KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — People who live in East Knoxville, particularly along Magnolia Avenue, are asking “what does it take to get a crosswalk or a traffic light?”

The question comes after Sherman Edward Harvey Jr., 24, was hit and killed while crossing the road last week. According to a woman who witnessed the incident, Harvey Jr. was not using a crosswalk when he was hit. However, people who live and work in that area say something has to be done.

“They do need a traffic light but it seems like we aren’t getting any action,” said one resident.

Yet, the city says it’s in the people’s hands.

“Typically, a request comes from a neighborhood,” said Tom Clabo, director of engineering. “Office of neighborhoods will reach out to that neighborhood group and there’s a formal process set up.”

That process is broken into three groups: education, enforcement and engineering. Education begins at the problem area.

“Make drivers aware what the speed limits are in neighborhoods to keep things safe,” Clabo told WATE. “You have over 12,000 vehicles a day on that roadway [Magnolia Avenue]. Posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour.”

Cars travel down Magnolia Avenue (WATE)

Next comes enforcement.

“We work with Knoxville Police Department to look at where’s there’s speeding issues,” said Clabo. “The last step of that process would be engineering. We’re looking at kind of physical devices there. We’ve been using speed humps.”

That’s just the city’s to-do list. With Magnolia Avenue being part of US-11, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) would also be involved.

“We will reach out to the Tennessee Department of Transportation and coordinate that effort with them,” said Clabo. “It ultimately requires their approval.”

Regardless of whose approval is needed, people who live along Magnolia Avenue say something needs to be done.

“Me, you, we’re all taxpayers,” one resident told WATE. “Why can’t we get what we’re asking for?”

According to the city, change doesn’t happen immediately, but the very first step is to learn about Knoxville’s Neighborhood Traffic Safety Program, which offers traffic studies.

To get a traffic study started, you have to be part of a neighborhood organization, have three unrelated people fill out the application, and be able to provide specific areas where you see traffic problems.

For more help, the city suggests calling 3-1-1, the city’s services information line. Below are links to the city of Knoxville’s various pages regarding traffic issues: