The Knoxville City Council approved traffic control changes at the intersection of South Roche Street and West Robinson Street during their regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 4.

The approved traffic changes will allow for the barricades currently blocking off parking spots at the intersection to remain there permanently. The blockades increase drivers’ visibility of oncoming traffic.

In May, the council had discussed temporary modifications to this specific intersection. They approved blocking off four parking spaces to increase visibility. The barricades have been in place throughout the summer months and will now remain there permanently.

Mayor Brian Hatch and Police Chief Dan Losada met with business owners in the area at the beginning of the summer to discuss the traffic control changes. Hatch says that although losing parking spaces was not ideal for the businesses, the owners understood the need for safety.

“We’ve come to that point where we feel like we’ve reached that happy medium, where we’re providing as much sight distance as we possibly can and trying to retain as many parking spots as possible,” Hatch said.

Local business owners had also expressed concerns about vehicle speeds in the area of the intersection. Losada said a speed traffic sign has now been installed to monitor speeds.

The council also approved a resolution accepting the work and approving the final cost for the Young’s Park Improvement Project. The approved resolution will officially close out the project.

The improvements to Young’s Park included a new skate park, playground structure, bathroom facility and underground infrastructure. The total cost of the project came to $1,389,858.50.

Emma Skahill can be reached at eskahill@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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