Pedestrian assistance in crossing Chancery Street is under consideration.
McMinnville officials have agreed to consider a lighted pedestrian crosswalk at the intersection of Chancery and Locust streets at the request of a parent concerned with children walking from Bobby Ray Elementary School.
Zach Sutton said he first asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation for assistance due to that street being a state route.
“There is no crosswalk with any pedestrian signaling on North Chancery between downtown and McDonalds,” said Sutton. “I was in a meeting with Mayor (Ben) Newman and TDOT and asked them if they would put in an official crosswalk at Bobby Ray School where there is a public safety officer in the afternoons. They denied that because there is no stop light there. They said they have to be at stop lights.”
The intersection of Chancery and Locust has designated pedestrian walkways painted across the street but no signalization. Pedestrian signs, when activated, stop traffic and direct when walkers can cross the street. At a crossing where there are no pedestrian signs, walkers must obey the red, yellow, or green signal lights.
TDOT will not fund the upgrade.
“TDOT said if we would like to pursue that, we could,” said Sutton. “We would have to fund it and the installation of the pedestrian mechanisms similar to the downtown lights. My request is to give the west side of town some options to be able to cross North Chancery safely.”
His request was made before members of the city’s Streets and Sanitation Committee.
“That’s a particularly long walk across the street because of the angles,” said Mayor Ben Newman.
Alderman Everett Brock added, “It’s also a short light, if you are on Locust Street. I come out that way a lot. People run that light. It’s unbelievable. Sit there and see how many times people run that light.”
“I think that would be a good location for one,” said Newman.
McMinnville Public Works Department director Brad Hennessee will generate an estimate on cost for committee consideration and begin looking for a grant opportunities such as Safe Route to School, a federally funded program that focuses on the benefits of children walking and biking to school.