Is just one entrance safe for a subdivision?

By BRIAN GRAVES and ALLEN MINCEY
Posted 12/2/17

Though it would not have made any difference in the recent hostage situation at Royal Oaks Subdivision, several Bradley County residents have inquired if it is safe to only have one entrance and exit …

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Is just one entrance safe for a subdivision?

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Though it would not have made any difference in the recent hostage situation at Royal Oaks Subdivision, several Bradley County residents have inquired if it is safe to only have one entrance and exit to subdivisions.

According to County Planner Bentley Thomas, there are no regulations requiring a second entrance/exit for a subdivision.

"It is a subject that has come up before," Thomas said. "Just in the last few years it was a concern I had, but there wasn't a way to really write it to make it work."

Having a second entrance and exit could present more issues than one,  according to Bradley County Sheriff's Office Communications Director James Bradford.

"The single entrance and exit can be thought of as a positive thing," he said. "Should there be a need to respond to anything in a subdivision, one entrance is good, and if someone who may have been involved in a break-in will only have one way out, which will help stop these people and put them into custody."

Thomas said  most of the subdivisions do not have more than one entrance/exit, and that is something many people prefer because of privacy.

He added constructing a second way in or out could be difficult because it would be nearly impossible to add the entrance/exit.

"The problem we have here is the way the roads are laid out and the topography," Thomas said. "There is usually not another arterial road to the sides or rear of the developments to which it (exit) could be connected."

Lt. Bob Hancock, who heads up the Neighborhood Watch for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, said many look at subdivisions with the single entrance and exit.

"Some homebuyers like that if anything does happen in their subdivision, and a perpetrator tries to leave, law enforcement can concentrate on stopping vehicles at that one exit," Hancock said.

He suggested that should anyone be concerned with the one entrance and exit, or in anything about activity in their subdivision, they should create a Neighborhood Watch program so they can be aware of any suspicious activity and immediately call 911.

Thomas said the problem is more difficult should a subdivision attempt to have two separate entrances/exits on the same road.

"That would add what TDOT calls 'incident points' to a highway," he explained. "They prefer a separate lane be created outside of the main road which then connects to the subdivision entrances and exits."

"Frankly, if we did require that second entrance/exit, that would probably disqualify many of the current and proposed development we have," Thomas said.

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