Study says Church Hill's Silver Lake and Main intersection should stay two-way

A recent study recommended against making the intersection of Main Boulevard and Silver Lake Road in Church Hill a four-way stop. This view shows the hill which makes it hard to see oncoming westbound traffic on Main. (photo by Dave Grace)

CHURCH HILL — A safety study conducted recently at the intersection of Silver Lake Road and Main Boulevard in Church Hill recommended against turning the intersection into a four-way stop.

Church Hill resident Louise Bright asked the Board of Mayor and Aldermen during the August meeting to address blind spots at that intersection which is near where she lives.

That intersection has stop signs for northbound and southbound Silver Lake Road traffic, but east and west Main Boulevard traffic passes through.

A hill on Main Boulevard just east of the stop signs makes it difficult for vehicles stopped at the stop sign to see westbound traffic.

Bright, who said she'd had an accident at that intersection recently, suggested that a study be done, caution lights be added, or it be changed into a four-way intersection.

CHPD records indicate that six accidents occurred at that intersection over the past 18 months.

The Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MPO), conducted the study at the intersection on Sept. 5

The study determined that the site distance at the two Silver Lake Road stop signs looking east on Main Boulevard toward the hill is 255 feet and 309 feet respectively.

The study recommended against making it a four way stop because westbound traffic on Main Boulevard coming from Mount Carmel would "stack up" on that hill, creating a higher risk for a rear-end collisions.

"If you put a stop sign for westbound traffic on Main from Mount Carmel, and you come over that hill, the site distance was about 275 feet," City Recorder Mark Sandidge said. "If you back cars up coming over the hill, there's not enough site distance going east from that intersection."

The study recommended putting down "stop blocks" on Silver Lake Road, which are white line painted on the road that shows drivers where they're supposed to stop at the intersection.

The city is also going to install 30 mph speed limit signs and "advance warning" signs on Main Boulevard approaching both sides of the intersection to warn drivers to observed the speed limit and be cautious at that intersection.

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