letter to the editor

Alternates to street cushions told

Your recent front page article, “Bid $ too high for speed bumps” by Tammy Cheek, was a well-written and complete review of the current situation with traffic calming measures pursued by the Town of Farragut.

As one of the several local residents of the Town that attended the public meetings on this issue, I am not surprised by the enormous costs involved. Perhaps that should have been expected by our representatives, as well as the city engineers, during the discussion phase as well.

I know several residents at those meetings mentioned alternatives to speed cushions. However, little interest appeared for those options initially. Well, we as residents of the Town of Farragut should now demand these more affordable options be considered. Our representatives that we allow to make decisions for us a group have no greater obligation than to be “good” stewards of the resources we have in Farragut.

Based on Ms. Cheek’s article, one has to presume there will be more and more neighborhoods in Farragut that will request speed-calming measures in the future. When that inevitability happens, our Farragut Board will be placed in an untenable situation.

Either Farragut will have to budget for speed cushions virtually anywhere they are requested by neighborhood groups, or the Board will have to selectively “pick and choose” which areas do they personally prefer to earmark the money. Of course, the selective process in which only some neighborhoods will be provided with speed cushions due to budgetary concerns is entirely unfair and undemocratic in this situation.

With likely hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars possibly being used for speed cushions in Farragut on an ongoing and annual basis, better and less costly options should be at the forefront of the discussion at this point. I spent four years on a “buildings and grounds” committee at a major university in the South where issues like these had to be addressed.

From my experience, less costly options, such as speed reminders painted into the road, speed detection systems with a flashing alert when the limit is exceeded, or even additional signage, usually solves these issues with a much, much more modest cost.

Again, the greatest duties of our Board are to be good stewards of the tax dollars we have available in Farragut, as well as treating everyone in this Town fairly and in an equitable manner. It has clearly become apparent that alternative speed calming measures beyond the terribly costly speed cushions need to be considered.  

William Konomos, Farragut