To the Editor:
Recently the City of Oak Ridge announced plans to employ an engineering firm to evaluate “signalized” traffic flow, with the stated purpose of ensuring optimum traffic flow, to minimize and reduce traffic-related air pollution in the central parts of the city.
This has been touted as a forward-thinking “green” initiative, proof of Oak Ridge’s commitment to a clean urban environment.
Now Oak Ridge is proposing yet another traffic signal on the Turnpike, with the vote to approve scheduled for March 24. Adding another signal on the Turnpike will likely add to the ground-level air pollution, smack-dab in the midst of ORHS and the Civic Center. This is blatantly inconsistent with the air quality initiatives already heralded. Traffic may become a little safer, but our citizens—our youth—will be exposed to more concentrated vehicle exhaust emissions. Traffic flow on the Turnpike should not be further impeded.
It seems more prudent to delay action on additional signals until after new ones under construction nearby are in operation, and until after the already-approved engineering study is complete.
James W. Horton