Open Streets Knoxville Event Planned for October

On Sunday, Oct. 25, Knoxvillians are invited to walk, bike, jog or dance their way through town at the first ever Open Streets Knoxville event.

A 1-mile stretch of Central Street, connecting Happy Holler to Emory Place and the Old City, will be closed to all motorized traffic, allowing revelers a day of shopping, playing, exercising and socializing all on foot or two wheels.

Open Streets Knoxville, hosted by Bike Walk Knoxville and with support from the City of Knoxville and Knoxville Regional TPO, aims to promote physical activity and community interaction during this free event. This international initiative promotes healthy living, local businesses and sustainable transportation in cities.

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 25, Central Street will be closed to motorized vehicles from Willow Street to Oklahoma Avenue. The event will feature kids’ activities, free exercise classes and opportunities for the public to learn and engage in healthful activities. Attendees can try their hand at Zumba or yoga, or peacefully stroll the street while enjoying live music and street performers. The family-friendly event will be stroller- and bicycle-friendly – just no cars!

Organizers currently are asking for sponsors and donations from members of the community to help make Open Streets Knoxville a huge success. For more information on donating or sponsoring, visit IOBY.org or Open Streets Knoxville.

Alcoa Town Center Workshop Report Now Available

Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) staff, City of Alcoa officials and representatives from Smart Growth America hosted a community event and an in-depth workshop on September 1 and 2, 2015 to learn more about innovative approaches to pursuing quality small downtown development and redevelopment. 

View the report here to learn more about key development issues Alcoa faces and the community's options as it moves forward.

Attitudes Make a Difference with Walking/Biking Behavior

At their March meetings, the TPO's Technical Committee and Executive Board learned about the importance of attitudes and culture in implementing programs such as Safe Routes to School.

Jerry Everett, who is the research director for UT's Center for Transportation Research, conducted the study for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. He learned, among other things, that Tennessee parents are more likely to say that their families would not approve of their children walking to school, as compared with parents in more bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities. You can see his presentation here.