Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland gets answers to questions phoned-into WGNS by area residents. The new mayor is standing by his "open door policy" to maintain communication with the public.
Mayor McFarland reports that this first part is in response to the questions and comments made during the WGNS radio show on July 9, 2014. The City welcomes and all feedback, and please do not hesitate to contact Mayor McFarland or City Manager Rob Lyons with your questions and concerns at 615-849-2629.
1) Comment: Concern about a tree in the drive at 818 Twin Oak Drive. Response: Unfortunately, this property is not located within the Murfreesboro City Limits. Staff has passed the concern on to the Rutherford County Codes Department.
2) Comment: There has been loud noise on the weekend from motorcycles, mufflers, and car radios. The caller was particularly concerned with the intersection of Main St. and Rutherford Blvd. on the weekend. Response: Excessive, unnecessary, and unusually loud noise or any noise which either annoys or disturbs the comfort or peace of others is in violation of Murfreesboro City Code Section 21-102. Section 21-103 (7) particularly identifies violations created by exhaust noise. Murfreesboro Police Officers observe for and issue citations for violations of these sections. Citizens who experience or witness recurring problems with such violations can assist police to identify times, days and locations of violators for targeted enforcement. If a description of the violating vehicle is known, that would be helpful also. Citizens may forward this information to Major David Hudgens at (615) 849-2685, or to Chief Glenn Chrisman at (615) 849-2673.
3) Comment: Why do the Rover buses stop at random and why not the shelters? And, why are people not using the shelters? Response: People are using the shelters. We have received many thanks from passengers for providing the shelters. Sixteen (16) shelters were installed and their location was determined based on our 2010 surveys which identified the locations where the highest numbers of riders typically congregated. That being said, the shelters don’t always have a lot of people in them for each trip primarily because Rover operates under a “courtesy” pickup format wherein we will pick up passengers anywhere along each route if they flag us down, thus the shelters do provide an opportunity to avoid adverse weather conditions while still providing the convenience of passengers being picked up at other locations where it may be more convenient to them.
4) Comment: Do you anticipate the future annexation of Magnolia Trace Subdivision, especially with the new electric substation in the area? Response: At this time, the City does not have any plans to annex the Magnolia Trace Subdivision. The subdivision does lie within the City’s urban growth boundary but because the subdivision is already developed, the City would have little interest in annexing the subdivision.
5) Comment: At the traffic signals on Northfield Blvd. turning left onto Highland, the left turn signal is not working. Response: On 7/7/14, a citizen called the City’s Transportation Department to note that the traffic signal bulb was out; on 7/8/14, the bulb was replaced by the City’s traffic signal contractor. Staff believes that when the caller reported the issue, since it had just been fixed the day before, the City believes the problem has since been resolved. However, if there continues to be problems with this intersection’s signal, please do not hesitate to contact our Transportation Department at 615-893-6441.
6) Comment: With the continued development along Veterans Parkway and the new Walmart being constructed on S. Church Street, will traffic controls be installed on S. Church Street, specifically at Joe B. Jackson. Response: A traffic signal is being installed in conjunction with the Wal-Mart project. In fact, there are three traffic signals proposed with this project. A traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of S. Church Street and Joe B. Jackson; at the intersection of S. Church Street and the eastern entrance of the Walmart project; and, at the intersection of S. Church St. and the southern entrance of the Wal-Mart project.
7) Comment: The property at 912 Grantland Ave. - the lot and yard are grown up. Response: the Building and Codes Department has been sent out to the property to make an inspection.
8) Comment: At the red light camera at the intersection of Middle Tennessee Blvd. and S. Church Street, the light turns from green to yellow to red too quickly to get through the intersection before the light turns red. Response: The yellow timings were checked and validated before the installation of red light cameras at all intersections where the cameras were installed.
9) Comment: The City needs to be more thoughtful and consistent with road names as they venture into the County. Many times in the past, roads were named after the people who gave the land for the roads, and as roads are renamed, those names of the past disappear. Also, the road names should be consistent, such as why does St. Andrews become Agripark Drive, instead of being all the same name, yet Kimbro Road was changed to Veteran’s Parkway. There was also a question concerning when the Bridge over Broad was complete, would Broad St. and Memorial Blvd. become the same street name? Response: The City carefully considers many factors in the naming of streets. Standard protocols are always reviewed when analyzing street naming issues. In addition, the Murfreesboro Planning Commission holds public hearings regarding proposed street name changes to receive public input. In the case of streets that are located in both the City and the County, City and County Staff will coordinate efforts and consideration of the Rutherford County Highway Commission is often required. Perhaps most important, however, is the review of street naming issues by various emergency service providers (such as police, fire, EMS, etc…) to ensure that these agencies and departments are able to effectively provide their vital services. After reviewing all of the information at hand, the most appropriate course of action is determined. Typically, if a street name does change at an intersection (such as Saint Andrews Drive changing to Agripark Drive at Old Fort Parkway), it is at an easily identifiable intersection. The City does not anticipate any street name or address changes associated with the Broad/Old Fort/Memorial construction.
10) Comment: When do the red light camera citations go to collections, and will they appear on your credit report? Response: the tickets are sent to collections after 120 days, and no, it is not reported to credit reporting agencies.
11) Comments: As a follow up, a question was asked about what happens if one receives multiple red light tickets and continues to accumulate them, could that person end up in court? Response: No. If the tickets are not paid, then they are sent to collections. The only time a person would appear in court would be if he/she wishes to contest their ticket.
12) Comment: Caller stated that on some of the red light cameras that when drivers are turning left with a green turn arrow, the camera is still flashing and taking pictures. Response: The City of Murfreesboro Police Department is aware of only one instance of a left turn movement with a green arrow where the citation was rejected by the reviewing officer. Occasionally, drivers may trigger the flash and camera if they approach the intersection at some speed and brake at or beyond the stop bar. In these cases, the review process will eliminate non-violators and no citations will be issued. Motorists who observe what are believed to be “false flashes” may report them to the Police Department for service and maintenance as needed.
13) Comment: Are there any plans to widen Moreland Lane? Response: There are no current plans to add more traffic lanes on Moreland Lane.
14)Comment: The landscaping and shrubs on Medical Center Parkway is overgrown. Response: The City’s Urban Environmental Department will go and inspect the area.
15) Comment: Hunt Street from Haven Drive, there is a tree that is over gown with two limbs hanging down over the right-of-way. Response: This has been reported to the City’s Street Department to correct.
16) Comment: There was interest in knowing the timeline for the strategic (comprehensive) plan. Response: Last Thursday, July 10, 2014, the Murfreesboro City Council authorized the City to enter into contract with Kendig Keast Collaborative from Sugarland, TX to prepare the City’s Comprehensive Plan. This firm has much experience with comprehensive and long-range planning, and was the firm selected by the Selection Committee. Staff will begin discussion this week with the firm and discuss information needs, scheduling for the kickoff meeting, and first steps moving forward. In addition, Mayor McFarland announced last week the creation of the Comprehensive Plan Task Force would begin in early August. Over the next few weeks, he invited the City Council to submit names of interested citizens who wish to serve in this capacity.
KKC has proposed both a high-tech and high-touch approach to engaging the community in the process, including a grassroots marketing campaign, community meetings, outreach efforts, workshops and the use of technology to gather citizen input. The plan elements include major functions of the City, including transportation, land use, housing and neighborhoods, parks and recreation, public facilities, historic preservation, and economic development with a focus on population growth and infrastructure. The City is very excited about this process and fell that this will be a great project for our City. We encourage everyone to come out and be involved.