KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — There are several spots in Knoxville and Knox County that are magnets for traffic. Many, who live near these areas or drive through them, are often puzzled when more businesses and more homes are approved to be built in already congested places.

Parkside Drive is home to the Pinnacle at Turkey Creek, The Pavillion, Turkey Creek Medical and so much more.

“You can find anything you need in one spot and not have to travel,” Debbie Keys says.

She also adds the area is known for traffic congestion. “It’s challenging at times.”

Keys knows all about the traffic because she shops and works in the area. Her advice — avoid intersections without traffic.

“I would go through the parking lot to a light to try to get out because you have easier access instead of waiting.”

An apartment complex — with close to 200 units — is under construction on Parkside Drive directly across from Tennova’s Turkey Creek Medical Facility.

“We’re constantly seeing development go on. We thought it might slow down because of the economy and interest rates, but so far it has not slowed down and it continues with significant growth,” says Jeff Welch, the executive director of Knoxville/Knox County Planning.

Welch is aware of the complex and traffic survey that the developers had to perform.

“Regulations require an assessment of traffic if the development has more than 750 average daily travel trips in and out of the development,” he said. “We make developers look at the impact they have on the traffic situation and making improvements too. Such as adding a turning lane or adding a traffic signal or other improvements within the city and county,”

In this case, the city plans to add another traffic signal on Parkside Drive. The traffic light will be between the light at Tennova and Snow Goose Drive.

“If it is timed right and the lights are in sync, it will be OK. If the lights are not synced it is going to be a mess,” Keys says.

Welch says that is the plan — sync the lights and make it smoother and safer for motorists going in and out the new apartment comples as well as the Pavillion at Turkey Creek and Tennova across the street.

Welch know developments like this can add to the congestion, but he says Knoxville and Knox County cannot just stop growing. “You can’t say no and say no more development – that would be a crushing blow to our economy in East Tennessee.”

He understands motorists’ frustrations because it impacts him as well. “I’ve lived here for 37 years and I’ve witnessed the increase in traffic every day and I changed my driving habits as a result of that. I leave 20 minues earlier than I used to.”

He adds that if Knoxville and Knox County populations continue to grow — housing, businesses and traffic — like this — will continue to grow as well.

“If we’re going to be a growing community — city and county — there is going to be additional traffic as a result of that growth,” Welch says.

Welch says at the January Planning meeting he has 26 rezoning cases on the agenda. To see more of the new developments the county and city have a website … it is called Groundbreakers.

To see the map for the major projects and renovations in Knox County, click here.