Survey says people unhappy with Chattanooga city streets - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Survey says people unhappy with Chattanooga city streets

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When it comes to paving and safety, Chattanoogans say they want more.

A newly released survey, taken by the city, shows citizens believe their tax dollars could be better spent.

Taxpayers are most unhappy with city roads, and say they don't feel safe at night.    
This is the fourth year the city has polled residents. The quality of city streets has been given a poor rating each year -- but the latest results show a new low.

"I'll be the first to agree that Chattanooga has an issue with their roads, streets, overall," said John Lemons.

Lemons says out of all the Chattanooga streets, he has the biggest issue with Northpoint Blvd in Hixson.

"I'm in and out of Lowe's at least once a day, sometimes several times a day, so I have to drive it several times a day."

Lemons is a construction contractor and says driving on that street is the worst part of his daily routine.

And he's not alone.

"Man, that pothole there is terrible," said Jonathan Howard, "It's unbelievable to see the cars bounce out of this one pothole for sure."

A small stretch of Northpoint Blvd has up to 17 different owners, all private businesses.
As the city works to determine who to charge for repairs, the project has been pushed to the 2016 budget.

But that's not soon enough for drivers, and this district's Councilman Ken Smith.

"The number of accidents, again the broken tires, the broken wheels, I hear about it all the time," Smith said.

Smith says he's concerned with the survey results and thinks city paving is under-funded.

"Our roads make up about a $2.5 billion dollar asset at this point in the city of Chattanooga, and for years we've spent less than one percent of that on paving and maintaining them," Smith said.

$3.2 million is included in next year's budget for paving -- about twice as much as 2013.
But the cost to pave has also gone up, leaving Chattanooga with more paving projects than they can tackle with one budget.
Drivers hope Northpoint Blvd will finally be a priority.

"City of Chattanooga, step up, go ahead and take the responsibility, do the right thing, fix it, get it in driving condition for the citizens of Chattanooga," Lemons said, "And then determine who owns it and then hold them accountable for those costs."

The city started this year's paving projects in July and will finish once the weather gets bad.    
Each year the city prioritizes which roads need the most attention bases on data collected the past few years.
If you did not get a chance to participate in the survey, but have an issue you think needs to be addressed, you can call 311 or the Mayor's office.

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