letters to the editor

Saddle Ridge homeowner unhappy with Town’s Union Road plans

Over the last few years, Saddle Ridge homeowners have participated in several meetings with Town of Farragut officials and staff to discuss planned Union Road improvements.

At each meeting, we were led to believe the Town had to follow specific TDOT rules, which required an 8-foot planting strip and 10-foot asphalt paths in order for the project to receive the necessary 80 percent federal funding.

During meetings with Mayor (Ron) Williams and Vice Mayor (Louise) Povlin we were told the same.

Now, we know this is not true.

In checking with TDOT recently, and as was stated during the recent public hearing, TDOT’s requirements do not dictate any requirement for green space or an asphalt multi-use lane. These requirements were added by Town leaders to comply with the Town’s stated long-term goals of “complete streets.”

We understand a desire to have connecting greenways, but at some point you have to wonder if it makes any sense to destroy so many properties to achieve these goals in this situation.

An 8-foot planting strip to plant trees is not needed. Who is going to water the grass, trees, etc. and remove the weeds? If the Town is going to take care of it, like the way they cared for the small area on Everett Road, we are in for a large endless mess.

Why would the Town want to cut down numerous trees along Union and then spend money planting new trees in the 8-foot wide grassy area where you have just cut down trees? Is there any other road in Farragut that has these requirements? This is such a waste of tax dollars and, I can truly say, is unethical. Are you requiring these same rules for Virtue Road? And, if not, “why?”

Why is an asphalt path 10-feet wide needed as a multi-use lane? A wheelchair, golf cart, bicycle will not use that much width on this asphalt. Instead, we will see teenagers driving cars down it whenever they can get away with it.

This will also destroy a lot of property and trees. Why can’t the same width that was utilized on Everett Road be used for Union? The American with Disabilities Act only requires a 4- or 5-foot lane for a wheelchair and that should be sufficient.

The roundabout at our entrance is absolutely not needed. There will be two others slowing traffic down on Union at the entrance to the new subdivision and Fox Run. You are destroying our entrance after years of work where our residents are proud of their achievements.

Why would you select our side of Union Road to destroy instead of putting the grass and asphalt on the other side of the road where the land does not have these impediments? If needed, a better place for a third roundabout would be at the corner of Hobbs and Union.

Our residents wanted a safe and widened Union Road with a sidewalk, not what has been presented to us as a preliminary plan. There is no country road that I have ever seen that has trees planted (after cutting down many others) to make it look more “country” and with a 10-foot wide asphalt path alongside of it.

If you remember a few years ago, we had a mayor who chose to put in calming islands along Grigsby Chapel. After that was done, the people responded with their votes in the election to follow.

Mayor Williams and Vice-Mayor Povlin, the people will let you know in the next election how receptive we are to this project. If they forget, we will remind them.

Carolyn Porco

Saddle Ridge resident