published Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Do downtown U.S. 27 right

For many years, thousands of motorists who have traveled U.S. 27 through downtown Chattanooga and over the Olgiati Bridge have been thankful for having the useful highway to cut their commute times.

But hasn’t every motorist along the way realized the design wasn’t ideal or exactly right?

The highway is simply too curvy to handle so much traffic safely.

Tennessee transportation planners surely are wise now to have decided to take a second look at a proposal to seek a better solution for a redesign of the busy thoroughfare.

What would be better? Obviously, a new highway design won’t be easy. If it were, the highway wouldn’t have been designed as it is now.

What all motorists and state highway authorities want is a Highway 27 design that will safely and speedily carry already heavy traffic — and even heavier future traffic — conveniently for many years to come.

Delay is disappointing, of course.

But the most wise course is to delay the multimillion-dollar construction project to get the plan right for years to come.

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nucanuck said...

US 27 cuts a wide swath through downtown Chattanooga, dividing it into two seperate parts. Urban planners cry over disasterous intrusions to the rhythm of a city like US 27, but all the focus centers on traffic flow instead of quality of the city's urban life. That's a shame...that's a real shame, because the city is a reflection of our values and we could do better. Moving quickly through the center city should not take precedent over good urban design.

Mayor Littlefield's first order of business upon taking office was to fire one of the best urban planners in America. What a shame! He was fighting for a better way for our city to address the US 27 corridor. Now we have no champion for a thoughtful better solution for a roadway that has traffic engineer written all over it. That makes me sad.

April 18, 2012 at 12:46 a.m.

So you want the renovation to be designed with real heart and emotion? You want the design to love the city or something like that? How about we forget all of that touchy feely crap and design it to be efficient, durable, convenient and beneficial to commerce for years to come. Commerce is going to be what pays for the renovation after all. How we "feel" about the road should have no bearing whatsoever upon it's design. Thought like that is what inspires the crappy art we have littering our city.

April 18, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.
LibDem said...

When people choose to move to the woods and commute to the city, it's our duty to provide convenient, efficient transit regardless of cost. If the government isn't going to be responsible for our choices, who will be?

April 18, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.
nucanuck said...

FPSE, only a few decades back, downtown Chattanooga was a deserted shell after five o'clock. The Chattanooga miracle didn't just happen, it was the collective effort of visionaries and a determined few to re-invent the city's urban core.

Transportation doesn't trump all other decisions, but rather must be a part of the over-all thought process of building a better city. When we make horrid urban mistakes such as the current downtown portion of US 27, we are stuck with it for at least a 40 year cycle. That's where we are now...at a point where we can try to reverse some of the effects of prior mistakes.

Chattanooga needs to spend the time and effort to get the planning done right. Whether that takes one year or five, it is too important to move forward with a problematic effort.

April 18, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.

I'm not arguing with you there nucanuck. This effort should be meticulously planned and executed. In times like these, we can't afford any mistakes.

April 18, 2012 at 2:20 p.m.
chet123 said...

STRANGE HOW THE PEOPLE THATUSES THAT ROUTE ARE HIGHLY ANTI-TAX PEOPLE WHO BENEFITS THE MOST........

THAT ROAD WAS PAID WITH TAX DOLLARS.....

NEWT GINGRICH ASK THE QUESTION ...WHAT DOES GOVERMENT DO RIGHT????...I THINK THERES A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO NEED TO THINK BEFORE SHOOTING OFF THEIR MOUTH LIKE A GUN

April 18, 2012 at 5:26 p.m.
chet123 said...

THESE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE PUSHING FOR POLICE TAKE HOME CARS.....SOMEBODY TELL THESE PEOPLE CHATTANOOGA TAX PAYER FINANCE THOSE CARS.......

THE SAME ANTI-TAX PEOPLE.....I SAY TO THEM TO PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR OWN BOOT-STRAP

April 18, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.
Plato said...

I guess I missed something. I think Highway 27 is a great drive and I often take it home instead of Hixson Pike even though it's longer. There are certainly many roads and bridges that badly need repairs and updates but 27 would be at the bottom of my priority list.

April 18, 2012 at 7:51 p.m.
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