West: Which path to take?



The road not taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost, 1916

Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" brings to mind the dilemma facing Woodbury residents.

Woodbury and Cannon County residents are divided over the path that the four-lane version of state Route 70S should … or shouldn't … take.

Some time ago, the Cannon Courier advocated a middle path for the roadway by transforming both Main and Water Streets into two-lane, one-way streets with one going east and the other west.

We even conducted a reader's poll on the issue.

Our suggestion was narrowly bested by the state's plan to take the roadway south of Woodbury with an eventual connection to Interstate 24 via state Route 53. An option to take the four-lane north of Woodbury (near Stones River Hospital) placed third in the voting.

The public meeting held last Thursday (Jan. 23) echoed The Courier’s earlier poll showing the virtual 50/50 division among Cannon County residents. Basically, folks are either for the road project or against it. That situation leaves Woodbury and Cannon County officials in a bind. If they endorse any plan that will probably be the death knell for their political future in this county.

In our opinion, the issue is best left to the state of Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Naturally, the state is trying to push the issue back on the people of Cannon County. I can’t say I really blame them.
But, we say, it's the state's ball and they need to run with it.

However, the ball got tossed back in Cannon County’s court last Thursday. Now, registered voters get to decide.
It looks like a referendum is to be held on the issue during the August election.

It will be a two-part question with voters casting either a yea or nay ballot. The ones who vote yes will then get to pick between the options of north or south or in between. Confusing? Yes it is...

That should make a final decision. Uh, maybe, unless the TDOT Commissioner decides what do about completing state Route 70S. That final nod could be some 10 to 15 years away.