Not enough road

By Joe Rector

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the progress of the new Schaad Road. I also wrote about the traffic that had been routed through our subdivision and onto back roads. Here’s an update on that story.

Most motorists have been driving carefully through the neighborhood. The speed bumps have slowed many drivers, and those who have chosen to zip up the road have hit the bumps and landed with a satisfying (to residents) thud. Although the number of cars has decreased as parts of the new road have opened, hundreds of cars still pass by our house each day. Neighborhood walkers have ceased their routines for fear of being flattened by one of the speeders.

I do realize the inconvenience for drivers as they try to figure out which way to go at the end of the subdivision road. A detour sign points one way, and that way leads right back to our house. It’s when drivers turn left that the real trouble starts.

Fitzgerald Road and Boss Road are the ones that folks must take to reach their destinations. The problem with those roads is that they are not wide enough for two vehicles. They’re what the County Roads folks call two “of the many narrow roads in Knox County.” No plans are to widen such roads, but drivers are expected to navigate them without trouble.

Those new to these roads soon discover how narrow the roads are. They travel at speeds much too fast for the conditions. Upon meeting other cars, many continue zooming and simply edge their vehicles into the yards of residents. Plenty of rainy days have turned these places into muddy areas. Car tires splash the mud onto roads and further destroy yards, all to the fuming anger of homeowners.

Recently, those who live on these narrow roads have taken actions of their own. Some have driven wooden stakes on the edge of their property to keep out intruders. One person decorated the markers with green ribbon so that they could be seen more easily by drivers. Another disgruntled property owner put together a row of metal fence posts and set them close together. At that point, it becomes drive at your own risk. In other words, if cars are approaching each other, one of them must stop to let the other pass. If not, side mirrors might be knocked off the cars

Some drivers think putting poles and posts up are mean-spirited actions. However, if folks have worked to establish healthy lawns and beds, they have a right to maintain their property and protect it from the wheels of cars, trucks and semis. Yes, tractor-trailer trucks are passing through the neighborhood on the way to destinations.

Rumors fly about completion dates for this section of the road, and the most optimistic is September of this year. That means residents will have to not only deal with waves of dust that come from the steady flow of vehicles but also continue to cope with the construction sites. All in all, none of us who live here are convinced that this new road will cut down on traffic when county agencies and government continue to pass out use-on-review exceptions so that more and more subdivisions can be built. With summer fast approaching, let’s all hope that rainy days don’t delay too much work and that all of us around here don’t choke to death.