letter to the editor

Reader states he’s ‘pro growth,’ but fears Town Center traffic

First, let me say I am very much pro-growth, pro- development, and want to see our Town prosper and be a desirable place to live as it already is. However, the Biddle property development will be a traffic disaster that will happen. It doesn’t require an expensive scientific traffic study to project what will happen if it is completed.

All that is necessary is to get on Kingston Pike in the afternoon from about 4 p.m. until about 6 p.m. This is when the afternoon traffic of parents picking up their children at the local eateries after school, commuters trying to go home, shoppers stopping to pick up something for supper and the general commercial traffic between Concord Road, Campbell Station and traffic headed to Turkey Creek all converge at the same stretch of road. Not to mention the afternoon traffic for students in band, football, baseball and basketball practice.

I would challenge all of the (Farragut Municipal) Planning Commission and (Board of) Mayor and Aldermen to drive this stretch of road, barely a half mile long at this time of day. It is beyond frustrating to sit through numerous traffic light changes, as you watch five cars make it through before it changes again. Cars try to turn into Dairy Queen, but the lot is full and traffic backs up on Kingston Pike. Cars turning left out of Kroger onto Kingston Pike, then wanting to turn right onto Campbell Station find traffic is a parking lot and they have to make it to the extreme right lane to turn toward Turkey Creek.

It is close to gridlock at this time in the afternoon. Now, visualize all of the apartments and the additional cars and trips it will generate. There have been subdivision developments that have been denied that would have added much fewer cars and density of traffic in outlying areas or that have had road improvements demanded as a part of the approval process.

This development will cause gridlock in the Kingston Pike area in front of Farragut High School and Farragut Middle School. It will cause great difficulty in the movement of school buses and parental traffic.

Unless there are plans to double the size of Kingston Pike in this area, along with state and federal funds to help pay for it, the Board needs to vote a strong “no” to this development or require the developer to pay for the road improvements necessary to get a proper traffic flow maintained. Suppose there is a fire, or someone needs an ambulance or the police; it is very difficult to get through this area under current conditions and will decidedly only get much worse with this development.

A little common sense would go a long way in this decision by the Board. There is no need for some costly traffic study, just try to get through the area now and imagine what it will be like with a hefty traffic increase that will come with the apartments.

Gary Bishop,