Residents oppose plan; Springbrook residents fear more traffic on Alcoa Road
By Iva Butler | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Charging a lack of transparency, a standing-room-only crowd at Alcoa City Commission Tuesday night expressed their displeasure with the plan to use Alcoa Road to funnel traffic from the 350-acre West Plant development until the main road system is installed.
An information meeting was held March 15 to look at three possible secondary entrances to Phase I of the West Plant Redevelopment Plan, but Springbrook area residents present Tuesday night said notice of that meeting and the reason for the session were not sufficiently publicized.
The choices were Alternate A between Hoopes and Frary, Alternate B was Frary and Alternate C was Alcoa Road.
“I went to 80 homes last night and probably 40 of them had no idea Alcoa Road would be considered. It’s hardly fair. I’m not against shopping complexes, but I’m against it coming into my community,” said one woman.
Stephanie Moffitt, who lives on Boyle Street in Springbrook, questioned the way in which Alcoa counted up comment sheets on which alternative the people preferred.
The city tallied 36 comments for Alternate A, one for Alternate B and 42 for Alcoa Road.
“Twenty tallies were excluded, 18 because the city said the sheets were delivered in bulk and two because the sheets were from Alcoa citizens who live outside Springbrook,” Moffitt said.
Five comment sheets were also excluded because citizens did not check an option but expressed opposition to all the alternatives. One comment sheet was excluded because the citizen indicated that either Alternate A or B were acceptable but not C, she said.
Under her count Alternate A had 55 votes, B had one and C had 44.
Kelley McClanahan, of Alcoa Road, said she brought in 18 comments and was not told bulk comments would be thrown out. Had she been told, she would have had each individual bring them to the city, she said.
“My backyard is on Alcoa Road,” said Rebekah McGaha, of Kettering Court. “I bought a house in that neighborhood. I dreamed as a little girl of living in that neighborhood. I am disappointed in the city of Alcoa in making these plans and not having full transparency,”
She said she was unable to make the March 15 meeting.
“I feel like this was done quickly and quietly. I’m not happy and I’m not satisfied. I will leave and go to another community. That will break my heart. I spent my entire life in that neighborhood,” she added,
Alcoa Mayor Don Mull said he was also born in that community and uses the parks every day.
“We do not own that property,” Mull said. “The Aluminum Company of America owns that property. They have developers.”
Plan can change
Mull and Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson said they can have another community meeting with maps on the walls and a discussion of the issues. The session will likely be in 10 days to two weeks at the Alcoa Service Center on Wright Road.
The plan is not so far along that it can’t be changed, Johnson said.
Mull said the commissioners have no preference in alternatives.
Residents indicated they thought the increased traffic would be detrimental to the Springbrook Park, the Greenway and families in the area.
“The entire Springbrook community is a backyard for the many children, adults, dog walkers, elderly to enjoy. Adding a through street from a shopping center is not compatible with the community,” said Michele Neal, who lives on Aberdeen Drive.
Some citizens said neighborhood children play in the street and walk to school.
One man said drivers don’t follow the 30-mph speed limit, but drive 40 and 50 miles per hour on the road.
They asked for some traffic-calming devices, such as raised humps of asphalt.
The time and date of the next community meeting will be announced in The Daily Times.