Don’t Tear Out Historic Trolley Tracks, Crowd Tells Signal Officials

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - by Judy Frank
A century after C.E. James put in the concrete road to his inn that is now part of James Boulevard, hundreds of cars and trucks still travel it everyday, Signal Mountain native George Galloway said Thursday evening.
 
Replacing it with a narrower, asphalt road would be penny-wise and pound-foolish, he and many other speakers said at a public meeting to discuss how to repave the road, particularly when the constant cost of repairing and/or replacing the cheaper asphalt is factored into the equation.
 
If the town spends $500,000 to build replace that section of James with a new concrete road as good as the old one, Mr. Galloway noted as men and women throughout the room nodded in enthusiastic agreement, “the 100-year cost is $5,000 a year.”

Further, another speaker noted, given the improvements in technology that have occurred since the original road was built, "the new road just might last 200 years."
 
Likewise, removing the old trolley lines currently embedded in the roadway makes no sense, virtually all of the speakers – from longtime resident Glenn Baird to newcomer Wendi Morgan, both James Boulevard residents – agreed.
 
They contribute to the character of the Olde Town community where they are located, many speakers agreed, and doing away with them would have a negative effect on the area.
 
Speakers said the old trolley lines have become a real part of the lives of the people who live near them – “one of the few things left from out history that our children can see and touch,” one woman explained.
 
Back when she and her husband decided they wanted to move their family to Signal Mountain and were looking for a house to buy, another told the crowd, “You know what the directions they gave us (to the house we bought) were? They were ‘follow the trolley track and we’re the third house on the right.’ ”

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