Traffic woes continue along Walnut Grove

There are a few ideas on the table to make things easier, but so far no one is acting on them. As the work day winds down, traffic at the intersection of Humphreys and Walnut Grove Boulevards winds up... WAY up... Sometimes for a half mile in every direction.

"Yesterday it was probably a good 45 minutes before I got to the expressway," says motorist Ken Pruett.

It's usually a three minute trip. But with the Walnut Grove widening project in full swing, TDOT has shut down at least one lane in all directions.

"Not making things easier, is that traffic light which allows cars from Humphries to turn onto Walnut Grove only stays green for about 12 seconds leaving only enough time for a few cars to get through," says Pruett.

It leaves hundreds more lined up. You wouldn't think it would be a big deal to fix. TDOT officials say retiming the light is up to the City.

"It should not be, but as we work towards this project and moving it forward and as changes are taking place, you can only find out what needs to be changed once you see that there's a problem," says TDOT spokesperson Pamela Marshall.

In the meantime, officials at nearby Baptist Memorial Hospital have plans to stagger surgery and employee start times, even running shuttles to off campus parking lots to cut down traffic. But Hospital officials say in their opinion, the issue isn't big enough, yet, to pull the trigger.

As for lengthening that light. City Engineer Wain Gaskins is out of town and wasn't available to answer our questions. T-DOT officials ask motorists to use alternate routes, making things easier for those who live and work in the area or need to get to the hospital.