Now that the extension of the James White Parkway has been effectively killed, drivers in both Knox and Sevier counties are hopeful TDOT will do something to repair nearby Chapman Highway.
Both Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero brought attention to the issue following the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization's vote to remove the James White Parkway extension from its Transportation Improvement Program Wednesday.
"I look forward to continuing to work with TDOT to address safety and traffic issues along Chapman Highway and our other vital transportation corridors," said Rogero in a statement.
More Information: TDOT agrees to drop JWP, worries about Chapman Highway safety
While drivers and residents in Knox and Sevier counties disagreed on the James White Parkway decision, many were in favor of seeing some type of improvement be applied to Chapman Highway.
At Valley Grove Baptist Church in south Knox County, many cars speed by the chapel while making navigating a turn around a hill.
"Well, it is dangerous," said Seymour resident Caroline Long. "On a Sunday morning, we have a policeman, we have traffic control on Sunday morning, that makes it much easier to get out of here, but you just have to be very careful because the highway's very busy."
She and other members of the church called for TDOT to add turn lanes to the duration of Chapman Highway. They also said more streetlights would help with safety.
TDOT did not have specific plans available Wednesday as to how it would fix Chapman Highway. The department did say it would continue look at ways to improve safety on the road.
But, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer did have some words of caution. He said the discontinuation of the James White Parkway extension might go against TDOT efforts to improve safety along Chapman Highway.
"The [extension] project was developed in part to address safety and congestion issues along Chapman Highway," Schroer said in a statement. "We remain concerned that our efforts to improve conditions along Chapman Highway will not be sufficient now, and particularly in the future."
During a December meeting regarding the James White Parkway extension project, a consultant for TDOT named Luke Eggering, revealed that between 2007 and 2012, more than 1,200 crashes occurred on Chapman Highway.