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Fox and Main intersection to see improvements

Proposed improvements at the corner of Fox and Main streets are expected to make the downtown Jonesborough intersection more pedestrian friendly.
Members of the town’s Traffic Advisory Committee as well as its Tree and Townscape Board approved last month a plan that removes parking spaces and extends the sidewalk on a portion of Main Street.
Originally, town leaders wanted to put turn lanes in for those turning left onto Boone Street from Main Street and for those making a left from Main onto Fox.
“We determined there’s some serious problems with the left turns,” Town Administrator Bob Browning said. “It can be done, but it creates other issues to cram that extra lane in.”
With only 33 feet across Main Street, Browning said adding a left turn lane would mean each lane could only be 11 feet wide.
“You get issues with turning radius. People would be running over curbs,” Browning said. “You put a left turn in there and you’re going to back Fox Street traffic up to the railroad because people aren’t going to make that turn. They’ll be afraid they don’t have room to turn in traffic.”
As it is, Browning said, drivers are already running over the curb when turning right from Fox onto Main.
Motorists traveling west on Main Street tend to move to the center of the road at Fox Street to avoid the parked cars located across from Fox Street, Browning said. Drivers turning right onto Main Street do not think they have enough room to make the turn, so they cut the corner and roll up over the curb, he explained.
Leaders believe eliminating the parking spaces will alleviate much of the traffic congestion.
A granite or painted line would divide Main Street, creating a 14-foot eastbound lane and a 12-foot westbound lane.
The plan will also allow for an extension of the brick sidewalk along the north side of Main Street to better accommodate pedestrians.
Currently, the sidewalk is only three to four feet wide, rendering it relatively useless because it us not wide enough to carry foot traffic safely, Browning said.
A raised crosswalk across Main Street in front of the Sweet Shop would serve to slow down traffic while providing handicap accessibility for pedestrians.
In the proposed plan, the sidewalk would be extended from the new crosswalk all the way around the corner at Boone Street.
At a Jan. 31 joint meeting of Jonesborough’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Planning Commission, members of both groups unanimously approved the proposed plan.