Tennessee Tech University hopes to improve traffic on North Dixie Avenue by decreasing the roadway to two lanes.
Cookeville City Planning Director James Mills said the proposal comes from the university’s Campus Master Plan.
“Well, it will be a big benefit to the university, in particular, the students. Right they are having difficulty in controlling where students cross,” Mills said. “Although there are crosswalks a lot of students, I remember my days, you’re looking down at your feet and not paying attention to where you are crossing. The design will actually create physical barriers which will limit where students can cross.”
Mills said the improvements would benefit the overall campus aesthetic.
“It will also be a great enhancement to the beauty of the campus. We are talking about tree-lined boulevards. So we hope it is going to be a win-win,” Mills said. “Traffic-wise the city is not really concerned about it because it is two lanes on Dixie north of the campus and south of the campus. It should have a minimal impact on traffic.”
Mills said the road improvements will also contain a roundabout.
“Well it hasn’t yet been designed, but it is at the intersection of Mahler, 8th, and Dixie which is a difficult intersection,” Mills said. “So our hope is it will make it a much easier intersection to traverse. But it has not been designed, it’s just on paper right now.”
Mills said the Cookeville Planning Department discussed potential problems with the improvement concept.
“There is quite a bit of utilities located under Dixie. Not only the city’s utilities but the university also has lines that run under through there,” Mills said. “When we had this reviewed by our department, there was a concern. And they just want to make sure everybody was aware that whatever improvements are done, they need to be careful to not damage the utilities that are there.”
The Cookeville City Council will consider the improvement request during the next City Council meeting on June 6.