ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville officials may someday consider traffic enforcement cameras at or around the intersection of Highway 11-W and Park Boulevard, but the state must give its OK before any action can be taken.
Rogersville resident Richard Burdette presented the Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday with a list of safety suggestions for that intersection, which has been the site of some horrific accidents in recent years.
Afterward, Mayor Jim Sells said city staff would send the suggestions — including for red light photo traffic enforcement at the intersection and photo speed enforcement somewhere both east and west of the intersection — to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“If you save one life it’s well worth it,” Sells said. “What we will do is turn around and give this to the state because it’s a state highway, and we can’t do anything without their approval. We had to pay a lot to get those lights up there that flash back and forth after we had that real bad wreck up there.
“But we will give these to the state and see what they recommend. We’ll get them in the mail sometime tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Some board members speaking informally prior to the meeting said they believe some of the suggestions presented by Burdette are good ideas. Burdette had initially presented his ideas to Alderman Brian Hartness, who suggested Burdette present them to the BMA.
“My main concern is the number and the seriousness of the accidents at that intersection, and it’s only going to get worse when the Justice Center opens up” Burdette told the BMA. “To me the problem is exacerbated by the fact that it’s the only signal light within 15 or 20 miles in either direction, so people get used to the idea there’s no signals.
“By the way, I’m not a traffic engineer. I’m just a guy who drives around and tries to stay out of accidents, so these are just some thoughts and observations.”
Aside from speed and traffic light photo enforcement, Burdette’s suggestions included:
•Changing the traffic light so that vehicles can only turn left on an arrow, and not when oncoming traffic has a green light.
•Changing the flashing “Signal Ahead” sign for approaching 11-W traffic to a “Prepare to Stop” sign that begins flashing just before the light turns red.
•Adding a strobe to the red light on 11-W that will flash when the red light is illuminated.
But the suggestions most likely to generate dialogue in and around Rogersville are for photo enforcement.
“I read in the paper Kingsport has had quite a good success rate as far as reducing the number of accidents where camera enforcement is in place,” Burdette told the BMA.
Burdette added, “Mount Carmel apparently has had a lot of success with their camera enforcement as far as reducing accidents along their stretch of 11-W, and perhaps we could have the same success.”
In an unrelated BMA agenda item Tuesday, Burdette was approved for appointment to the Library Board.
In other business Tuesday the BMA:
•Approved a change order for the Hale Springs Inn renovation project revising architect Michael Emrick’s fee from $78,300 to $125,720 and increasing the electric contractor’s fee by $5,500. The changes were due to the need to design the new rear addition to replace the 1870 addition, which fell partially earlier this year and was subsequently demolished.
Rogersville Building Inspector Steve Nelson told the board he hopes to have the drawings approved by the state fire marshal within two weeks.
•Voted unanimously in favor of accepting the low bid of $109,571 from Lyons Construction for paving Broadway Avenue. The only other bid was $112,995 from APAC.
•Announced a vacancy on the Historic Preservation Board created by the recent passing of Connie Reimann.