Changes demanded on Union Road plans

Farragut Vice Mayor Louise Povlin explains aspects of the Union Road improvement plans to, clockwise from left, Fox Run subdivision resident Russ Buchanan, Alderman Scott Meyer, who represents the Union Road area, and Fox Run resident Mike Rothman.
“We’re here to talk about Union Road,” Town of Farragut engineer Darryl Smith told a crowd of more than 40 who gathered for a community meeting in Farragut Town Hall Tuesday, Nov. 13, concerning Union Road improvements.

But when Town of Farragut officials and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. engineers presented the latest plans for Union Road, many residents living along the road were taken aback.

After perusing maps of proposed improvements, many voiced negative reactions.

Cynthia Gallentine described the plans as “confusing and disappointing.”

“This doesn’t reflect what we want,” Ashley Kendall said.

“This (plan) is completely overbuilt,” Union Road resident Charlene Troutt said.

The project, which currently is in the environmental phase, includes 11-foot lanes, three roundabouts, an 8-foot green space, a 10-foot walking path and replacing the bridge over Little Turkey Creek.

The biggest issue residents pointed out was the three proposed roundabouts.

“What I’m hearing is the public doesn’t want them,” Quentin Aten said.

“It’s not what was presented to us last time. It’s changed dramatically,” Cynthia Gallentine said. “We have no accidents in front of our subdivision.”

Union Road resident Penny Pilgrim said one of the roundabouts would take half of her property.

“The roundabout is devastating to our whole property,” she said.

Fox Run subdivision resident Mike Rothman also was opposed to the roundabouts.

“It looks like it’s going to take a lot of our space,” he said.

“I’m not pleased with the way Everett Road was laid out. This (plan) looks worse than that.”

Lee Schumann, Kimley-Horn project manager, said the roundabouts were included to calm traffic and provide safety.

“Roundabouts are 72 to 86 percent more effective in reducing injury that causes harm in crash-related incidents,” he said. “Roundabouts have eight conflict points; traditional intersections have 32.”

Schumann added the plan is for a 35-mile per hour speed limit.

Another issue revolved around the walking paths.

“I have mature trees along my property that will, every one, be cut down, and they are ranging in age from 50 to 100 to 200 years old,” Troutt said. “When the residents’ goal is to (keep the area rural), and you’re cutting down the trees, then you’re taking away the rural characteristic, aesthetic feel, to a sterile environment.”

“There is a need for pedestrian and bike connectivity, and we’re including them on the project,” Smith said.

When Rothman proposed the Town go back to the drawing board, Vice Mayor Louise Povlin replied “no.”

“I’m not taking this back … .”

“Then get it right,” Rothman interjected.

“This is what this (meeting) is for,” Povlin said. “Tell us what your concerns are so that we can address them.”

As Rothman talked over her, she replied, “Mr. Rothman, please, fill this (comment) form out, look at the plans … this is a first shot. We had to have a plan to present to you (for) you to look at it, and say ‘this is what I like this is what I don’t like.’”

Smith urged residents to fill out and turn in comment sheets before Tuesday, Dec. 4. They can drop them off at Town Hall, go online to; mail in the forms to Matt Brazille, assistant Town engineer: 11408 Municipal Center Drive, Farragut, TN 37934; e-mail them to Brazille,; or call 865-966-7057.

“Your comments will become part of the record for this project,” he said. “We will have responses for all of your comments.

“Anytime you change something, you are going to have differing opinions,” Smith added. “That’s just part of the process.”

“I just hope they fill out (the comment forms),” Farragut Mayor Ron Williams said. “You’ve got to put it on paper to get something to look at. Everything before now has been pie in the sky.”