Planning Commission denies request for speed bumps on Charlotte Drive

Published 8:43 am Friday, June 5, 2015

The Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission denied a request for traffic management devices on Charlotte Drive after the need for the changes was questioned.
Roderick Jones asked the commission to install speed bumps along one block of Charlotte Drive from Division Street to Marietta Avenue to control speeding that was causing a safety concern for residents.
Planning Director Jon Hartman told the commission speed bumps were not an appropriate solution, and said city staff recommended a temporary street closure at the intersection of Division and Charlotte to see if conditions improved.
Jones presented the commission with a petition of residents from 12 addresses; nine from Marietta Avenue and three from Charlotte Drive, who had reportedly signed asking for traffic control. The petition also asked for better water pressure for the residents on Marietta Avenue.
However, the accuracy of the petition was questioned when commissioner Melanie Sellers pointed out the format of the petition changed from the front page to what was found on the remaining pages. The front page simply read “page 1” at the bottom, while the others read “2 of 7.” Sellers questioned if the cover page submitted to the planning department was the same cover page that was originally with the petition.
Two residents of Charlotte Drive stated the petition presented to the commission was not the same petition they signed. Debbie and Larry Gouge told the commission the petition they signed was for improved water pressure for Marietta Avenue and did not include the traffic control changes.
“This petition is not what I signed,” Debbie Gouge said. “I signed a petition to support my neighbors on Marietta for better water pressure. Our street is just fine. Closing off one end would be disastrous.”
Jones responded there was no discrepancies between the petition he passed through the neighborhood and what had been given to the commission.
Another resident, E.T. Warner, who lives at the corner of Division and Charlotte, was concerned with how the closure would affect access to the neighborhood. He added it seemed wasteful to block a street when the traffic still needed to pass through the neighborhood.
“It was not my intent to close the street,” Jones said. “My main goal is safety. I simply wanted something to control the speed of traffic coming through the neighborhood.”
Manuel said she had visited the neighborhood and had not noticed a need for traffic control. Sellers suggested less restrictive matters be tried first and made a motion to deny the request. Manuel seconded and it was unanimously approved.

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