Highway Department to install pedestrian crosswalks in front of church in Cooks Valley

J. H. Osborne • Aug 22, 2015 at 10:43 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Commission has directed the Sullivan County Highway Department to install pedestrian crosswalks in front of a church after reports of several near-misses and at least one accident with multiple injuries.

Sunnyside Baptist Church is located at 406 Cooks Valley Road and has property and facilities on both sides of that stretch of Cooks Valley Road.

According to a resolution approved unanimously by county commissioners present at a meeting on Aug. 17, “county residents attend and worship at Sunnyside Baptist Church throughout the week and weekends, and ... the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department has recorded at least one accident resulting in multiple injuries to pedestrians crossing Cooks Valley Road in the vicinity of the Church and the Church has reported several near-collisions with pedestrians.”

The resolution approved by county commissioners states “the Sullivan County Highway Department (SCHD) be directed and permitted to install two (2) crosswalks on Cooks Valley Road within the property extents of Sunnyside Baptist Church. One crosswalk to be installed as soon as possible and a future crosswalk to be installed once the westward expansion of the Sunnyside campus is complete.”

Crosswalk marking will be in accordance with guidelines from the Federal Highway Administration, according to the resolution.

“All markings shall be at the grade of the ROW (right of way) and any modifications required for handicap accessibility shall be the responsibility of the Church,” the resolution states. “Once crosswalks are complete, supplemental signage shall be installed by the SCHD.”

The crosswalk installations will not include any “traffic-calming” devices, or speed-bumps, commissioners were told.

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