NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — “Packard Drive is probably one of the most dangerous streets in this area.”
That’s not just Jeff Sexton’s opinion, but according to the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT), it’s a fact.
After gathering neighbors’ feedback and conducting speed studies, NDOT determined Packard Drive is in fact Nashville’s worst street in regards to speeding.
“We have families that walk with their children,” said Sexton. “We have runners. We have residents that ride their bikes, and some of them have had the close calls.”
Last October, Sexton and his neighbors were pushing for this street to see a traffic calming program after a crash left three people seriously injured.
Now with this new data, Packard Drive was selected for NDOT’s traffic calming program.
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In the next few weeks, NDOT will be working with council members and neighbors to plan community workshops to collaborate on the best design for this street.
Sexton serves as the director of the Fairlane Park Neighborhood Association, and while he is excited about the traffic calming program, he is now pushing for more to be done in regard to street racing.
“I think enforcement has to be critical,” he said. “I think it has to have consequences.”
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Sexton is working on a proposal to create a statewide street racing task force.
He wants penalties to go from misdemeanors to felonies, like mandatory jail time for first offenders, loss of vehicles permanently and loss of driving privileges for at least one year.
“I think a slap on the wrist won’t work,” said Sexton. “I think it’s going to have to be statewide all the way to probably nationwide because we are seeing it all around us.”
He says he’s been in talks with lawmakers about getting his proposal off the ground and says he won’t stop fighting until he’s able to make this happen.
“I think if you look at how our neighborhoods are being terrorized not only by the speeding and the cut-through traffic but we have the street racers that are beginning to impact the entire city of Nashville and the entire state.”