Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Make a final decision on the Five Points intersection

The latest news out of the Town of Jonesborough regarding the possible construction of either a traffic circle or traffic signal at the Five Points intersection is that the state has put the project on hold to do more research and cost analysis.
While the Town was asked which it would prefer — a traffic signal or traffic circle — the Tennessee Department of Transportation ultimately makes the final decision.
Late last year, Town leaders voiced their opinion that a traffic circle would be preferred, in part because they were told it would cost Jonesborough, and taxpayers, less money.
Wrong.
TDOT now says its project engineer was incorrect in telling Town leaders they’d be responsible for 10 percent of the cost of a traffic signal. In fact, the state is fully funding either project, up to $1 million.
The Town’s announcement last year of its preference for a traffic circle sent at least one business owner into a tizzy (and rightfully so). It turns out, Five Points Grocery owner Kelly Street had not been notified of the necessary demolition of her business, which sits at the intersection, in order to build the traffic circle.
The fiasco now continues for Street as TDOT puts the entire project on hold to determine which project — signal or circle — is more cost effective, something that we presumed had already been determined.
While the traffic circle would take out Street’s entire business, the signal option would allow Street to keep her building, but would eliminate the majority of her parking lot..
There’s no question, whether it’s a traffic circle or traffic signal, Street will be forced to change the way she does business — if she can do it at all.
With that in mind it’s time for the state to make a decision. Let’s not leave the future of a business blowing in the wind any longer than need be.
And if the desires of a business owner to get on with her life aren’t enough to spur a speedy decision, let’s not forget the reason for the project in the first place. Five Points intersection is dangerous to motorists. A high school sits off of one of those roadways, forcing many young drivers to travel through the intersection at least five days a week.
It shouldn’t take the death of an innocent motorist to expedite the project. The point is to prevent such an incident from ever occurring.
So let’s get on with it already.