Did you know that the Street Department’s operations and improvements include?
- street and sidewalk construction
- repair, maintaining and upgrading the storm drainage system
- maintaining road shoulders and Right of Way (ROW)
- ice/snow removal
- support during emergency water and sewer line breaks and repairs
- tree removal from the roadways
- upgrades all existing road signage to the most recent and safest standards by following Federally mandated guidelines
|Malcolm Highsmith||Street Director||423.753.1004|
|General Contact||Town Hall||423.753.1031|
The Director of Streets, Malcolm Highsmith has over 30 years in public and private construction, as well as a background in Transportation and Traffic Engineering. He has been a licensed building contractor and has most recently worked in an Engineering/Construction office for TDOT. Malcolm applies his skill set to help the people of the Town of Jonesborough, as well as its employees. Malcolm oversees the daily operation of the Department which includes responsibility for street maintenance and repair, right-of-way maintenance, street markings, and striping, curbing and medians, sidewalks, speed tables, and traffic calming, street signage, stormwater drainage, snow removal, and ice, and walkway construction and repair. Malcolm Highsmith can be reached at 423.753.1004
The Director of Streets has a six (6) member staff that includes an Assistant Director of Streets, three (3) equipment operators, and two (2) street workers. Jonesborough resurfaces streets with the assistance of the Washington County Highway Department which operates its own asphalt plant. Upon approval of the County Public Works Committee, the Town can pay the Highway Department to pave streets in Jonesborough. A paving priority list is developed by the Jonesborough Street Department, and this list is reviewed and updated periodically. After review by the Town Administrator and Operations Manager, the Paving Priority List is sent to the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen for approval. The establishment of priority is based on a number of factors including cost, street condition, traffic volume, need for additional sub-surface or drainage work prior to paving, etc. The actual paving schedule will vary subject to the workload of the County Highway Department.
The Town of Jonesborough Street Department provides leaf pickup during the late fall/winter. Leaf pickup will follow the recycle pickup schedule but may vary by a day or so according to the quantity of leaves to be collected. Please rake your leaves to the road right of way (BUT not into the street). All branches, sticks and debris must be in a separate pile as these will clog and potentially break the vacuum leaf mulcher. Any questions 423.753.1030.
Potholes and Street Repairs
Potholes and Street Repairs are undertaken by the Street Department Crew. The Street Crew tries to fill and repair potholes located in the driving area of the streets within 24 hours from when they are reported. Town staff, including patrolling police officers, look for problem areas in Jonesborough Streets. However, residents are encouraged to call Town Hall 423.753.1031 and report problems on Jonesborough streets and right-of-ways.
Right-of-Ways and the shoulders of Jonesborough streets and state highways are maintained by the Street Department. Currently, mowing of center medians on US 11-E is contracted and is included in an annual bid for all contract mowing. The center medians are normally mowed weekly. Care and maintenance of the planted portion of center medians is undertaken by Parks and Recreation staff. Mowing of other right-of-ways is undertaken on a varying schedule that is largely dependent on weather. Sight lanes and visibility at intersections are a major concern, and right-of-way mowing priorities are established based on safety concerns. Residents are encouraged to call Town Hall 423.753.1031 to report safety issues related to right-of-way maintenance.
Curbing & Median
Curbing and Median maintenance and replacement are carried out by the Street Department staff. The Town budgets some funding each year for curb and sidewalk improvements. Curb work is often associated with other improvements, so priorities are most often established through larger projects. Curb cuts for private driveways must be permitted through the Director of Streets prior to any construction activity
Speed Tables & Traffic Calming
Jonesborough advocates for a proper sub-division design that includes a street layout that reduces speeding and increases neighborhood safety. Speed tables are also used on existing streets under certain conditions. Speed tables are designed to drive over comfortably at 20 mph, and are most often used where speeding has shown to be a problem. Residents may petition the Traffic Advisory Committee for consideration of speed table installation. An evaluation by staff and the consulting traffic engineer will take place and the findings will be presented to the Traffic Advisory Committee. The committee makes recommendations to the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Alderman. Actual installation is by the Street Department, and the timing of construction varies based on the Department’s work schedule.
Snow Removal is undertaken by the Street Department staff. The scraping and salting of roads is done based on a priority list of arterial streets with larger traffic volumes, intersection congestion, street elevation and grade, and location of emergency services. Town staff is dedicated to cleaning all streets as quickly as possible.
Stormwater/Erosion & Pollution Control
Stormwater/Erosion and Pollution Control are maintained by the Street Department and they are part of the Town’s stormwater drainage system. Stormwater catch basins are cleaned as needed with a priority established in or near floodways or flood prone areas.
Natural Drainage Ways
Natural Drainage Ways on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. The Town will consider working with property owners with stormwater problems where the corrective action and/or project benefit positively impacts more than one property owner. In such partnership projects, an agreement must be approved by the Town Board and signed by all property owners involved and the project is normally cost-shared with the Town providing labor and equipment.
Development of any kind resulting in cutting, filling, or grading requires a grading permit from the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector will go over erosion control measures including the proper installation of silt fence and other requirements necessary to prevent stormwater and sediment flow onto adjoining properties, Town streets, or right-of-ways.
Residents are prohibited from dumping or flushing petroleum products, fertilizers, herbicides, and other pollutants into drainage ways or the Town’s stormwater system. Residents are encouraged to not over fertilize, and to use caution when using products that can pollute our waterways.
Traffic Advisory Committee
Detailed solutions to traffic related issues require designs generated by engineers, and these solutions can have a broad impact on our community. Traffic is like stormwater, it has to go somewhere. You stop it or slow it down in one area, and it flows somewhere else. For this reason, the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen has created the Jonesborough Traffic Advisory Committee by ordinance, and the names of the members are brought before the Town Board by the Mayor and approved by the Aldermen.
The Traffic Advisory Committee looks at vehicular and pedestrian traffic flows in Jonesborough, and helps determine where problems exist, what solutions might be available, and evaluates the potential effectiveness of the solutions proposed. Because many traffic related improvements have broad impact, Traffic Advisory Committee members help determine the impacts on the community and help determine whether the improvements proposed are worth any possible detrimental aspects of the action considered.
The Traffic Advisory Committee is not a regulatory body, but is charged with providing community input into recommendations that are forwarded to the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen for its consideration and action. The TAC reviews requests for turn lanes, traffic signals, intersection improvements, stormwater issues associated with streets and highways, and traffic calming including speeding reduction.
One of the most common traffic related complaints from Jonesborough residents is speeding. Even in a small town like Jonesborough, just about every subdivision in Town generates complaints about motorists going too fast. The Town’s response to speeding complaints are limited to the following options:
- Resident Awareness : In most subdivisions, the motorists speeding are from within the subdivision. Even on a collector street, the people speeding are most likely Town residents who are just traveling too fast. The best solution to avoid safety problems from speeding is for Jonesborough residents to drive the speed limit. When motorists drive the speed limit, enforcement is not necessary, and streets are safe.
- Radar: The Police Department is frequently asked to “catch speeders” in neighborhoods throughout Town. Jonesborough Police Officers constantly patrol subdivision, but they also have to “work” traffic accidents, citizens complaints, criminal activity, train, and handle numerous traffic related issues. Police officers use mobile radar which is designed to accurately compute the speed of motorists while the police cruiser is moving. It is rare that officer’s will be parked and stationary while they run radar. This is largely due to the fact that motorist adjust their speed very quickly to a stationary patrol car, and stationary radar prevents the officer from patrolling other areas of Jonesborough. Jonesborough normally has a maximum of three (3) patrol officers on duty at a given time. Because of vacations, training, and medical leave, there is often only two officers available to patrol. Officers cannot be assigned to any particular subdivision in Jonesborough for any extended period of time.
- Speed Table or Humps: The Traffic Advisory Committee reviews requests for speed tables or humps within Jonesborough’s city limits. Speed humps are not speed bumps like you see in parking lots, but traffic calming devices used on city streets where the need to slow traffic has been identified, and ultimately approved by the Town Board. Jonesborough uses a speed table or hump design that is recommended by the International Traffic Engineers Association. There are six (6) foot ramps on both sides of a ten (10) foot flat center “table”, for a total of 22 feet. The height is about four (4″) inches above street level. While speed bumps in parking lots are normally crossed at 5 mph, a speed table can be crossed comfortably at 20-30 mph. A speed table or hump is actually more difficult to cross at higher speeds than a speed bump. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved criteria used by the Traffic Advisory Committee to evaluate the need and the proper placement of a speed table or hump. For example, storm drainage is an important concern when placing a speed table on a slope. Water can stand at the base of a ramp and freeze in the winter time creating a safety concern. Speed tables are also not placed in curves because of safety issues, and they are most often used when the speed limit on the street is 20 mph. (Click here for speed table criteria) Speed tables when properly placed are an effective device to slow traffic, and they are effective 24 hours a day. There can be a little noise when trailers go over speed tables, especially if they are crossing at more than 20 mph. More than one speed table is often used in locations in which a higher percentage of motorists drive too fast.
- Other Traffic Calming Devices: The Town encourages traffic calming measures in the design of new subdivisions. Reducing the length of straight sections of street reduces speed, and the use of plant material along the edge of asphalt gives the perception of a narrow street which reduces speed as well. Instead of cutting down a nice tree in order to make a street straight, the street design can curve around on existing tree and not only save the tree, but also slow traffic along that section of the subdivision as well.
Most of the accidents in Jonesborough take place on Jackson Blvd, US-11E. This is because of the volume of traffic and the speed. All the traffic signals are on Jackson Blvd as well. The Town looked at using traffic cameras at certain locations on Jackson Blvd for the following reasons:
Most of the accidents with injuries were occurring at signaled intersections on Jackson Blvd.
In order to try to slow traffic and reduce speeding and accidents, a high percentage of our police officer’s time was being spent on the four lane. This was making it more difficult to spend time in other areas of Town.
Research showed that the camera system was effective in slowing traffic and reducing accidents, and they are effective 24 hours, seven days a week.
A two month test run in Jonesborough in a couple signaled intersections showed a tremendous number of speeding and red light violations.
As a result of the research and test case in Jonesborough, the Town Board voted to have traffic cameras installed at three intersections: Boone Street and US 11E, Forest Drive and US 11E, and Headtown Road and US-11E. The cameras have been very effective in reducing speeding and accidents, especially accidents with injuries.
The Traffic Advisory Committee
3 Year Term
4th Thursday, 1 pm at Town Hall
|Matt Rice||Chief of Police|
|Craig Ford||Operations Manager|
|Glenn Rosenoff||Town Administrator|
|Todd Wood||Consulting Engineer|
|Malcolm Highsmith||Street Department|
The Traffic Advisory Committee normally meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 1 pm in the Board Room at Town Hall, 123 Boone Street. Meeting notices are placed on the Community Bulletin Board at Town Hall and posted on the Town website calendar. The Traffic Advisory Committee will not meet if there is no business to address. Anyone interested in being placed on the TAC meeting agenda can contact Town Hall at 423.753.1031.
Traffic Circles take more room than a regular intersection, but they are more safe, especially when used instead of a traffic signal. Intersections with traffic signals are certainly necessary, and they do allow traffic to flow in a more orderly manner. However, they do not necessarily make the intersection more safe. When a motorist sees a green ball they most often think it is safe to proceed without looking carefully for on-coming vehicles. Signaled intersections often have more accidents with injuries because motorists sometimes do not stop on red, and “t-bone” a vehicle pulling into the intersection whose driver is not looking because he or she has a green ball at the signal.
Traffic circles allow traffic to flow constantly, and motorists travel more slowly. If an accident occurs it is usually a “fender bender” resulting from driver inattention. Jonesborough especially likes to use traffic circles where there is not heavy traffic for large portions of the day. They keep traffic flowing smoothly, and eliminate the aggravation of sitting at a red light when there is no side traffic.
Facts about traffic cameras in Jonesborough:
A motorist has to go through one of the three major signaled intersections with cameras on Jackson Blvd at 56 mph or more in order to get a speeding ticket. The speed limit on Jackson Blvd is 45 mph, and motorists traveling through the intersection a 56 mph or more are going too fast to be safe.
Yellow lights at the camera intersections have been placed at 5 seconds, which is the maximum recommended by TDOT guidelines. At 45 mph, a motorist has almost the length of a football field to stop in 5 seconds.
Both sets of wheels from a vehicle must have not gone across the white stop bar on the pavement when the signal turns red in order for the camera to record a violation. The camera will not record a violation if only one set of wheels is past the stop bar when the signal turns red.
The camera records only the make of the vehicle, color, and license plate number when a violation occurs.
Violations are reviewed and approved by a Jonesborough Police Officer before citations are issued to the vehicle owner.
Motorist receiving a citation can go on-line and review a video of their violation.
Motorists wishing to contest a citation can come to Municipal Court in Jonesborough. A video of the violation will be available for review in court.
The video system has been very helpful in determining fault when an accident does occur at one of the intersections with cameras.
Turn Lanes on Jackson Blvd.
Request for turn lanes are reviewed by staff and are sent to the Traffic Advisory Committee for a recommendation. The Traffic Advisory Committee makes a recommendation for a new turn lane to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and if the Town Board approves the turn lane and it is on a state route like Jackson Blvd (US 11E), the request must be sent to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in their required format for approval.
A new business may generate the need for a new turn lane, and that can be required by TDOT if on a state route. Even if there is a median cut (an opening for vehicular access between planted center medians) in existence, TODT will often require the construction of a turn lane. Turn lanes are safer because the turning vehicle is not likely to be sticking out in a through lane.
Turn Lane Policy:
Jonesborough, just like TDOT, has to have some basis to initiate a turn lane project. That justification has to be more than the fact that turn lanes in general are safer than median cuts. Like TDOT, the Town will look at accident data in certain locations, or other repairs to a median that require construction activity anyway. In some situations, the Town may consider cost sharing a turn lane project in an existing median. Inquiries about turn lanes can be directed to the Administrator’s office at Town Hall at 423.753.1030