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Keeping tabs on traffic

Posted Monday, February 18, 2008, at 9:35 AM

From last week's Shelbyville city council meeting, as reported by Brian Mosely:

"Several weeks ago, city manager Ed Craig directed the public works department to change the speed limit on East Depot Street from 45 to 30 mph due to the large amount of accidents that were occurring at the intersection of Depot, Bethany Lane and Coney Island Road.

"However, according to city attorney Ginger Shofner, before such a change can be made on a state highway, there must be a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) traffic study and the matter must go before the city council for a vote."

Looks like Craig would have known better. It's important for any manager to consult with others, especially when legally reqired to do so, before making decisions.

Was this actually meant as a subtle attempt to prevent what I'll call racially-based complaints about changing the limit to protect Somali drivers, several of which have charged off Davis Lane, across Depot and down an embankment or into a guard rail?

Does anyone remember when another violation of state law occurred a few years ago as a permanent, year-round stop sign was briefly placed on Calhoun Street at the Celebration Grounds entrance? The state stepped in quickly and nixed that, bringing an apology from the Celebration.

I sometimes doubt how much power our current city council really has. Decisions such as speed limit changes should be driven by those directly elected to represent us.

Meanwhile, here's your challenge of the day -- and we'll cover county and city with this.

If I were Bedford County's traffic czar, I'd put a traffic light on Fairfield Pike at the duck pond -- and, if feasible, with state and council approval, another on North Main at Hickory Drive.

Now it's your turn to be the traffic czar. What would you change anywhere in the county -- and for what reasons?

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Does it surprise anyone that they want MORE stop signs... This is the city that resists change... A stop sign should be our seal!

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:08 PM


-- Posted by grandpat on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 4:07 PM

I have to agree with the stop sign at Calhoun during the celebration. There are lots of folks walking down the street. Not to mention the ticket seller in that little booth probably appreciates the stop sign as it lessens the possibility of them getting crashed into.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 11:24 AM

We could remove a lot more of our stop signs. :(

I've noticed quite a few that people run as if they weren't there anyway.

(I think that the erring drivers think that pedestrians and other cars are just

oddly shaped speed bumps.)

The good drivers can't trust that signs or lights will even be noticed so they have to be vigilant to the point of paranoia.

We've been promised a more even distribution of work,retail and living areas,more public transportation,more greenways and pedestrian accommodation and a toughening of our requirements for drivers.

All that plus your recommendations would help ease congestion in our problem areas.

BTW,perhaps our public officials should come on here,give their sides of things and listen to ours.

That might prevent future mistakes or show how their actions are correct.

A bit more communication and clarification could benefit our leaders and their constituents.

It would make our relationships less adversarial and more of an alliance working toward meeting our needs and achieving our desires.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 4:09 AM

Thanks for the clarification, David. I understand their intentions, but it's kind of confusing when you're driving along and all of a sudden there's a stop sign there that wasn't there the day before.

-- Posted by Richard on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 11:51 PM

As far as the stop sign on Calhoun, the city has permission for temporary use during the Celebration.

And I can understand that during just that time of year due to traffic flow into/out of the grounds in the middle of a block plus heavy pedestrian traffic.

For the rest of the year, though, a stop sign there would be ridiculous.

-- Posted by David Melson on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 11:29 PM

A good start would be the removal of our current city manager. Second, the next city manager can start by removing about half of the traffic signs put up by our current czar. A traffic light Lane Parkway at Richard's cafeteria is the most needed. It is the most dangerous intersection in town. Why waste one at the duck pond area.

-- Posted by Chef Boy R.D. on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 9:04 PM

It's just your timing.. B/c the traffic there is STILL pathetic!!! Part of my job is on-time delivery and I drive all day long... It is a mess, from 11:00am until 5:30pm

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 8:57 PM

Yup they most certainly do. Every year during that time!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 5:49 PM

"Does anyone remember when another violation of state law occurred a few years ago as a permanent, year-round stop sign was briefly placed on Calhoun Street at the Celebration Grounds entrance? The state stepped in quickly and nixed that, bringing an apology from the Celebration."

I remember that, but don't they still put a stop sign there during the Celebration? Is that not violating the state law?

-- Posted by Richard on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 3:53 PM

If they want put a traffic light at the Duck pond on Fairfield Pike maybe atleast a 4-way stop sign. And I agree the traffic light at Shelbyville Lumber is a problem, I think the 2 lanes across should flow together to cut down on the congestions their. It's too much waiting time to go so the traffic backs up. Also have someone in charge of street signs making sure all streets, including back road streets have their street sign names up, and that the street sign names are not the same as other street signs for emergency crews to locate faster when they are called for help.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 3:12 PM

I would like to see something done at Hwy 231 and Frank Martin Road. The big trucks coming out of Wal Mart block lanes, stop in the middle of the road, and park on the sides of the Hwy. Now with the hosiptal being built in the same area, it seems like Bedford County loves mass confussion on our Hwys. With all the traffic problems already in this area, I guess we should feel a little safer being that we will be closer to hosiptal after our car wrecks.

-- Posted by FootballFan1234 on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 11:54 AM

The duck pond light is a definite need! Something needs to be done to ease congestion at the traffic light located in front of Shelbyville Lumber. That is always a mess!

-- Posted by tgreader on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 10:41 AM

I think of an mutation of a Jack Nicholson line from one of his movies. "You want progress? You can't handle progress"!

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 10:33 AM

What is needed in the city is a full time traffic engineer. He could oversee the placement of signage and traffic flow. At the present time there isn't anyone dedicated to this. I feel this should be top priority in the city government.

-- Posted by cordell on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 9:45 AM

Until they make Main street(hwy 231) 4 lane, I don't think anything will help. They really should have done that before they started putting all those businesses out that way.

-- Posted by stardust on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 9:44 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.