published Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Warning of 'killer hills' in Cleveland

Motorists in the 2900 block of Michigan Avenue in Clevelnd, Tenn., deal with more heavy construction traffic on a two-lane road that used to be only residential. Someone placed a sign stating, "Lower the Killer Hills" after a motorist was killed recently.
Motorists in the 2900 block of Michigan Avenue in Clevelnd, Tenn., deal with more heavy construction traffic on a two-lane road that used to be only residential. Someone placed a sign stating, "Lower the Killer Hills" after a motorist was killed recently.
Photo by Tim Barber.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — On Michigan Avenue, big trucks roared past signs Wednesday that urge the city to "Lower These Killer Hills."

The signs are the work of David Ellis, who made the same appeal Monday to the Cleveland City Council.

The trucks, as well as cars, also passed a white cross at the Minnis Road intersection with Michigan, marking the spot of a traffic fatality in March.

Ellis said he has no property or personal interest on Michigan Avenue but is concerned "as a good neighbor." He cites previous troubled roads, including Fullbright and Blackburn, where improvements were made after other fatalities.

With Whirlpool on one end and the new city airport on the other end of Michigan -- an increasingly busy road not built for heavy traffic -- more residential development is coming to the area, Ellis said.

"I am asking for direction from the city to ensure that the development that is being done there will not cost the citizens a lot, to buy up improved property," he said. "Right now there are not a lot more of those subdivisions. But there are places around Stuart Road that might have a driveway every 50 feet."

The city has some immediate plans for Michigan, according to Public Works Director Tommy Myers.

"We have plans to widen the road a little bit and start paving next Monday," Myers said.

For now, though, the city can widen the road only by one foot on each side of Michigan Avenue from Stuart Road to Benton Pike, he said.

"Hopefully that will help," Myers said.

Ellis said the best solution "is to level the hills and put in a turn lane," but the community will be grateful for any safety improvements.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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