Letter: Unintended consequences in road plan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Dear editor,

There has been a good bit of information presented and published about the northwest connector both pro and con. While I have not seen or heard a lot about the benefits, there is one area where little has been said. I call it the unintended consequence.

This is about the route from the traffic light on Vernon Road at Vernon Woods and the traffic light at New Franklin Road and Mitchell Street.

In my opinion there are unintended consequences of this connector and that is specifically the increased pressure on some very quiet and narrow residential roadways as a result of the connector. I am not aware of any studies that might have looked at the increased traffic on Piney Woods Drive, Cherokee Road, LaRose Terrace, Dale Drive, Lakewood Drive and into the Granger Park area.

These roadways would no doubt see increased traffic as many drivers would choose the connector to get to the Commerce Avenue stores or the Walmart on New Franklin Road. The above roads are used by many joggers, walkers and other pedestrian activities, and there is little curbing on most of these roads.

I have had a reply to this issue from the county engineer, which was quite conclusive pointing out that there are several ways to get to the above destinations and the use of the connector was not perhaps the quickest or the easiest. Now, taking the recommended routes through town or part way into town might be the shortest and/or the quickest, Google maps do a really nice job of providing routes and timetables, but this could be debatable.

My concern is the routes outlined by the county engineer have at the minimum five traffic lights and copious traffic snarls, depending on the time of day. Via the connector, there is only one traffic light if the residential roads outlined above are used.

It is my opinion that once drivers realize the lack of traffic and traffic lights, this will be the preferred route. The additional minutes, should there be any, will become moot.

Perhaps some of those impacted will take notice of what could happen in their neighborhood as an unintended consequence.


Dick Sheppard