You hear conversation from city leaders on how all City of Murfreesboro employees are being trained to be "customer friendly". City Manager Rob Lyons set the example by personally checking with different department heads to find the answers to questions phoned to WGNS's Action Line talk show (weekdays 8:10-9:00AM).
Park In Blackman Area
Question: Has a decision been made on what land will be used for a new park in the Blackman community?
City Manager Rob Lyon's response: Several years ago, during a community needs analysis, the City of Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department identified the west side of Murfreesboro as being underserved with parks and recreational opportunities. The City is looking for a location to add a park west of I-24. The City requested proposals for a park site, and 19 proposals for potential park sites were submitted. At this time, the City and our consultant are still reviewing the proposals and have identified several park sites for consideration.
There are many factors involved in selecting land for a park. These include: identifying the need and services for the park as well as community expectations, so the amount of acreage needed is ascertained; pinpointing what kind of improvements are needed to serve the park and the community; ensuring the park will be located in an area highly accessible to residents; recognizing any environmental constraints on the land that must be avoided, or can be utilized and incorporated into park planning and programming; and, identifying access to roads, utilities, and as a bonus, natural waters, forests, etc. Due to the park services identified as needed for the west side of town, the City is looking for approximately 220 acres for the park, along with 185 acres for future growth that could house a full-service City park.
Truck Traffic Problems (South Church at Butler Drive)
Question: Truck traffic on South Church Street from I-24 to Butler drive is not only horrific, it is very dangerous for our citizens and visitors.
City Manager Rob Lyons Response: The Tennessee Department of Transportation, in consultation with the City, is in the process of designing a roadway improvement that will help with access onto Church Street and off of I-24. This improvement will signalize the eastbound I-24 access ramp onto southbound Church Street (much the same way the I-24 access ramp was signalized from eastbound I-24 onto westbound Old Fort Parkway). This will create gaps in traffic for both turning traffic and weaving movements from the eastbound I-24 ramp into the center turn lane of Church Street and more safely facilitates the left turn into adjacent commercial development, as well Butler Drive.
Signs On I-24 Directing Trucks To Use Joe B. Jackson Parkway Exit
Question: A listener phoned to say, "I have the answer. Put signs on I-24 that direct truckers to use the Joe B. Jackson Parkway exit, as it is designed for big rig traffic. Also, post no left turn onto Butler Drive for big rigs, and back it up with traffic citations."
City Manager Roby Lyons Response: Signage to prohibit truck traffic is not currently being considered as Church Street is a vitally important regional thoroughfare with concentrated commercial and industrial development that not only serves Murfreesboro but the region as a whole.
Concerned With Potential Traffic Grid-Lock On Memorial
Question: A listener called and commented, "I'm concerned with what the traffic on Memorial Boulevard in front of Adams Place will be like when the new Wal-Mart opens. Is the city doing anything to prepare for this onslaught of traffic?"
City Manager Roby Lyons Response: A substantial amount of the traffic serviced by Wal-Mart is not new traffic, but existing pass-by traffic. In other words, it is traffic that is already on Memorial Boulevard that will stop there to shop. The remaining traffic attracted to the site can be accommodated by the excess capacity that currently exists on Memorial Boulevard. Additional future roadway improvements to accommodate additional traffic are planned and Wal-Mart was required, as a condition of their site plan approval, to construct several roadway improvements in conjunction with the site development.
Emergency Lanes Needed On Medical Center Parkway
Question: With all of the retail and hospital traffic along the Medical Center Parkway, I'm concerned that there are no emergency lanes. The two-land curbed roadway has curbs protecting the grass and tree covered median along with curbs on the right side just before the sidewalk. There is no place for motorists to pull-over to allow emergency vehicles to pass."
City Manager Roby Lyons Response: The Medical Center Parkway roadway was planned and designed to accommodate development of adjacent land. The city’s standard roadway specifications do not include emergency lanes. There are no roadways built by the City that includes emergency lanes. The Tennessee Department of Transportation sometimes builds emergency lanes on high capacity regional roadway facilities. (Note: In a separate broadcast where Mr. Lyons was a guest, this question arose and he commented that "there are no emergency lanes in Nashville near Baptist hospital (now known as St. Thomas Mid Town) or St. Thomas West on Harding Road.)
Traffic Signal at Irongate and Memorial
Question: Memorial Boulevard traffic is already a challenge at peak hours, and when the new Wal-Mart opens--it will be more of a problem. Can you place a traffic signal on Memorial at Irongate Boulevards to better control the flow?
City Manager Roby Lyons Response: There are no immediate plans to signalize Irongate Blvd. at Memorial Blvd., but the City recognizes that signalization will occur eventually at this location based on surrounding land use and potential future development. In addition, the City has planned the spacing from Haynes Drive and proposed future roadway crossings to enable signalization at Irongate Blvd. once traffic signal warrants have been met.
Create "Black Spot" Zones
Question: A listener phoned to say, "In many places, there are Black Spot Zones. Why not here?" (Note: Black Spot Zones are where signage warns motorists that this is an area where historically a large number of traffic accidents have occurred.)
City Manager Roby Lyons Response: Currently, the City has no plans to implement a “black dot” area warning system or install signage. The City believes it should use its resources to focus on the actual identification of high accident locations and implementation of physical improvements in these areas. However, in the future, the City will remain open to other considerations for addressing traffic concerns at high-volume intersections.