Homeowners upset over controversial cut-through - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Homeowners upset over controversial cut-through

Proposed cut-through connecting Muir Woods Drive and Caldwell Lane. Proposed cut-through connecting Muir Woods Drive and Caldwell Lane.

Huntsville police and firefighters are urging developers to go ahead with a controversial cut through road in a proposed Hampton Cove subdivision.

The city planning commission will consider plans for the subdivision Tuesday night.

Angry neighbors say it would create a traffic nightmare, but emergency workers say it's a matter of safety and access in case of emergencies for the same people most opposed to it.

The plan for a new Natures Trail subdivision and addition to Grand Highlands would bridge a few hundred feet of woods and let traffic and emergency vehicles through.

"When you have just one choke point, if you would, that's all it takes to literally shut down an area," said Deputy Police Chief, Kirk Giles.

Police  say connecting the dead ends on Muir Woods Drive and Caldwell Lane would eliminate the threat of people not being able to get out or emergency crews not being able to get in in an emergency.

And firefighters point out that while Fire Station 17 sends in the first fire trucks, second units would likely come from Station 4 on Monte Sano Boulevard.

Howard McFarlen, Interim Fire Chief, says the cut-through would take two miles off their response to the neighborhoods, a difference of more than four minutes.

"Could this literally be a matter of life and death? Absolutely," said McFarlen.

People who live along Muir Woods complain that a cut through would mean new traffic for them, and that in all the years this neighborhood has been here, access has never been a problem.

"You're living on borrowed time," said Giles."With the number of people that live in those areas, you're going to have medical emergencies. You're going to have weather related events." 

Residents also say they're worried about a cut through making their homes easier to reach for burglars. Police say burglars can always cut through backyards, but having better road access gives police more options to surround and chase them.

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