“Every year, the residents along [State Route 109] dread the impending traffic created by Chad's Winter Wonderland at 791 Old Laguardo Road E. They know that this is going to be a problem and every year are frustrated by the terrible traffic gridlock that occurs on peak nights (mostly Friday and Saturday nights between Thanksgiving and New Year's),” said Karl, who said he hasn’t seen the issue addressed.
“Once the car line to get into see the lights fills up Old Laguardo, then 109 completely stops and becomes the line to get into see the lights. This is not simply nuisance traffic. This completely shuts down the major road connecting the northern part of the county,” he said.
Karl said the traffic creates 30-45 minute delays for some drivers and, seemingly, makes it impossible for emergency personnel to pass the area without delay. Karl said the issue becomes more complicated since it involves a state road, county residence and Lebanon city property.
However, Karl said the issue could possibly be resolved by changing the traffic flow to utilize the Northern Road access to Old Laguardo as the entrance to Chad’s Winter Wonderland.
“This simple change would allow a much larger number of cars to back up before 109 would be completely blocked,” said Karl, who said he shared the information with owner and Wilson County Commissioner Chad Barnard. “I have heard people say that when 109 is widened it will help, but that is most likely 4-5 years away from being complete. Until that time, there needs to be some other solution.”
Karl said the traffic is not due to a one-time event or an unforeseeable set of circumstances, which means proper changes should be taken.
“It seems unfair that one person can cause an event that disrupts traffic to this degree with no ramifications or responsibility. This literally affects thousands of people who just want to be able to get home,” he said.