Residents voice concerns about dangerous curve

Dangerous curve

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Some local residents say a dangerous intersection is a deadly accident waiting to happen and they're calling on the city to take action.

"I've been very hesitant to cut down those two small trees," said Steve Hall. "Thursday proved my point: they are my guardrail."

Hall has lived just below the corner of Locust and Beverly Hill Streets for about four years. In that time, he's seen half-a-dozen crashes, like Thursday morning when a van crashed into one of his small trees just feet above his home. "I was lucky. May not be as lucky next time," he said.

He said that's too many crashes and too close for comfort. "It's just a matter of time before someone comes through my house," he said. "It's a big concern."

Hall's neighbor, Lisa Rasnick, is also worried, especially this time of year. She said the slope of the street plus Mother Nature is a bad combination. "It's a lot worse in the winter time. Ice snow, rain, any moisture on the road makes it worse."

Now Hall is hoping the city can make a change on the 25-mile-per-hour streets that don't have any warning signs of the slope or of the turn. "I would like to see a guard rail put up. Nothing fancy," he said. "Just something to stop a vehicle from coming into my house for my safety."

But the City of Kingsport officials said no one in the community has told them about the residents' worries. "It's definitely something we encourage to be brought to our attention. This is the first time we've heard of this complaint," said Ryan McReynolds, City of Kingsport's Public Works director.

According to crash reports from the Kingsport Police Department, there have been three crashes at that intersection since October 2011. Residents said they've seen more crashes than that, but many aren't reported to the police. "If there is an accident, I encourage them to report it to police because we monitor that data," McReynolds said.

McReynolds said the city will evaluate the area including traffic patterns, posted speed limit, amount of traffic, possible improvements and signage and work to find a solution. Anyone with road concerns is encouraged to call the City of Kingsport Traffic Department at (423) 229-9470.

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