Smyrna residents concerned about railings that line busy roadway - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Smyrna residents concerned about railings that line busy roadway

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SMYRNA, TN (WSMV) -

Steve Ammons has walked across the bridge over Chicken Pike a number of times.

While nothing has happened yet, he fears it's only a matter of time before someone dies.

He says ever since the Department of Transportation installed bike lanes on Lee Victory Boulevard a few years ago, more and more people are using them.

Ammons says the railings designed to safeguard cyclists aren't tall enough.

In 2010, the Department of Transportation strengthened its bicycle and pedestrian polices to be in line with federal standards.

Under the code, rails are supposed to be 42 inches tall for pedestrians, 54 inches for bikes. Channel 4 found one that was only 30 inches tall.

Heather Jensen with TDOT says that only applies in certain circumstances.

"The shoulders on that road are 10 feet wide, so that bicycle lane is 4 feet wide with an additional 6 feet between the bicycle lane and the edge of the structure. For that reason, we feel that it is a safe distance between the bicycle lane and the edge of the structure where we don't need additional railings," Jensen said.

Had that stretch been red-flagged, TDOT might install taller rails.

"If it is a dangerous distance or too close to the actual edge of the bridge, we could add on to that an additional railing."

And for the people who walk along the bridge, Jensen says, "We would advise anyone who chooses to walk along that bridge not to do so because it's not built for that purpose and we don't have those safeguards in place to protect them."

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