October 30, 2007
Commissioner seeks new road through protected forest, tells rare flower to grow elsewhere
I've been searching local news sites, but it seems that the Chattanoogan.com is beating everyone else at covering an important story, through a breaking news item as well as a string of opinion letters.
The story revolves around the new Signal Mountain High School, and access to it by road. It seems that the latest location of the school will, in fact, present traffic problems on the lone road that reaches it; and District 2 County Commissioner Richard Casavant has a plan to remedy that.
Trouble is, his plan calls for cutting a new road through a piece of the Prentice-Cooper State Forest. Dr. Casavant says that he is "getting a lot of push back" from state forestry officials on the idea.
Well, duh. I would wager that any time someone proposed a road through a designated national or state forest, those in charge of maintaining protection for that area would put up a fight.
I certainly don't have the answers right now for what to do about the potential for traffic problems. I have been of the opinion in the past that Signal Mountain didn't really need its own high school; but I'm not trying to dig up that fight now that it's a done deal. It's time to deal reasonably with the problems at hand, and if the public would best be served by a shortcut road through state forest land, then so be it. But if not, then let's not do that, please.
I encourage the community to become aware of this issue, because, even if you don't live in the affected area, the principle can apply in many ways to where you do live. I'm interested in hearing more arguments on both sides of the issue.