This report was from a trip through Chattanooga, TN, on June 21, 2007.

Summer camp roadtrip report (3/4, Chattanooga TN)

Part of my trip back north to summer camp on 6/21 led me through the central part of Chattanooga, mainly to determine the status of route changes that were approved by AASHTO in 2001. Below is a summary of what I saw.

- US 11/US 64 have been rerouted out of downtown Chattanooga proper.

- From the south, the two routes turn right at 20th St, turn right again at Washington St which then curves and becomes 23rd St. US 11/64 follows 23rd St to Dodds Ave, then turns left onto Dodds.  Between 23rd St and Main St, there's a quadplex of 11/41/64/76. Finally, US 11/64 take the half-diamond ramps up to McCallie Ave and through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel (as it's labeled at the tunnel itself...some maps call it the McCallie Tunnel).

- There's still a set of stray US 11/64 reassurance shields along Broad St, as well as a couple US 11/64 trailblazers within downtown.

- The US 72 ENDS shield at Broad St and Main St still exists.

- There was a NORTH TN 8 trailblazer on Broad St north of Main St.

- No U.S. shields whatsoever at the M.L.K. Blvd/Market St intersection...theoretically, this is where US 127 and US 76 end at each other, since US 11/64 no longer goes through the intersection, though TN 8 also goes through the intersection....north on Market with US 127 and west on M.L.K. then south on Broad St.

- An error "SOUTH US 27" trailblazer on southbound Market St at Main St.

- Existing signage still has US 76 ending at Main St/Broad St, even though the change was approved 6 years ago. Then again, Tennessee is well-known for having poor route signage within its cities.

- Previously, when US 11/64 still went through downtown Chattanooga, they left downtown heading east on a pair of one-way streets:  McCallie Ave and Bailey Ave (the western part of which is M.L.K. Blvd). The two streets have now been converted back to 2-way operation. At the east end of the former one-way operation, where the two streets come together just west of Dodds Ave, the former split has been reconfigured into a standard T-intersection, with Bailey Ave being the "through route".

This is an example of how confusing it can be sometimes when maps, signage, and what the route officially follows are all in disagreement, as is the case with US 76. The purist in me is screaming that this needs to be corrected, but I imagine it would be a very low (or nonexistant) priority with the city and TDOT. Still, a couple things need to be done:

- Whomever is responsible for route signage within the major Tennessee cities, whether it be TDOT or the city itself, they need to do A LOT BETTER of a job. Chattanooga is not alone in this regard.

- IMO, there's no real need to have all these routes through Chattanooga, especially with three U.S. routes ending in very close proximity to each other. I agree with Steve Nelson from the ushwys mailing list in this regard. At a minimum, if the city and/or TDOT still insist on having the "through U.S. routes" remain off the Interstates, a couple changes could still be made. US 72 can easily be truncated back to Kimball (I-24 Exit 152), since it's all "dead miles" (duplexed) east of there. Same with US 76 west of Dalton (duplexed with US 41). US 127 can be truncated up to US 27 in Red Bank (where the error "END US 127" sign has existed for years anyway). I'd also shift US 41 from Main St to 20th/23rd St multiplexed with US 11/64. Makes no sense to split the routes at Broad/20th only to have them rejoin along Dodds Ave.

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(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig