Is Chattanooga's Bike-Friendly Movement Going Flat?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Chattanooga is hard on bike tires
Chattanooga is hard on bike tires

Dear. Mr. Mayor, 

This is a follow up to the letter I recently sent you requesting that the Department of Public Works get on the ball in sweeping bike lanes and road shoulders throughout Chattanooga.  I just experienced the fourth flat tire on my bike in the past three weeks. 

I pointed out that particularly along Amnicola Highway the shoulders are heavily covered with sharp, jagged rocks, broken glass, pieces of metal, nails, screws and many other hazards. There are areas along Amnicola that have not been swept in well over a year.  Rossville Boulevard was wonderful when freshly paved, but I don't think the shoulders have been swept since then.  This is true all over the city.

Another safety hazard lies in a dangerous encroachment of dirt and grass along Amnicola in front of the Coca-Cola plant from the narrow bridge to Stan's Air Systems.  In some stretches there is just about 12-15 inches of shoulder for bikers to ride along.  This needs to be shoveled back at least two-three feet.

The community applauds your efforts in promoting the healthful activity bicycling.  However, there is a past-due, immediate need to clean the debris from our streets.  It has become quite expensive this month to commute across the city.  The first flat was adventuresome, the second a nuisance, the third a real pain in the back side as well as expensive with the ruination of a $60 tire.  Now with the fourth flat, I have pretty well lost my sense of humor for the lack of basic maintenance of our city streets (and you may have noticed I haven't even touched the broad subject of potholes and poorly paved streets throughout the city.)  I know budgets are tight, but perhaps some labor assistance could be obtained from some of the scores of city/county inmates, or the thousands of unemployed.  I know of one bike shop owner that took it upon himself to blow some road shoulders clean with a yard blower before one of his sponsored races.  That's sad.

Mr. mayor, it's spring now.  It's past time to clean up our streets and make them safe for local and tourist bikers.  It would be nice to keep them perpetually clean for us that ride year around.  We are so close to being a wonderful city.  The difference is in the details.

Dr. Tom Hammett

A Chattanooga bike-friendly tire
A Chattanooga bike-friendly tire

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Robert Stahl Would Serve East Ridge Well

The people of East Ridge would be well-served to elect Robert Stahl to the City Council.  People of Robert’s integrity and ability are needed at all levels of government.  I have known Robert Stahl for over 40 years and can attest to his credentials and qualifications to hold such an office. Robert is beyond a successful banker.  He is a family ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Stays Alive In State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – As the old saying goes, It ain’t over til it’s over. That appears to be the philosophy for the Signal Mountain volleyball team as they beat the Harpeth Lady Indians in the opening match here at Stewarts Creek High School in the second day of the state tournament. Contrary to other reports in Chattanooga, the Lady Eagles had a letdown in their second match on ... (click for more)

South Greene Ends Boyd-Buchanan's Bid For State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Tears flowed like spill waters through the Chickamauga Dam locks. Players sobbed. Mothers cried. Grandmothers, as well. It was a tough ending to Boyd-Buchanan’s volleyball season. The Lady Bucs (33-16) fell to South Greene, 3-2, at Blackman High School and was eliminated from the TSSAA Class A state tournament on Thursday. The set scores ... (click for more)