NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Clarksville’s growing population has led to major traffic headaches, as well as safety concerns, especially as residents discover neighborhood “cut-throughs.”
Montgomery County Commissioner Jeremiah Walker lives in the Cunningham Farms subdivision and notices speeders daily.
“It’s one of the last streets that you will see if you’re coming up Cunningham Lane before you get to Lafayette Road that cuts all the way through to the Purple Heart. So, it’s just a cut through is what it is,” Walker explained.
As he walks out to his mailbox, he says this is the fourth one he’s had to replace over the last 18 months.
The last one they hit, it just broke off because there was so much concrete in the hole,” Walker said. “Matter of fact, I can’t even dig the concrete out, I just moved the mailbox, I didn’t feel like digging all that concrete out of that hole.
But truthfully, it’s not the mailbox he’s worried about, it’s the students walking from Northwest High School and other surrounding schools that concern him.
“You know I can buy mailboxes every Monday if I need to, but you can’t replace a life,” Walker added.
With the help of Ward 2 Councilmember Deanna McLaughlin, Walker was able to get temporary radar speed detectors, which he does believe helped. However, he was told speed bumps were not an option due to concerns from EMS workers.
“If they’re traveling in an ambulance and they’re administering an IV or some medical procedure and they hit a speed bump, it could damage the patients. But there are streets in Montgomery County, in the city of Clarksville, that I know for a fact have speed bumps,” Walker said.
Walker would now like to see flowerpot cascades placed at intersections, as a last-ditch effort to slow down drivers. McLaughlin also sees the seriousness of the problem, and says $50 dollar fines simply weren’t working.
“So, I was trying to come up with a solution and then the idea was to see if the state could help us increase the fine. Not as a money grab for government, but something to encourage people to curtail their habits,” McLaughlin said.
With new legislation sponsored by State Rep. Curtis Johnson and State Sen. Bill Powers, Clarksville has now dropped their unposted residential speed limit to 20 miles per hour and drivers could face fines up to $500.
“Honestly, if people would just drive on residential streets as if it was their residential street where their child was or where they were trying to walk, then I think that we wouldn’t have a residential speeding problem,” McLaughlin said.
Clarksville Police told News 2 they work to mitigate traffic through data mapping and High Visibility Engagement (HVE).
Public Information Officer Scott Beaubien shared the following statement:
Our traffic unit’s stance is to prevent the more serious and fatal crashes from occurring, which prevents large time-consuming crashes from closing roadways for hours. When these types of crashes occur, they require a lot of resources and manpower to clear the scene. Data shows that fatal and serious injury crashes are happening on major roadways.
The residential traffic can be addressed with public awareness and cooperation by the members of these neighborhoods. Working the THSO, there have been numerous campaigns and posts regarding “Slow Down Clarksville”.
Patrol officers’ priority is to answer calls for service. When they are not busy, they do spend time in the neighborhoods working on traffic control.Clarksville Police Department
See how communities are cracking down on drivers who treat neighborhoods across Middle Tennessee like race tracks in News 2’s Neighborhood Speeders special report.