UPDATE: Changes proposed to Riverview Village Center near Hixson - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Changes proposed to Riverview Village Center near Hixson Pike

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Chattanooga Department of Transportation is investigating potential changes to Hixson Pike at the Riverview Village Center. 

The changes will improve safety and increase efficiency for people. The changes included new lane configurations on Hixson Pike, new sidewalks and streetscrapes, repair of existing sidewalks, ADA enhancements, painted bulbous and bad loading zones, and the addition of on street parking throughout the area.


PREVIOUS STORY: A road riddled with potholes and heavy traffic has become an area of concern for some members of the Riverview community.

Some say traffic has grown so much over the years that the current traffic patterns do not meet the needs of those who use it.

More than 200 people have signed an online petition calling for change to make traffic safer in the Riverview neighborhood.

"North Chattanooga is growing tremendously and this area on Hixson pike very much like a freeway running through a neighborhood,” said Dustin Choate, owner of Tremont Tavern. 
           
That’s just one concern business owners between Dartmouth and Tremont Street have. It’s why they're taking matters into their own hands -- forming a petition to city leaders.

"We've got sidewalks that are 18 inches from the road, we've got families and people trying to cross and get to the places and we just want to make it safer," said Matt Skudlarek, co-owner of Daily Ration.

The petition asks the city to improve roads and crosswalks. They said their biggest concern though is at the intersection, where traffic merges down to one lane.

"It’s pretty difficult to cross the road, traffic kind of flies through here and it bottle necks in a very interesting place right after an intersection,” Skudlarek said.

The plan would also add street parking along Hixson Pike. However, not everyone is on board with that idea.

"A handful of folks are a little more apprehensive and have a lot of questions and concerns about how it's going to affect their travel times and the general traffic in the area,” Skudlarek said.

A traffic study done by the city found that these changes would add about 15 seconds to a commute through the area. Business owners said that adding parking to area has more benefits.

"On street parking adds a natural buffer between moving traffic and pedestrians on the sidewalk, it naturally slows down traffic,” Skudlarek said.

Channel 3 contacted the city to see if they were aware of the petition and they told us they are working with the business to provide a plan and funding through the transportation enhancement incentives program.

It’s a welcome change some residents like Brian Newton said is needed before someone gets hurt.

"It’s a little daunting trying to get a family of four, including a 7 or 8 year old across the street in the amount of time that you’re given,” Newton said.

The community will have a meeting with city leaders and the Department of Transportation this Monday at the Daily Ration. The city said they will present the plan and get final input from the neighbors and stakeholders.

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