Residents want narrow Knox County road fixed

Residents want narrow Knox County road fixed to prevent accidents

Posted:
Residents on Gordon Smith Road say the road has become a major problem with accidents. Residents on Gordon Smith Road say the road has become a major problem with accidents.
"It's pretty narrow and the right-of-way is pretty narrow," said Gary Tidwell. "It's pretty narrow and the right-of-way is pretty narrow," said Gary Tidwell.
"Widening it, and maybe speed bumps," Valarie Arnold suggested. "Widening it, and maybe speed bumps," Valarie Arnold suggested.
"There's not plans to do anything with the road specifically," said Jim Snowden, Knox County's deputy director of engineering and public works. "There's not plans to do anything with the road specifically," said Jim Snowden, Knox County's deputy director of engineering and public works.
Construction is currently underway at the intersection of Emory Road and Andersonville Pike. Construction is currently underway at the intersection of Emory Road and Andersonville Pike.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - People who live on a Knox County road say traffic is dangerous. If the problem isn't fixed soon, they say, more people are going to get hurt.

Gordon Smith Road, between Norris Freeway and Andersonville Pike in the Halls Community, is located near a new Walmart store.

Residents there say the road has become a major problem with accidents.

"It's pretty narrow and the right-of-way is pretty narrow," said Gary Tidwell, who has lived on Gordon Smith Road for almost 40 years. "There is a hill on the other side."

"I have a teenage son that drives this road everyday," said Valarie Arnold. "It really concerned me."

On August 25, a vehicle lost control and flipped several times on the road, seriously injuring the driver. 
 
People who live in the area say since the new Walmart opened, people have been using Gordon Smith Road as a short cut.

County officials say there have only been two major accidents on this road in the recent years, but people who live in the area say there have been several close calls.

"I have seen cars, especially trucks with the big, wide rear view mirrors, bump and knock mirrors off a time or two," Tidwell said.

Jim Snowden, Knox County's deputy director of engineering and public works, says there is no specific plan for improving Gordon Smith Road at this time.

"There's not plans to do anything with the road specifically," Snowden said. "One of the things we identified is an intersection. There's a parallel road to Gordon Smith that may be adding to the traffic on Gordon Smith."

Construction is currently underway at the intersection of Emory Road and Andersonville Pike, where crews are adding turn lanes and traffic signals.

Snowden says he hopes that will stop some of the traffic on Gordon Smith Road.

Neighbors, however, are doubtful, and suggest other ideas to decrease the risk of accidents. 

"Widening it, and maybe speed bumps," Arnold suggested.

Tidwell had similar thoughts.

"I suppose they can widen it," Tidwell said. "They have about a six-foot right-of-way on this side. It will be a little work and a little money, but it probably needs to be done."

Knox County road officials say there are many roads just like Gordon Smith Road in the county. Their job is to prioritize which ones they need to tackle first.

Road officials just hope drivers will obey the speed limit on the narrow roads.

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