Recently returning home to Signal Mountain after I exited Interstate 24 west at U.S. 27, I immediately came upon stalled traffic starting at I-24's U.S. 27 exit. Traffic moved at about 10-12 miles per hour. After 35 minutes of creeping, we topped the hill to see the exit to Signal Mountain Boulevard. That off-ramp, with its new traffic pattern leading to a traffic light, was the sole cause of this massive traffic jam.
As a retired Civil Engineer with time on my hands I couldn't keep myself from trying to estimate the impact of that backup. Figuring a space of about 30 feet per car for two lanes for 5 miles on 27 and about two miles on Dayton Boulevard I would calculate that about 2,250 cars were backed up. This backup went on for about an hour and a half, so I would conservatively estimate that it impacted 10,000 to 15,000 travelers. Reworking this intersection must have a top priority to be redesigned to restore the free flow lane north to Signal Mountain Boulevard as soon as possible.
... An intersection at this location solely controlled by traffic lights simply will not work. Please, TDOT: Present some revised designs to the public as soon as possible to show how you are going to correct this egregious traffic design error.
NOAH H. LONG JR., Signal Mountain
I am so frustrated with our school system. We were called and told that school would let out at 11 a.m., but there was no mention of the buses not running. My granddaughter has autism and is always home within 30 minutes. Being a concerned grandparent I tried calling the school, even the Superintendent, but all I got was a voice mail. I left my number but neither returned my call. I finally called transportation and the person said "Oh! no buses are running." We then went to Red Bank High School. Students were all in the gym waiting for a way to get home. It took over an hour to go maybe three and a half miles. This is bad, bad communication. What is next with our school system, and why did someone not answer the phone or return the calls?
BETTYE THOMAS, Hixson
If the media and our politicians -- and yes even the president of the United States -- keep playing the race card we will never have unity in our nation. Do any of these people remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King? Or, do they have selective memories.
BENJAMIN SUTTON, Hiawassee, Ga.
(As transformed by The Community Organizers America). Forget that there was once a country founded on the principle that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights which are supposed to be protected by the Constitution. This is just an old fable passed down from long ago (1776). We can organize and change this America into a country whose government dictates what rights its citizens may have. Let our Motto be "Hope & Change." Let us, through a series of nothing razzle-dazzle speeches, promise a "free lunch" to everyone. We can transform America into a country with more people voting than people working. We will further promise to take from those working and redistribute it to those who are not. In this manner we can re-organize America into a country believing all rights and solutions come from government. It's worked pretty well so far, and certainly a "progressive" victory in the 2014 and 2016 elections will ensure that the transformation will be irreversible.
You can be sure of one thing. That those politicians have their windows open up in the state capital in Nashville, smelling that sweet smell of marijuana from Colorado. It will only smell like more easy money to them. Kind of like the lottery.
CHARLES WIDGER, Spring City, Tenn.
What is your backup plan? Blame the weatherman, really! Since 911 and recent worsening weather patterns, citizens have been asked by countless agencies to have emergency supplies and a backup plan. Last week everyone went around like their hair was on fire. Frankly, most of us, myself included, looked unprepared. Weather is forecast incorrectly from time to time. Do you keep an umbrella in your car? That is a backup plan. How hard is it to put away a few provisions. This should be at your home, church, neighborhood, and school. Who should do this? You, PTA, moms, dads, teachers, neighborhoods -- all should have a backup plan.
Effective immigration policy must start with refusing amnesty to illegal aliens. It then must go deeper and define rules for assimilation. That means, they must, first and foremost, respect and follow the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Second, they must agree to denounce any existing citizenship. Third, they must agree to abide by the laws of the land. Fourth, they must follow our economic rules and not try to force their former country's economic policies off on us. And finally, they must agree to learn to speak the English language. Without these provisions in immigration reform legislation, this country and its culture, customs and laws will eventually cease to exist.
ROGER BARTMESS, Ooltewah
Libertarian "humorist" Ron Hart's column (CFP Jan. 31) is all wrong beginning with its attention-grabbing headline. Who can doubt that income inequality exists? Hart's larger premise is that the president's State of the Union message advocated "income equality." The whole column was a humorless rant about, among other things, "the unproductive 51 percent resent(ing) the productive 49 percent." Fifty one percent? He must be referring to Obama voters; some few of us might resent that statement. Were Ron to have paid more attention to the address itself, he would have noticed that the president did not mention anything remotely resembling income equality but instead spoke about "opportunity," a word that occurred only once in Hart's screed. Hart went on to quote a few successful entrepreneurs who claimed they could not have started their businesses today. They must have enjoyed saying that, but who can know if it is true? I wager they would still have their "economic opportunity." No, contrary to Hart's claims, the State of the Union address was a positive call for opportunity (and claim to relevancy) to the American people right in front of the reactionary House Republicans.
In his column (Tuesday, Jan. 21) David Cook quoted a Hamilton County sheriff's deputy as stating "it would cost about $5 million to put a resource officer in every school." A school board member was quoted, stating "we need $2.2 million to have art teachers in every elementary school." The board member was further quoted "The culture of the school changes when arts are involved." Although our current environment seems to lean towards having a law enforcement presence in every school, which is a re-active position, it seems to me that teaching arts is pro-active and should be part of the required curriculum. Teachers are necessary and have always been the important ingredient in education; their presence in the school house is mandatory. However, the constant presence of a police officer, on the other hand, should never be considered "normal" and therefore is undesirable. Is the presence of one police officer in a school with hundreds of children really a deterrent or are we simply deluding ourselves, at great cost, that all is now well?
BILL GASKILL, Ringgold, Ga.