To the Editor:
Regarding the current controversy of the Hatton statue downtown: whatever your case and preference for within the parameter of the downtown roundabout, in the future there will be no downtown traffic roundabout, thereby no center island, no Hatton statue.
Hatton’s statue in the future will reside in a future city museum. Herein is why so.
Over the past 20 years, too many short-sighted Lebanon city councilors and two former city mayors, whom didn’t care about the future well-being of downtown Lebanon, have ensured that Hatton will have a new location in the future. The overriding issue isn’t Hatton’s positioning in local history; rather it is the future functionality of the downtown roundabout. The state of TN/ TDOT owns and controls the future fate of that right-of-way land.
The only quadrant of the city where via travel destinations the traffic flow must traverse the town square area comes from the north side, the 231 N. corridor.
Thereby density of residential development should have been minimized in the 231 N. corridor. But instead, residential density has been maximized, despite hundreds more undeveloped acres within the city north’s side and hundreds more vacant acres just beyond current city limits.
Six schools have been placed within the 231 N. corridor (the sixth under construction). How many schools are in the other three city quads?
In the future, the center island (Hatton) and roundabout of the town square must be removed to accommodate the future higher traffic density congestion via four added downtown traffic lights at a four-way intersection. And no left turns in designated hours.
Future downtown traffic fed from the intersection of two state highway corridors will become a local nightmare. Future local residents can blame former local elected city officials.
I would have rather had a fountain in the downtown roundabout, or a statue of Uncle Jimmy Thompson and Deford Bailey. Note that Hatton’s history can’t withstand serious scrutiny, nor so the motivations for commissioning his statue. No attempted defense wants that public debate.
We should all appreciate the efforts of those who have been caretakers of that downtown center island. I spent a lot of time in downtown Lebanon as a kid, as both my parents worked there.
In recent times, I’m sometimes in the traffic there, and it’s only 2020. Approximately 2,800 more vehicles will be added to the 231 N. corridor from current developments, thereby also increasing day traffic congestion in front of this newspaper’s office location.