Saturday, September 13, 2014
"Lost in Riverview" - Traffic Jam Has Visitors Looking for a Bypass
As he crossed the Holston River at Eastman, he saw that the road was blocked ahead at the Industry Drive stop light.
"It was kinda like, a surprise stop," he says. "I saw the cop standing outside his car there, and he was like 'you gotta get off this road."
The first road he came to and turned right on, was Wheatley Street. "Everybody else was turning onto Wheatley, so I just followed them."
"It seemed like the best option."
And he wasn't the only one lost that Saturday.
They all had to come back through and exit the neighborhood at the same place they came into it....
....and that was right back to Wheatley and Industry, where others 'following the leader' were also coming into the neighborhood. They also met traffic going TO the road race coming in on Wheatley to park in Eastman's parking lot.
"So far, I've counted about 300 cars, running up and down Louis Street, and also going on down Dunbar," she said. "Pretty soon, here they come right back out, when they can't get out on MLK."
"I'd been sorta laughing at 'em, but then you feel sorry for 'em," Hodges said. "I know how I would feel if I was stuck driving around in a strange place. They don't want to be here, but they're stuck and the only way out is the way you came in, that's now bogged down in traffic."
"They don't know what we know," she says. "Riverview only has two ways in and out, and one of those is blocked."
"There 'ya go."
Would more 'detour' signs have helped? Everybody the Douglass website reporter talked to, responded with a resounding 'yes.' "Maybe even a 'no through traffic' sign would help," says Hodges. Abernathy says the only signs he saw, was one 'detour' sign on Wilcox pointing which way to go. "There was no sign at Industry and Wheatley at all," he noted.
Elsea promised to look into the situation.
"It is definitely something that we'll sit down and look at," he says. "We'll look at this race and other events to make sure that the folks in Riverview don't get boxed in, because it can be an inconvenience."
"400 cars? Through this neighborhood? You gotta be kidding me," he said. "This is preventable with three or four more signs. Keep the one 'detour' sign at Wilcox/Industry, that leads right down to another one at Industry/Wheatley, and still more signs further down Industry. That way, folks like me wanted to get around everything can go on down Industry to Netherland Inn and come in the back way."
"If I visit, I don't want it to be the result of a detour."
"Nobody ever talks to us whenever they plan these things," lamented Jack Pierce.
"I don't know of a funeral that would have this many cars up and down the street like this," noted Jeannie Hodges.