Sonja, Peterson traffic calming sought at BOMA

Two residents from different neighborhoods asked Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, during the Citizen Forum portion of the Board’s meeting Thursday, Nov. 10, to revisit its traffic mitigation policy.

Martin Shoffner spoke for like-minded residents of Sonja Drive.

“My wife and I have lived (our their home) 52 years out of the 60 years that she and I have been married,” he said. “We really like it there … we’ve seen a lot of changes.”

However, traffic has increased and “I believe that you’re aware that the residents on Sonja Drive have a dangerous speeding problem,” Shoffner said. “Our street is narrow, the sidewalk is but a few feet from the edge of the pavement and the rear sidewalk accesses (Farragut High School and Farragut Middle School), with cars backing up on the hill in front of my house … every day.

“Over the past several years, we have made two attempts to have traffic control devices installed on Sonja but to no avail,” he added. “Regrettably, these two attempts failed, and not because the residents directly impacted voted against it. It failed because those living in nearby areas, known as ‘the affected area,’ were also allowed to vote, and they voted ‘no’ to the traffic cushions.

“I would like to submit that ‘affected area’ is a misnomer. It should be called ‘inconvenience area.’ I’m sure most of those people are nice folks, (but) they are not greatly impacted, as we are, by excessive speed. They were merely inconvenienced by having to slow down in front of a speed cushion.

Citing a severe voting disproportion, “I do not know the actual number of ballots that was submitted by the affected area, but 187 were submitted by that area compared to 42 submitted by the folks on Sonja Drive,” Shoffner said. “I respectfully say that this is wrong.”

Likewise, Brian Jeffrey, speaking on behalf of at least some residents along Peterson Road, said it also has a speeding problem.

“Mr. Shoffner pointed out a very good point about the inconvenience (of residents not living on his road),” Jeffrey said. “I have the same issue happening on Peterson Road to the point where … in the mornings, I sit on my front porch with a tourniquet because I am scared to death that a child is going to get hit.

“I have to agree with what these two gentlemen are complaining about,” Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said.

“I think we need to workshop, amend this policy and allow for these people to find some relief,” she added.

“We know speeding is a problem in just about all of our neighborhoods,” she added