One-way street changes

The city of Ringgold has approved the final reading of one-way traffic changes to Church Street (pictured), Jail Street and Maple Street. Discussions have included the careful study of each road and feedback from residents and businesses.

The city of Ringgold has finalized the change of traffic flow of three streets to one way, and approved the final reading of an amendment to the alcoholic beverage ordinance to allow hotels and motels to sell alcohol to lodgers.

Over the past couple of months, city officials have discussed one-way changes to Jail, Maple and Church streets — discussions that have included the careful study of each road and feedback from residents and businesses.

During the Nov. 11 City Council meeting, the board held the second public reading of the changes and subsequently approved the new traffic flows by unanimously votes.

“We are looking at, once the completion of the new project around the courthouse comes to fruition, then we will be one-waying Maple Street from Nashville Street to Lafayette Street going in that pathway,” Councilman Randall Franks said.

For Jail Street, which bookends the Catoosa County Courthouse on the other side, the project is the same, which includes one-way traffic flowing the opposite direction of Maple.

“Jail Street will be going from Lafayette Street to Nashville Street one way in that direction,” Franks said.

According to City Manager Dan Wright, city staff sent out notices to every resident and business that would be impacted by the change along the two streets and report back to the Council that the changes weren’t met with any opposition.

As for the change at Church Street, Mayor Pro Tem Terry Crawford explained that the change came about after a newly erected fence around the Citizen’s Cemetery at the corner of Church and Lafayette streets created some sight line issues for motorists attempting to turn onto Lafayette Street from Church Street.

“We’ve had some complaints that their vision up through there is restricted,” Crawford said. “Before, there was nothing and you could see almost up to the courthouse — our stop line is in compliance with state law, but we can make that one way and alleviate a lot of problems right there.”

Crawford said the biggest question was how the change would impact traffic near The Butterfly Salon at the corner of Church and Cleveland streets, but said there wasn’t any resistance from the salon or residents living on the street.

“We were concerned originally with the beauty shop at the end of the street down there and their parking lot, but they were not opposed to this,” Crawford said.

Alcoholic beverage ordinance

In addition to the street one-way changes, the city also approved the second reading of an amendment to the alcoholic beverage ordinance that will allow hotels and motels in the city to sell bottled beer and wine to lodgers staying at the establishments.

The amendment was inspired in early October when representatives from the new Tru by Hilton hotel requested the opportunity to sell to its customers.

Gautam Nanda, the current general manager at the Holiday Inn Express and soon-to-be manager of the Tru by Hilton, formally made the request during the Oct. 14 meeting and explained that Hilton’s request is designed to allow hotel guests the opportunity to enjoy alcoholic beverages in their rooms.

“This is a request just for the sale of bottled beer and wine in our Sundry Shop,” Nanda said. “There’s no service whatsoever that we’re going to be carrying on at the property. There’s no bottle opening or anything, and it’s exclusively for guests to carry up to their rooms. It’s a very, very limited service that we’re putting in to cater to the kind of clientele we are going to have at this new hotel.”

Following Nanda’s request, the city drafted the amendment, which allows for all city hotels and motels to sell alcohol to guests if they choose.

Like the road changes, the alcoholic beverage amendment was also unanimously approved.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009.

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