Learning Curve Cannot Straighten Out The Chip Seal Mess - And Response (5)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why in heavens name is the city of Chattanooga going to resume the "chip seal" process this spring?

Have they not seen the mess they have created? No matter what "learning curve" is involved, I cannot see how it will be any better in six months.

The process is a waste of money, even though they say it is cheaper than current methods. Chip sealing does not level the road surface or stabilize a failing roadbed.

Would it not be best to save the money used on the tar and gravel method and use those funds to actually repair a smaller area of roadway?

Dwayne Cales
Hixson

* * *

Loose gravel and motorcycles don't like each other. Longtime riders and newbies alike can fall victim when suddenly encountering a poorly done chip seal road.

No sooner than I heard that the mayor was discontinuing the process, I hear that public works plans on using it again in the spring after "a learning curve".

Now we (motorcyclists) will have another deadly obstacle to deal with while negotiating our city streets.

It's not enough that we have to dodge motorists while they are talking on their cell phones, texting, putting on makeup, eating, turning across our paths, or smacking their kids in the back seat. We now get to slide across chip seal roads.

I can see the lawyers lining up for these motorcycle vs chip seal accidents now.

Look twice, people, motorcycles are everywhere.

Ronnie "Rock" Land
Managing Editor
Road Rash Magazine

* * *

Ah, the memories of growing up in North Chattanooga in the sixties when all the roads were covered with this wonderful product, the magic of learning to bicycle on these streets, the hot days of summer sitting in the street popping tar bubbles while the wonderful sound of profanity filled the air as my brother attempted to Zipwax the tar from his car.

I can close my eyes and the aroma of touch-up paint still fills the air. And now, alas, all I have to remind me of these halcyon days are the few pebbles remaining in my wrist that Dr. Green could not reach.

Please, bring them back.

David Dean
Chattanooga
Daviddean1018@comcast.net

* * *

Thanks to our mayor and the city of Chattanooga for giving the residents in the area of Norcross Road the more "cost efficient" paving versus the smooth asphalt paving that the area of Hixson Pike around Riverview recently got. Maybe we were the lucky ones to get the trial and error paving job. I guess we deserve rocks thrown up off the road pinging our cars and chipping our paint jobs, not to mention the yards full of rocks and dust that this mess of a paving job has created.

This mess has caused a road which, prior to the paving job, was a little bumpy in places, to being downright rough from end to end. Can we expect a do over or do we just get to live with it this way?

Tammy Webb
Hixson

* * *

Gravel roads may be an appropriate economic choice for residential cul-de-sacs, but what group decided that this application was correct for major connector type roads, such as Mountain Creek etc? I did not understand what the fuss was about, until I drove on this, you have got to be kidding. Rock literally beat my car going 15 mph, with children on the sidewalks. This one clearly ranks as the worst local paving decision by Chattanooga in history.

The paving methods used locally should be reviewed by the federal or state Department of Transportation who do not use gravel to resurface connector streets. I called them. Chattanooga should consider hiring an engineer from these organizations that know better.

Al Edmonds

* * *

I cannot believe citizens are complaining about "chip-sealing" roadways in the midst of an economic crisis, blowing up trillions of taxes in Iraq, an up-coming Presidential election of candidates with questionable world views and plans, and global problems of famine, nuclear threats, oil/energy crisis, pollution, and global warming.

Chip-sealing is less expensive and uses less petroleum products. If dust exacerbates asthma and other respiratory problems, then roll up the windows, close the vehicle vents, and turn on the a/c while on the chip-sealed road. Consider also that pollen in Chattanooga is thick in all
seasons.

If the road is too bumpy for your delicate body, slow down. The road will smooth out. I grew up on a gravel road and I survived. Don't be such babies.

Mayor Littlefield, do not wait until spring to repair roads with chip seal, maybe slow down the use of it a little while testing the new surfacing already done, but do not stop.
Chattanoogans who are complaining, stop whining.

David Gerstle

* * *

Mr. Gerstle,
While you may have grown up on chip seal and/or gravel roads, it really does not matter. I am not whining, I am asking, and have all rights to expect to be on 'safe' roadways in the modern city of Chattanooga.

We pay taxes in Chattanooga for paving, not chip sealing. Chip sealing is technology from the early 20th Century. We have moved on from there. Cars, trucks, tires, motorcycles and even bicycles have moved beyond that ‘technology’. Our ways of using all those vehicles has moved beyond that ‘technology’.

I am a motorcyclist. On my way home from work Friday afternoon, I turned onto Altamont from Hixson Pike, from a stop at the traffic light. I certainly was not going fast when I hit loose gravel and lost all traction and began fishtailing. Fortunately, I was able to regain control before the car behind me hit me.

As I made the climb up the hill at five miles per hour, gravel and tar was going everywhere, at that very slow speed. It is stuck to my motorcycle and the paint is chipped. There were no signs warning me of loose gravel. I would have gone another way.

Why should I have to suffer economically because Chattanooga made a poor decision? They hired a contractor who didn’t know what he was doing. The paving supervisor for the city of Chattanooga told me today that they didn’t have time to write their own specifications. They used TDOT’s. It didn’t say what equipment to use, what or how much aggregate to use, how much or what kind of emulsion to use, when or how often to sweep afterward. They just guessed. They should have experimented on parking lots or driveways to city property before ruining the roads many of us travel every day.

No, Ms. Webb, they won’t be fixing the roads they already ruined, like Norcross, Altamont, Pineville and Mountain Creek. We 'do' just have to live with it. I figured out how the chip seal process extends the life of a road. Only those who must use it will. Everyone else will go another way, thus extending the life of the road.

I ask how much is a life worth? When the city of Chattanooga (your taxes) have to pay liability for the death of a motorcyclist or bicyclist (or two or three) who goes down on unexpected loose gravel and is run over by a car, maybe the saving to the budget won’t seem like such great savings.

Pam Stone
usdyver@bellsouth.net



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