published Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Red Bank tackles issues on Dayton Boulevard


by Chris Carroll
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press Motorists travel down the center of Dayton Boulevard in a section that has been reduced to two lanes of traffic due to construction.

Driving through Red Bank's busiest thoroughfare can feel like dodging linebackers, but officials believe today's orange-barrel blitz will become tomorrow's urban touchdown.

"Here's your quote of the day: 'Temporary traffic congestion is just a sign of progress,'" Red Bank City Manager Chris Dorsey said.

By March, Dayton Boulevard will have sidewalks lining most of its length, four sets of energy-efficient traffic signals, ornamental lighting and several segments of resurfaced road. It's all thanks to $1.6 million funneled by the federal government -- part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

But some Dayton Boulevard business owners aren't happy after watching motorists decide against acrobatic left turns toward their shops in the construction zones.

Daryl Reeves, a worker at Buddy Ratley Signs, spent a recent lunch hour inhaling a cigarette and mourning a once-busy road.

"It's the traffic cameras, mostly ... even the Krystal closed," Reeves said. "But once this construction started, the roads were blocked off and we could tell a big difference [in business]. It may be a good thing in the end, though."

Dorsey said the end result will be good for everyone, including business owners.

"This whole thing will help Dayton Boulevard, make it more pedestrian-friendly," Dorsey said. "People need to be patient."

Winston Cronin, the head barber of Casual Cuts, supported the resurfacing because he knew a few people who walked the street every day, but he said he routinely repositioned toppled barrels in November so customers had a clear route to a quick trim.

"It really got slow for about a week. On certain days I could have went on home," Cronin said. "I almost went out there myself and moved some barrels. I didn't do it, but I wanted to."

Red Bank spent about $89,000 of its State Street Aid allotment -- funds from Tennessee's gasoline tax -- for preliminary engineering costs on the projects, and "a small amount of taxpayer money" eventually will be used for signs and crosswalks, Dorsey said.

For the next few months, the city's a mess. Normally, Dayton Boulevard is a straight shot either way, but it's been an obstacle course of one-lane challenges since work began in early November.

"Some progress takes time," Dorsey said.



ORNAMENTAL LIGHTING

Contractors are finishing a decade-long project -- brightening Dayton Boulevard's north end with 32 green light posts.

"Don't describe it as decorative; it's not just for Christmas," City Manager Chris Dorsey said.

Cost: $86,000

SIDEWALKS

A nearly uninterrupted sidewalk -- some new sections, some "rehabilitated" -- will stretch from Browntown Road to Signal Mountain Road. It is now compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"I've seen wheelchairs have to go around to the next driveway to get back on a sidewalk," Dorsey said. "Had to make some curb cuts."

Cost: $788,000

SIGNALIZATION

Four Dayton Boulevard intersections -- at Browntown Road, Leawood Road, Martin Road and Newberry Road -- will receive energy-efficient bulbs and "mast arms" that will cancel the clutter.

"No more wires," Dorsey said.

Cost: $271,000

ROAD RESURFACING

Crews are repaving parts of Lupton Drive and one mile of Dayton Boulevard from Memorial Drive to Signal Mountain Road.

Cost: $471,000

Total stimulus funding: $1,616,000

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fftspam said...

I like the two intersections with cameras... The actual red stop light bulbs are covered in dirt and not even 'pointed' toward traffic. They are all dangling in different directions.

The other stop lights in Red Bank without cameras are well maintained, clean, bright and pointed toward traffic.

Hmm. Go Figure.

December 2, 2010 at 2:43 a.m.
sunnydelight said...

"This whole thing will help Dayton Boulevard, make it more pedestrian-friendly," Dorsey said. "People need to be patient."

I guess a real honest to goodness bicycle path would have been too logical . They could have shared with the wheelchairs.

December 2, 2010 at 4:08 a.m.
  1. Please tell me that Red Bank is not really spending "OBAMA STIMULUS DOLLARS"! OMG, no way! RB is a SOCIALIST STATE!

  2. Do you think they maybe could have waited until after the Christmas holidays to start this work so as to not choke off the last few remaining small businesses that are gasping for customers?

  3. I was at an intersection in RB yesterday (the only one I am forced to travel thru on my way to Walmart)and I saw six RB municipal workers in two trucks parked in the grass with ladders at the ready. I thought "hooray, down come the cameras!"......but alas, it was just Christmas decorations that apparently needed six men and two trucks. Oh well, maybe someday....

Happy Holidays Red Bank....I hope 2011 is a better year for you. It can be if you make better decisions. We are rooting for ya!

December 2, 2010 at 4:11 a.m.
XMarine said...

Sure they are spending the money.The entire county is a socialist state : TVA,EPB,fiber optics courtesy of Pres Obama,Enterprise South...etc,etc & etc !!!

December 2, 2010 at 6:40 a.m.
chattdweller said...

The Krystal on Dayton Blvd. went out of business because the service became horrible that last year or so.

I drive through the camera intersections twice a day. No tickets yet. Though I don't believe they do much for overall safety, I do know since they went in that it's easier to drive during rush hour because no one blocks the intersection for fear of having their picture snapped.

I learned 20 years ago in US Government class that the United States was a democracy with many elements of socialism woven throughout - like government run welfare programs such as "Social" Security. Also learned that it's almost impossible to dismantle or change such things once they're installed.

December 2, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.
noapathy said...

It's almost impossible but not quite. They have to pay out of the camera contract or wait to not be penalized but after that, there should no reason the cameras can't come down. We live in a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. Accurately defined, a democracy is a form of government in which the people decide policy matters directly--through town hall meetings or by voting on ballot initiatives and referendums. A republic, on the other hand, is a system in which the people choose representatives who, in turn, make policy decisions on their behalf. The Framers of the Constitution were altogether fearful of pure democracy. Everything they read and studied taught them that pure democracies "have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths". So, with commissioners elected to be our representatives their vote on the cameras coming down should be dictated by their constituents. Not just the majority but ALL of them. I wish we could have put the cameras out of business by reducing tickets but they still make enough money off of them to state it's for safety instead. Not all opposing the cameras are ticket holders, I have not received any myself and still despise them. I still have hope that liberty will prevail in this situation, RB will get better and if not...we will keep trying until we get it right. However, I am not a fan of taking federal stimulus funds. You cannot spend your way out of debt, period. We have no business helping the federal government bankrupt this country! RB has over 30 million in the bank and could have taken care of these much needed improvements independently.

December 2, 2010 at 2:37 p.m.

Okay. Democrats voted to spend it 18 monts ago on shovel-ready projects so RB might as well get it for infrastructure improvements vs. the egg-head Harvard biologists studying the mating habits of the yellow-speckled flane-tip tadpole of Walla-Walla.

Good for you RB.

December 2, 2010 at 2:58 p.m.
mthompson332 said...

Uh, where are you getting your "30 million" number, noapathy?

December 2, 2010 at 3 p.m.
marctn31 said...

it will be easier to shop in north chattanooga or hixson vs getting all of those $50.00 pops in the wallet ask red bank post office how many money orders the sell a week it will shock the whole town.sell the harleys and buy some hondas

December 23, 2010 at 12:03 a.m.
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