.

“We agree we’ve got to do something,” Alderman Ron Pinchok said.

The Grigsby Chapel Road crosswalk would be placed at Grigsby Chapel Greenway while the Watt Road crosswalk would be placed near Mayor Bob Leonard Park, Town Engineer Darryl Smith said, adding the combined cost of the two projects is $16,000.

“During Board discussions of the Capital Investment Program earlier this year, the Board identified the need for safety improvements such as the mid-block pedestrian crossing on Grigsby Chapel Road, as well as construction of a sidewalk connection from Orchard Grove subdivision to a new mid-block crossing of Watt Road to Mayor Bob Leonard Park,” Smith said.

“The two projects were added to our CIP at the time, and staff recommended combining the two into one project to hopefully save time and construction costs,” he added

Smith said at Grigsby Chapel, the Town’s intent is to add motion-sensored flashing beacons to the existing island to alert oncoming motorists when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. He showed an example of such a crosswalk, which was installed near an elementary school along Cedar Bluff Road.

At Watt Road, Smith said for some time Orchard Grove and Sedgefield subdivisions residents have been asking for a sidewalk connection so they could get to the park.

“Some portions of the connection have been constructed over the years, so this project would provide sidewalk connections from Lady Slipper Lane to Jones Automotive, from Sedgefield Road to a proposed mid-block crossing along Watt Road and at the northern entrance of Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

“The mid-block crossing would feature an island within the center turn lane, as well as flashing beacons that would alert oncoming motorists,” Smith said.

In other business, the Board voted unanimously:

• To cancel its Nov. 22 and Dec. 27 meetings;

• To approve, on second reading, rezoning two parcels totaling 6.72 acres, at the end of Thornbush Lane in Sheffield subdivision from R-1 and Agriculture to R-1/Open Space residential.

• To approve, also on second reading, 3.61 acres in Sheffield subdivision from Agriculture to R-1 residential.