Eighteen officers from 12 different law enforcement agencies came together Aug. 27 and 28, 2019, in Knoxville to learn about road safety and engineering fundamentals. The training was organized by the Knoxville Regional TPO in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration and Bike Walk Tennessee. Its purpose was to give law enforcement officers tools to recognize and report road safety hazards, with the goal of preventing fatal and life-changing traffic crashes.
The trainer, Craig Allred, is a longtime Federal Highway Administration employee with a law enforcement background. Craig emphasized the need for law enforcement officers to speak up when they see unsafe road conditions that may be remedied by engineers or other experts.
Also attending the training were engineers from three local governments (Knoxville, Knox County and Oak Ridge), who expressed their interest in working more closely with law enforcement on safety issues.
As a key commercial area and entry point into Knoxville and Knox County, the Chapman Highway corridor affects tens of thousands of people each day. The recently completed Chapman Highway Implementation Plan provides a prioritized list of projects intended to transform and improve the corridor.
A 40-page final report for the Chapman Highway Implementation Plan that summarizes the process and recommendations is available on the project page. The plan identifies and prioritizes projects that improve livability and safety for all modes of transportation along the corridor within the Knoxville city limits.
Intrigued by this work, the TPO wanted to know how Knoxville compares. Staff coordinated with the University of Tennessee – Knoxville to start the project through an undergraduate GIS class. More than 142,000 parking spots were identified after reviewing less than half of off-street parking in the city!
To complete this project, TPO hired Brennan Wilson as an intern to continue counting parking spots and analyze the final data. Brennan graduated from UT – Knoxville in May with a bachelor’s degree in geography. Working in the KGIS database, he is reviewing and counting parking areas and parking lots, developing methods to inventory on-street parking, and developing analyses such as parking per capita and parking per gross floor area on commercial parcels.
“I’m hopeful that my work can help make Knoxville a more environmentally conscious and efficient city while also exploring alternative travel methods,” Brennan said when asked about the project.
We’re looking forward to digging into his findings once the project is complete. We expect that the results will help guide future planning efforts and could eventually change the landscape of our city.