Input Needed for Statewide Active Transportation Plan

TDOT is developing a Statewide Active Transportation Plan this year that covers walking, bicycling, and traveling by personal mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters.
To participate in their Virtual Open House, visit their website to watch a brief video presentation, take a short survey online, and make comments on an interactive map between now and October 7th.

Mobility Plan 2045 Call for Projects


The TPO is soliciting projects for Mobility Plan 2045. We’ve notified jurisdictions within our planning area that we are accepting applications for projects to be included in the plan. All applications must be submitted by jurisdictions no later than Friday, September 4. While individuals can’t submit an application, we encourage you to reach out to your local leaders now if there is a project you think should be included. Contact us at for more information.

Traffic Crash Trends During Covid-19

Transportation staff have been tracking trends in traffic crashes and fatalities during the Covid-19 related shutdown and have continued analyzing the data as businesses and work sites gradually re-open. To no one’s surprise, there was a big drop-off in reported crashes across the region in late March and April. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a similar decline in traffic fatalities. As a result, the share of crashes resulting in one or more deaths has increased since mid-March. We’ve seen a similar trend statewide in Tennessee: traffic crashes are down from previous years, but fatalities are not. There are two additional statewide trends of note: traffic fatalities among people walking and teen drivers are up this year. In our region, the number of traffic crashes and fatalities involving people walking or bicycling have declined from previous years. More details can be found in this presentation.

Mobility Plan 2045 Underway

This region’s long-range transportation plan is updated every four years. The update allows us to receive federal money for transportation projects in our region and ensures that we’re making the best long-term decisions for our residents, employers, and visitors. The update, Mobility Plan 2045, will look 25 years ahead, determining what we need to do now in anticipation of what we will need then. Our vision for the future is determined by looking at our current conditions as well as expectations for growth and infrastructure needs in the future. We currently have about 877,000 residents who call our region home. Looking ahead 25 years, we expect to add approximately 183,000 new residents, placing our region’s population at just over 1 million by 2045. While Knox County will continue to have the largest population, gaining another 95,000 residents, we also expect every county in our region to continue growing in population and employment. Our population is diverse, with people living in small towns, big cities, and rural areas, and meeting the needs of so many different groups is challenging. The plan tries to determine the best ways to continue building prosperity and maintaining a high quality of life for all those in our region by looking at several areas of interest. By digging into these topics, we will attempt to uncover ways to make our transportation system safer and more efficient, improve the health of our residents and reduce air pollution, improve links among transportation modes, infrastructure and development, and address equal access to benefits and opportunities. Those topics include: • Congestion, • Safety, • Technology, • Mobility, • Health, • Land use and development, • Environmental justice, • Equity, • Economic development, • Tourism, and • Freight and goods movement. A series of videos related to these topics is available at Digging into these issues gives us a big picture look at our region, helping us prioritize transportation projects that accommodate all modes with a variety of different project types. Once these projects are identified in Mobility Plan 2045, they will start to move through the project development process. These projects can take 5, 10, or even 20 years to complete, which is why we need to start planning now. The first step in the process is to get feedback from you. That input not only guides our decision-making, but it ultimately impacts which transportation projects rise to the top of the list when it’s time to fund them. Ready to share your thoughts? Take the survey Explore the map

Designing for Traffic Safety (a PechaKucha recording)

Transportation planner Ellen Zavisca discusses how changes to the design of our streets and our vehicles can save lives and prevent unnecessary injuries. Mistakes happen, but they should not be deadly. If we take traffic violence seriously and work to reduce speeds, we can get to a place where no one suffers a life-changing injury, or worse, just trying to get from Point A to Point B.

TPO Receives Commendations from Federal Partners

The Knoxville Regional TPO successfully completed the Federal certification review of the metropolitan transportation planning and programming process. The TPO’s mission is to advise and assist our region to improve and expand transportation choices by involving citizens and decision-makers in our plans, forums, and outreach. Every four years, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) review and evaluate our planning processes to ensure that we’re meeting the federal requirements and regulations in place to help us realize that mission. The review included input and participation from TDOT, Knoxville Area Transit, TPO staff, and the public. After a three day visit from federal partners to review the work and processes of the TPO, the review team determined that all requirements for certification had been met. Beyond meeting the specified requirements, the TPO earned six commendations for exceeding expectations in certain areas: – Metropolitan Transportation Plan – Interactive Map – Air Quality & Transportation Conformity – Interagency Consultation Engagement – Public Outreach & Civil Rights – Active Knox Speaker Series – Transit Multimodal Planning – Transit Coordination – Transportation Safety Planning – Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash Analysis Future recommendations include working with federal partners to expand the performance-based planning and programming process, using Title VI data to expand outreach efforts with disadvantaged populations, working closely with FHWA and TDOT during the next congestion management process update, and updating the Regional Intelligent Transportation Systems Architecture by summer of 2021. This certification is good for four years, meaning the next certification process will take place in 2024.

Federal Certification Review Public Meeting

The TPO’s mission is to advise and assist our region to improve and expand transportation choices by involving citizens and decision-makers in our plans, forums, and outreach. Every four years, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) review and evaluate our planning process to ensure that we’re meeting the federal requirements and regulations in place to help us realize that mission. That’s where you come in! Part of the evaluation is to hear from the public and stakeholders about how we engage with them in the transportation planning process. If you’ve been involved in one of our plans or projects over the last four years, we want to hear from you! There are two ways to provide input. A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 in the Community Room at Knoxville Station Transit Center at 301 Church Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902. It will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. You can also provide written or email comments to: Sean Santalla FHWA Tennessee Division 404 BNA Drive Building 200, Suite 508 Nashville, TN 37212 Email: Andres Ramirez FTA Region IV 230 Peachtree St, NW Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30303 Email: Comments will be accepted until February 7, 2020.

Upcoming Transportation Projects in Our Region

Do you know what the TIP is or how it impacts you? The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a four-year work program of transportation projects found within the Knoxville Urban Area. These projects include those relating to all modes of transportation, including walking, cycling, public transit, and automobile. By programming federal transportation investments in the region, the TIP implements the goals outlined in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) Mobility Plan 2040, which charts a long-term transportation system vision for our region. The TIP is developed in cooperation with local municipalities, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and any affected public transportation operators. All projects in the TIP must be consistent with or selected from the MTP, and must be fiscally constrained based on estimated revenues. In October, the Knoxville TPO Executive Board approved an update to the TIP to cover fiscal years 2020 through 2023. Within this program, more than $493 million is committed to 73 projects. Fifty-one of those are existing projects being carried over from the 2017-2020 TIP, and the other 22 are new. With each program update, considerable funds are designated to a variety of transportation projects that have a major impact on our region. Because of this, we want to highlight a handful of those projects scheduled within the next few years. South Waterfront Greenway – East of Suttree Photo of redevelopment along the South Waterfront that will eventually connect to this portion of riverwalk expansion With this project, the City of Knoxville will continue construction of the South Waterfront Riverwalk. This portion of the project will connect the section of cantilevered riverwalk along Island Home Avenue to the Suttree Landing Park riverwalk east of Foggy Bottom Street along the Tennessee River. Total project cost: $7.8 million Programmed for design in 2020, right of way (ROW) in 2021, and construction in 2022. More: Blount County Greenway Trail Ph. 1 Photo of existing greenway in Blount County This is the first greenway project proposed by Blount County and is a link in the Maryville-to-Townsend greenway trail. It ranges from Maryville City Limits at the northwest corner of Helton Road along US 321 to Perry’s Mill parking area. The project also includes a bike access link to Old Walland Highway from Melrose Station Bridge. Total project cost: $2.9 million Programmed for design in 2020 and seeking construction funding through TDOT’s multimodal access grant More: Oak Ridge Rails to Trails A Rails to Trails project is underway on abandoned rails from Elza Gate Park at the Oak Ridge Turnpike to the Y-12 National Security Complex on Scarboro Road and along Belgrade Road, Warehouse Road, Fairbanks Road, and Lafayette Drive. This project connects major employment centers, neighborhoods, and schools while providing an alternative route for non-motorized travel through the city’s most developed area. Total project cost: $4.4 million Programmed for ROW and construction in 2020. More: Note – link references old cost estimate, so could lead to confusion about total cost TPO – Regional Pavement Management System The project will use data to evaluate roadway pavement conditions to determine needs and cost estimates for resurfacing and other treatments. This system, which is based on the most current pavement data collection technology, GIS software, and other pavement management software tools, will allow local jurisdictions to prioritize maintenance and rehabilitation treatments within various budget scenarios. The project is open to all jurisdictions within the TPO planning area that want to participate. Total project cost (estimate is contingent on how many jurisdictions participate): $625,000 Programmed for implementation in 2020 TPO – Section 5310 Funds Photo of TPO staff Doug Burton and Dori Caron awarding a van to the Sertoma Center through the 5310 program This project provides ongoing funding to enhance mobility for senior and persons with disabilities. The funding is awarded to programs that serve the special needs of transit-dependent populations beyond traditional public transportation services and Americans with Disabilities Act complementary paratransit services. The project is open to all jurisdictions within the TPO planning area. Total project cost: $3.4 million More: Knox County – County-wide Transportation Study This study will prioritize needed road improvements based on existing and proposed land use, taking into account crash data, traffic volume, and road widths. The study will develop proposed road cross sections and help direct community investments to prepare the county for continued growth. Operational and multi-modal opportunities will be addressed. The Northshore Drive corridor will be a particular focus of the study. Total Project cost: $625,000 Programmed to study in 2020 TDOT – Pellissippi Parkway/Hardin Valley Interchange Section of Hardin Valley Road near where the interchange improvements will occur This project will modify the existing interchange to improve capacity, safety, and operations. It will also add a new northbound on-ramp in the northeast quadrant. Total project cost: $6.8M Programmed for NEPA, design, ROW and construction in 2020 TDOT – Alcoa Highway from Woodson Drive to Cherokee Trail Interchange This project will widen a section of Alcoa Highway from four lanes to six. It also includes the construction of a segment of the Knox-Blount Greenway through the corridor. This is one phase of the overall improvement project for Alcoa Highway that includes widening, new access roads, roundabouts, greenways, and other enhancements along the entire length of the heavily trafficked highway. Total project cost: $88M Programmed for implementation in 2020 More: