People in West Walnut community express need for improved pedestrian safety measures

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – People are calling for more safety measures in the West Walnut Street corridor for pedestrians and cyclist. While new zoning standards were recently approved, the West Walnut Street task force says it could take a while before people see changes.

Burt Kordamiri has been making and selling pizzas in the Tri-Cities for a little over 30 years. He owns Italian Pizza Pub on West Walnut street in Johnson City.

Kordamiri is looking forward to much needed changes to the corridor, that will soon come because of new zoning standard. He is also hoping for things to be more pedestrian friendly, giving walkers easy access from West Walnut street to downtown Johnson City.

“It would be nice because I think being beside a college, and we need a street like this, like other colleges around the United States,” Kordamiri said.

To bridge the gap between downtown Johnson City and West Walnut Street would be to add more pedestrian crosswalks like these, another idea, adding pedestrian bridges.”

“That would be very helpful for the community, as far going back and forth across traffic because traffic is moving and Johnson City is growing,” Shone White said.

Shone White walks West Walnut Street often. He says a pedestrian bridge would be ideas for crossing major roads like State of Franklin.

“We are trying to create an environment where all of those users feel it is accessible and safe and a desirable place to go,” Johnson City commissioner Joe Wise said.

Wise heads up the West Walnut Street task force. He says there are plans to address pedestrian and cyclist concerns but that phase of the process will come after zoning measures have been discussed with business owners and people in the community.

“It is hard to say until you begin to see how all those other pieces fit together and what gives you the most bang your buck,” Wise said.

As for Burt Kordamiri he plans on being at the upcoming community meeting to ensure that his voice is heard.

The West Walnut Street task force will host a meeting for the entire community on Wednesday, February 1st at 5:00 p.m. inside the Johnson City Commission chambers.

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