10Listens: No easy fix for slowing speeders on Kingston Pike

A West Knoxville resident is looking for help slowing speeding drivers on Kingston Pike.

Ruthie Kuhlman lives on Kingston Pike near the intersection with Forest Glen Drive, and wants help getting a resolution to a traffic issue in her neighborhood.

“This is it and we’re almost finished and this is where the kids will play,” said Ruthie pointing to a newly finished playhouse in her backyard.

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After a crash last year ended with a car in her front yard, Kuhlman took action to keep her grandsons safe. She cleared out an area for them to play away from the cars passing her front yard.

Ruthie Kuhlman took this photo of a car that landed in her yard on Kingston Pike near Forest Glen Drive in 2016.

“I’m terrified for them to be up here. Had it not been for the trees and the bushes, that little girl in her car would’ve been dead,” said Kuhlman describing the accident that happened in 2016.

Knoxville Police Department data shows 1,004 wrecks occured on 10-and-a-half mile stretch of Kingston Pike from Alcoa highway to the city limits near Pellissipi Parkway between March 2016 and February 2017.

In that same time, there have been 67 crashes in the two-and-a-quarter mile stretch of Kingston Pike where Khulman lives.

But for Khulman, this is every day.

Using a speed gun, we clocked a half hour of rush hour traffic and counted 16 cars going over 50 miles per hour, two going over 60, and one even driving 66 where the posted speed limit is 40.

Crash data suggests speed isn’t the only issue, but Khulman believes there’s a simple solution.

“All I’m asking is for a flashing light, that’s all,” she said.

But reaching that solution hasn’t been easy.

Khulman has called and emailed the city of Knoxville’s Engineering Department, but Kingston Pike is a state route monitored by multiple agencies.

The City’s Office of Neighborhoods says they can’t put traffic calming devices on a state route.

TDOT leaders say they sympathize with Ruthie’s concerns and say they’ll they look into options, but didn’t offer a specific fix.

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“I’m thankful that y’all came and proved my point and maybe, just maybe, someone in the city will listen and do something about it,” said Kuhlman.

She said even a small change to cut speed on this street will make her feel safer and save lives.

Leaders in the city of Knoxville’s engineering department say they are aware of Khulman's complaints. They’re working with Knoxville police and the state to reduce crashes along that stretch of road and hope to have a plan in four to six weeks.