KIMBALL, Tenn. - An "illegal" stop at a busy intersection has appeared again at the Kimball Crossing shopping center, and city leaders are afraid a traffic accident is imminent.
For the second time in recent years, repaving and striping work in the parking lot has resulted in a mysterious and illegitimate "stop" painted on the road at the main intersection where drivers exit the shopping center, making it a three-way stop.
Alderman Jerry Don Case said the issue has been brought up at meetings of the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen "several times."
"It totally confuses everybody," he said. "Sometimes it's a two-way [stop], and sometimes it's a three-way."
"And sometimes it's a no-way," Alderman Mark Payne added.
Mayor David Jackson said the stop is "illegal" because there is no official stop sign on that side of the intersection.
He said he has tried to contact Brixmor, the shopping center's owner, but the last phone number he had for the property owners has been disconnected.
Jackson instructed City Attorney Billy Gouger to attempt contact with Brixmor through email and "maybe put a little thump to it" regarding the company's responsibility in the matter.
"What happens there will be their responsibility," Jackson said.
Kimball will not be liable for any accidents that might occur at the intersection because it is on private property, officials said.
Repeated efforts to contact the property owner for comment were unsuccessful.
The issue first came up in 2011 after the parking lot was repaved, and the word "stop" was painted in the same place.
City leaders got little response from Brixmor then, too, but after several months the letters were covered with black paint until the latest recurrence last fall.
The sudden disappearance and reappearance of the "stop" message on the road over the last three years has caused even more uncertainty for local drivers, officials said.
"There's going to be a wreck down there," Case said. "Some [cars] will stop, and some will go on. You don't know what's going on down there."
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.