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Road work causes driver frustration and phone calls to city

Plastic traffic cones and orange signs that tout “Road Construction” seem to sprout up like springtime fl owers in bloom in Franklin. But only the former leads to phone calls to city administrators by motorists frustrated by road-construction bottlenecks and longer drive times.

“When we start a construction project, we sometimes get complaints initially,” said Paul Holzen, Franklin’s director of engineering. “But we work closely with [Tennessee Department of Transportation] and the Franklin Police Department to fi nd ways to make traffic flow better.”

That’s something he has done a lot of recently. Currently, there are six major road construction projects peppered throughout city limits (see sidebar on Page A8), which can turn otherwise short hops across town into progress-slowing, mood-dampening exertions that can carry motorist through one or more construction projects in a matter of just a mile or two.

“We get complaints on occasion,” said Milissa Reierson, communications director for the city of Franklin. “And we work to minimize the disruption to motorists.”

Changes such as re-timing the traffic lights and adjusting construction when possible helps to maximize travel flow during peak travel times. Motorists, Holzen said, are also adjusting their driving habits.

“People are fi nding alternate routes,” he said.

But that’s not always okay, according to one Franklin resident, who said her residential street has fast become an “alternate route” from the project at Hillsboro Road just north of Five Points.

“We live on Alexander Drive,” said Brenda Langdon in an email to the Herald. “Traffi c has nearly tripled going through my street to cut through in an effort to get to New [Highway] 96 West. It has caused my husband and I to be very much concerned for the safety of our to grandson’s that live in our home.”

Not only has the traffic increased, Langdon said, but it is traveling at a higher rate of speed.

“I am shocked at the rate of speed these people are traveling to get through the neighborhood,” she said.

Reierson said that the city notifies the police department, which can patrol the street with the problem motorists to help slow traffic.

“Police enforcement is the quickest option we have to address situations like this,” Holzen said.

“I have faith that it’s going to turn out really nice,” Reierson said, noting that her daily commute carries her through a road-construction zone. “I look around and I see the future. I think it’s going to be great.”

Posted on: 4/5/2013


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