UTC Students Present Findings of East Brainerd Traffic Study

Reported by: Amy Katcher
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Updated: 3/25/2014 6:38 pm
(WDEF) Whether you own a business in the area or just find yourself fighting the crowds around the mall...  You know traffic is an issue in East Brainerd.
        Joshua Michalski owns the Curves in the area.  He said, "One of our locations is right on the intersection of Gunbarrel and East Brainerd Road which is one of the busiest intersections in this part of the county.  And so for us it creates a constant problem for customers coming in and out of our parking lot and facility."
        That's why the East Brainerd Chamber Council teamed up with UTC civil engineering students to complete a comprehensive study.
        Andrea Burgoa is a Chamber Board Member.  She said, "Who better than students to conduct something like this?  That are passionate about their subject and they're in the community and I think it's a teaching moment for everyone.  They get the opportunity to study this with practical applications."
        The goal is to figure out how to best fix the traffic woes of the next 40 years.
        Charlie Vaden is a UTC student.  He said, "We noticed that some of the roads in that area need to be upgraded.  We noticed that some of the intersections need to be upgraded."
        One solution may be smart traffic signals.
        UTC student Mark Skelton explained, "So if you have a build up in traffic on one light it might let the traffic flow through a little quicker on that light and also it will know these people are coming to the next light and be ready for them.  So it optimizes the traffic flow through an area."
        But part of this practical lesson involves calculating the real-world costs.
        UTC Student Weiren Yang added, "There is like the budget issue there for making the road wider, for like a four-lane or maybe five lanes."
        And everyone here agrees: there is no simple fix.
        Burgoa said, "Just widening the road isn't going to really going to help flow its about design as well as allowing more traffic through."
        The next step is to share the study findings with members of the Chattanooga City Council and Hamilton County Commission.
        Officials say some of the recommendations will definitely be put in place soon.
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