Letter: Regretful Adventures

Mr. Howard's letter ["Stick to the Plan," Dec. 20, 2012] concerning the proposed James White Parkway extension seems to conclude that it's the burden of citizens and their elected representatives to provide an alternative plan to the Yes Build solution that resolves the traffic and safety issues. It's my understanding that designing such an alternative plan is TDOT's job, not that of concerned citizens who have done their duty by voicing their opinions.

The considerable public opposition to the project's construction represents a challenge to TDOT to reinvent itself for the 21st century. Considering the likely increase in gas prices, the trend toward driving less, and the new awareness of environment fragility, my conclusion is that we need to seriously rethink how we design our communities. If safety along Chapman Highway is a concern, TDOT has an opportunity now to showcase its creativity and engineering skills by taking on the continuing problem of how to modernize and improve our existing transportation infrastructure rather than set out on new adventures we might regret.

Michael Kaplan

Knoxville