TDOT Asks for Comments on Pellissippi Parkway Extension

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has put out a public notice that they’re seeking comments on the reevaluation of the environmental document for the Pellissippi Parkway Extension. TDOT has completed multiple Environmental Impact Statements (EIS’s) on the project, but their plans have changed, so they are seeking comments on the most recent EIS.

TDOT has also provided a library of previous documentation for the project. 

Regional Roadway Safety Action Plan Underway

The TPO recently initiated an effort to create a Regional Roadway Safety Action Plan. The work began in January to identify changes that can be made in our region to save lives and prevent serious injuries on our roadways. A task force made up of staff from the TPO, local government, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and Bike Walk Knoxville is guiding the planning process.

The plan focuses on the Knoxville Region, which includes Knoxville, Knox County and Farragut; portions of Anderson County, including Clinton and Oak Ridge; parts of Blount County, including Alcoa and Maryville; as well as Lenoir City and the City of Loudon in Loudon County. One of the elements of the plan will be a stand-alone Vision Zero Action Plan for the City of Knoxville.

A project page is now live, and a survey has been launched that will be available until March 20. The public is encouraged to take the survey to help the project team understand the experience of roadway users, provide an opportunity for locals to share their concerns and perceived risk factors, and to ask for feedback on potential safety strategies.

The plan is expected to be completed this summer. Once the plan is adopted, it will position the TPO and the local governments in the region to be able to apply for federal funding through the Safe Streets and Roads for All Program.

TPO Welcomes AmeriCorps Member

Kate Jones recently joined our team as our newest AmeriCorps Member.

Originally from Kansas City, she moved to Knoxville from Ohio earlier this year after graduating from the University of Dayton. While at Dayton she studied human rights and sociology and was introduced to planning when writing a paper about urban sprawl. Through that project she learned about the history of planning and redlining and discovered her interest in the field.

Afterwards she looked for opportunities to focus on local issues and policy, ultimately landing in a group called the Dayton Civic Scholars. As one of 15 students working with local non-profits, she completed an internship with the Collaboratory, a thinktank that provides support for people and organizations to create community initiatives. She also completed a capstone project with Gem City Market, a food co-op that was born out of a neighborhood plan and staffed entirely by neighborhood residents. Kate worked with the market to bring the community together around it, and specifically worked with the university to encourage students to patronize it.

Kate decided to serve with AmeriCorps for a year after graduation and is currently planning to pursue graduate school in the near future. She is interested in community planning and hopes her work with the TPO will help her make that decision. During her time here, Kate will focus on the Smart Trips program and other transportation-related projects.

When Kate is out of the office, you will likely find her hiking, camping, or spending time in the water. She also loves pop culture, podcasts, television, and reading. Be sure to give her a warm welcome if you see her at a community event or in our office!

Annual Planning Conference Held in Knoxville

The annual fall conference of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Planning Association, co-hosted by the Tennessee Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (TSITE), was held in Knoxville at the end of October. Planning and TPO staff contributed to planning the event, managing the schedule, creating a conference website, producing printed materials, presenting, and leading tours.

The conference, Inclusive Infrastructure for Today and Tomorrow, was an opportunity to collaborate, share, and discuss topics and trends related to the importance of planning for equity in transportation infrastructure, land use, and policies. Practicing planners and engineers, residents, students, and elected and appointed officials were able to attend numerous technical sessions, network, socialize and learn from each other about the fields of planning and engineering and how they connect.

Benito Perez, Policy Director for Transportation for America, was the keynote speaker. Transportation for America is an advocacy-based organization made up of leaders at local, state, and federal levels who envision a transportation system that prioritizes maintenance, designs for safety over speed, and connects people to jobs and services. His address, Reflecting on Our Past and Present to Reimagine Our State of the Practice, was featured during the luncheon on Thursday.

Various other presentations and panel discussions were held over the course of three days, as well as afternoon tours. The tours offered a special look at Knoxville Area Transit’s electric buses and charging infrastructure, redevelopment along the South Waterfront, and local impacts of urban renewal.

For more information about the TAPA/TSITE conference and keynote address, visit

Request for Qualifications and Letters of Interest for Completion of a Regional Roadway Safety Plan

Knoxville-Knox County Planning, an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer, seeks to retain the services of one or more professional entities to provide services related to the completion of a “Regional Roadway Safety Plan.” This effort will involve several aspects of a roadway safety study within the Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO).

Required Scope of Services

  • Project Coordination – the consultant will assist TPO staff with developing a project schedule and associated project management tasks such as invoicing, and status reporting.
  • Determination of Scope – the consultant will work with TPO staff to develop a final Scope of Work for the safety plan.
  • Recommendations for Improvement – the consultant will review existing applicable transportation policies and design standards, and make recommendations for improvement.
  • Creation of Predictive Analysis Tool – the consultant will create a predictive analysis tool based on crash data, information about roadway characteristics, demographic data, and other relevant information. It’s anticipated that many of the data inputs can be provided by TPO to the consultant.
  • Project Recommendations – the consultant will produce a prioritized set of engineering projects and programmatic strategies informed by crash data and the predictive analysis tool and aimed at reducing the incidence of fatal and serious-injury crashes. These will include traditional stand-alone engineering projects as well as lower-cost projects that can be incorporated into maintenance, as well as programs. The consultant will also produce estimates of the benefits of the projects and programs based on the reduction of fatal and serious-injury crashes and related cost savings to society.
  • High-Injury Network – the consultant will assist TPO staff with an analysis of regional traffic crash data and the factors contributing to fatal and serious-injury crashes, with a goal of identifying a High-Injury Network (HIN) for the region.
  • Vision Zero Plan for Knoxville –the Knoxville-specific elements of this plan will serve as a Vision Zero Plan for the city, and the consultant will assist City of Knoxville and TPO staff in packaging these elements into a stand-alone Vision Zero Plan.
  • Presentations – the consultant shall provide presentations of the final project to the TPO Technical Committee and/or TPO Executive Board as requested.

Estimated Schedule

  • Question deadline: Prospective respondents may submit questions no later than October 14, 2022, at 12 noon Eastern Time. All questions must be e-mailed to Ellen Zavisca, Principal Transportation Planner, at           
  • Letters of Interest for Phase I due October 24, 2022
  • Short list of firms selected to proceed to Phase II announced by October 31, 2022 (*)
  • Phase II proposals due by November 14, 2022 (*)
  • Final selection of highest ranked firm by November 23, 2022 (*)
  • Contracts with the selected firm(s) will be finalized and initial project tasks estimated to begin by December 21, 2022 (*)

(*) These dates may change due to schedules and availability of the Evaluation Committee. The short-listed firms will be notified of new dates if delays occur.

For full details, please view the full notice.

Questions and Responses
All questions received about this request for qualifications and letters of interest by the Oct. 14 deadline are below, along with responses from TPO staff. 

Question: Will cost be a factor in phase 2 selection?
Response: Yes, we will be requesting that firms selected to submit for Phase II provide a cost estimate. 

Question: Can the Knoxville TPO provide a list of available data for systemic and predictive safety analyses? Specifically, can you please comment on roadway data coverage across the region – e.g., locally owned roads, across cities/counties, etc. for various roadway attributes? Can data samples be provided at the proposal stage?
Response: The TPO will be able to provide crash data and roadway attribute data to the selected firm. The crash data are from TITAN and have been reviewed, corrected and refined by TPO staff. Roadway attribute data are from E-TRIMS and include roadway cross-sections.  

Question: Are there schedule or timeline factors proposers should be aware of? For example, is the City of Knoxville aiming to have some portions of the plan completed in anticipation of the next SS4A funding cycle? Are there other local, regional, or national timeline constraints?
Response: The timeline calls for the plan to be substantially completed by the end of June 2023 so that it can be adopted by the TPO in July or August of 2023 and local governments will be able to seek project implementation funds through the Safe Streets and Roads for All program in 2023. 

Question: Is the consultant expected to do outreach as part of the Vision Zero effort, or will that be part of the city’s role?
Response: Public outreach for Knoxville’s Vision Zero effort will be the responsibility of Knoxville staff, not the consultant.

Question: Does the DBE need to be certified in Tennessee?
Response: No