West Knoxville community mixed on plans for Sutherland Ave sidew

West Knoxville community mixed on plans for Sutherland Ave sidewalks

Posted:
The city of Knoxville is getting a mixed response after City Council approved a contract for new sidewalks along Sutherland Avenue earlier this week. The city of Knoxville is getting a mixed response after City Council approved a contract for new sidewalks along Sutherland Avenue earlier this week.
The approved contract is for more than $370,000 with Shelton General Contractors to build sidewalks on the north side of Sutherland Avenue between Hollywood Road and Jade Road. The approved contract is for more than $370,000 with Shelton General Contractors to build sidewalks on the north side of Sutherland Avenue between Hollywood Road and Jade Road.
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The city of Knoxville is getting a mixed response after City Council approved a contract for new sidewalks along Sutherland Avenue earlier this week.

The approved contract is for more than $370,000 with Shelton General Contractors to build sidewalks on the north side of Sutherland Avenue between Hollywood Road and Jade Road.

Rodney Reagan, owner of Farm Fresh Produce on Sutherland Avenue, said most of his customers arrive in cars, not on foot, and doesn't’t think sidewalks will help business very much.

"Most of my people drive in,” Reagan said. “We have a few that walk in and come on bikes, but most of the time, it's people that drive in and drive out."

Reagan said he worries that plans to build sidewalks outside his store will hurt parking for his business.

“I'm just afraid it's going to mess up the parking and everyone coming in," Reagan said. "We spend a lot of money on having parking."

The city told 6 News while the construction plan will change the flow of parking, in most cases, it won’t reduce parking.

"Putting sidewalks on both sides of the street like that makes it a whole lot more friendly to pedestrians and it makes it a really inviting kind of area," Knoxville Director of Engineering Jim Hagerman said.

Hagerman said there were public meetings held to discuss the construction plan but some residents told 6 News they believe the neighborhood doesn’t need new sidewalks.

President of the Pond Gap Neighborhood Association David Williams said he would rather see the city spend the money on a traffic island on Hollywood Road near the elementary school to slow down speeders.

"What it would do, the traffic has to slow down to go on either side of it and it would reduce the volume as well as the speed,” Williams said. “It can be done at a fraction of the cost of the sidewalk. Let's get that done first then we can go back and do the sidewalk project."

“We're always working on lots of other projects,” Hagerman said. “Everybody has their own idea of priority. This one did go through a pretty big public process to prioritize this kind of thing."

According to the contract, construction must be complete within three months from the time the city issues the notice to proceed.
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