Johnson City Press: Letters: How do we fix I-26?

Letters: How do we fix I-26?

Johnson City Press • May 5, 2019 at 6:00 AM

We asked with Monday’s Question of the Week for your thoughts on needed improvements to Interstate 26. Here are some of your responses.

Fix the cloverleaf

The cloverleaf interchange with I-81 is poorly designed, in my opinion. It's easy enough if you travel west on 26 and want to go north on 81. Ditto for driving east on 26 and wanting to go south on 81.

But in the cloverleaf turns, the acceleration lanes are too short and they do double duty as off ramps. And as off ramps, they are too short as well for deceleration. All in all, a dangerous and confusing situation.

Johnson City

Plan for the future

I-26 needs upgrading to four lanes each direction. There's no point in upgrading it to three lanes now, only to upgrade it again 20 years from now. Unfortunately, the powers that be will never use common sense.


Let there be light

I would suggest two things:

Put very tall street-type lights on every exit ramp. So much safer.

Make it six lanes from the Virginia line to Okolona Road with concrete barriers separating the two directions of traffic. Super expensive.

As an alternative, put concrete barriers in the median at known danger points.

Johnson City

The next letter writer sent us her thoughts on a topic not related to the Question of the Week.

Kudos to two lawmakers

I hope all who value our community public schools will take a moment to express our gratitude to Reps. John Holsclaw and David Hawke for holding firm against vouchers gaining a foot in the door in Tennessee, which up to this point had been unsuccessful. Matthew and Timothy Hill, Micah Van Huss and John Crawford (the respectful title "Representatives" deliberately omitted) ought to receive a verbal thumbs-down for their capitulation.

Rep. Holsclaw says he was put under heavy pressure to change his position, which he held on the principle that public education monies go to public schools, period. Presented with offers the voucher supporters probably thought he couldn't refuse, he held true and did refuse. That's character. I'm sure pressure came from leadership, as well as the Koch Brothers' front group, Americans for Prosperity, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) who richly support privatization. Both are national organizations heavily invested in Tennessee. They have long had eyes on the pool of public funds for private interests.

Hill's amendment shouldn't fool anybody. You can count on him to finagle a way to vote with the privateers, regardless of the issue. Privatizing public schools has been a decades-old goal of Republican leadership and moneyed backers who understand the need to be incremental because most people instinctively know to value their community schools. Don't be fooled. This issue isn't driven by concern for poor children in low-performing schools. The motive is insidious and, if successful, will little by little knock the props from under our public school system, hurting the already disadvantaged even more.

Johnson City

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

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