In response to letters mailed by the city in September, only 21 percent of Suffolk Street residents voted for the installation of traffic calming devices. David Grace photo.
KINGSPORT — The residents of Preston Forest are still not interested in having traffic calming devices installed along the streets of their neighborhood.
Earlier this year, a group of residents living along Suffolk Street requested traffic calming devices for their road, similar to those installed along Watauga Street or Shadyside Drive. The proposal was sponsored by Alderman Jantry Shupe, who lives in Preston Forest.
The petition kicked off a study process with the city’s traffic department conducting vehicle counts along Suffolk. Under Kingsport’s Traffic Management Plan, for a road to be considered for traffic calming measures, it must handle at least 1,000 vehicles a day and the 85th percentile speed has to be greater than 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
Tim Elsea, traffic engineer for the city, said staff did traffic counts along Suffolk, Essex and Sussex Drive with two of the streets meeting the criteria. Kingsport held a public information meeting over the summer to let residents know about the proposal.
The final step was to have the residents of Suffolk vote on whether or not to install the devices. Letters were mailed in September and returned to the city in October.
According to Elsea, the vote failed with 21 percent of the residents voting “Yes” to the traffic calming measures, 38 percent voting “No,” three percent abstaining and 38 percent not voting.
For more on this story read Sunday's print edition of the Times-News or the expanded e-edition.