Because the Knoxville region has more than 50,000 people who call it home, Federal laws require that a Metropolitan Planning Organization be formed to make decisions impacting the region’s transportation system. In our region, that’s us, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO)! The TPO is responsible for the transportation planning process in Knox County and parts of Anderson, Blount, Loudon, Roane and Sevier counties.
The TPO is getting started on an update of our metropolitan transportation plan, or Mobility Plan 2050. Completing this plan update allows us to receive federal money for transportation projects in our region. It also ensures that we are making the best long-term decisions for our residents, employers, and visitors.
Mobility Plan 2050 will look 25 years into the future, determining what we need to do now in anticipation of what we’ll need then. We’re starting the project by evaluating the current state of our transportation system. These existing conditions, combined with expectations for growth and infrastructure needs, are the foundation on which we start to build the vision for our future.
That evaluation includes things like job forecasts, commuting patterns, congestion trends, crash patterns, pedestrian and bicycle facilities and vulnerabilities, transit use, and more. In addition to this information, a major component of the Mobility Plan update is the consideration of how people in our region access benefits like quality jobs, adequate healthcare, education services, and other daily needs like healthy food and affordable housing. We use planning processes to prioritize transportation investments that improve access to these benefits for all population groups regardless of socioeconomic status or abilities.
Knowing that every resident has unique needs and uses the transportation system differently, we need your input on our region’s infrastructure. Your feedback guides our decision making and impacts which transportation projects rise to the top of the list when it comes times to fund them. Once these projects are identified in the Plan, they will start to move through the project development process. Depending on how large a project is, it can take 5, 10, or even 20 years to complete, which is why we need to start planning now.