The Executive Board of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) will hold a Public Hearing at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. in the Small Assembly Room of the City-County Building, 400 Main Street, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the purpose of considering public comment both written and oral on the proposed Program of Projects (POP) funded by Fiscal Year 2023 Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula, Section 5339 Bus & Bus Facilities, and Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility for Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities grant funds.
The City of Knoxville is the designated recipient of the Section 5307 & 5339 funds. Knoxville Knox County Planning is the designated recipient of the Section 5310 funds. The times established for public review and for allowing public comment on the POP follow the TPO’s Transportation Improvement Plan public involvement process. If there are no changes, the POP will be considered final.
Interested persons, agencies, and private transportation providers are encouraged to participate. To be mailed or faxed a copy of the POP or to provide comments contact Doug Burton at 400 Main Street, Suite 403, Knoxville, TN 37902 or at (865) 215-3824 or at email@example.com. Comments must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 to be read during the meeting.
Knox County’s current Comprehensive Plan hasn’t been updated in almost 20 years. During that time, the county has experienced significant growth and change. Advance Knox is a unique opportunity to align land use and transportation goals to create a blueprint for the county’s future. It will help guide decisions about where and how growth occurs and where investments in infrastructure and services need to be made in the years to come.
Based on previous public input and data analysis, the project team has developed a list of proposed transportation projects that will accompany a future land use plan. Input from these workshops will help the team prioritize the public investment needed to guide the county’s future.
There will be five in-person and two virtual events between March 27 and April 6.
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.
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.
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!
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 tapaconference.com/