By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
PUTNAM COUNTY – On average, a person will spend approximately 19 seconds, per question, on a survey spanning 26-30 questions. That statistic is provided by SurveyMonkey, the digital survey company selected by the county’s joint traffic committee for its resident-input survey. That survey is intended to gauge the interest and level of prioritization of some of the county’s state-involved road improvement projects.
“I think we’ve got a great start,” said Putnam County Executive Randy Porter during the group’s meeting Wednesday. “I appreciate all of the hard work everyone is doing and being a part of this.”
The current draft of the survey asks respondents to rate each of the listed 34 TDOT-jurisdiction projects from high priority to lowest on a scale of 1-5, when considering the importance of proposed safety improvements. One final question on the survey, a fill-in-the-blank format, will allow respondents to list a project that they feel is also important and worthy of review that was not included on the list.
But, will the respondents understand the complex technical jargon used to describe those projects included in the survey? The verbiage currently included in the survey’s project descriptions comes directly from the study results presented by WSP’s engineering staff.
“As I read some of these still, and I’ve participated in all of this, through the WSP report, I still get confused reading some of these descriptions,” said Mike Davidson, Cookeville’s city manager.
As committee members worked to fine-tune the survey, they agreed to make a few additional revisions to the verbiage before sending the draft out to the entire committee for a trial run before the group’s next meeting in May.
Meanwhile, on Mar. 28, Porter submitted letters to Paul Degges, TDOT Dep. Commissioner/Chief Engineer, in an effort to draw attention to two projects in particular – Hwy. 135, connecting Putnam and Jackson counties, and Hwy. 136, connecting Putnam and Overton counties.
Fatalities have been reported along each of those highways, in the last five years; one along Hwy. 135, in 2016; and at least five occurring on Hwy. 136 during that same time period.