Knox County last updated its Comprehensive Plan nearly 20 years ago. 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 future growth occurs and where investments in infrastructure and services are made in the years to come.
The Advance Knox State of the County Report was recently released as part of the comprehensive planning process and is now available on the project website at advanceknox.org. The report is an overview of the county’s current land use patterns and transportation systems and the infrastructure that connects them. It assesses the conditions and trends that affect how Knox County residents live, work, and travel. To do this, the report evaluates where Knox County is today in terms of people, places, prosperity, and infrastructure by looking at topics such as:
Now that this report is complete, the project team is working on scenario planning by analyzing data to help illustrate possible strategies for guiding the county’s future growth. This work will be presented at public meetings in the fall.
The Technical Committee collaborates with staff to provide recommendations to the Executive Board in the development of regional transportation plans and programs.
The Executive Board sets policy and adopts plans and programs. The Board provides a forum for collaboration and decision-making related to regional transportation policy, planning, and funding.
Regularly scheduled meetings of the Technical Committee and the Executive Board are open to the public.
If you are interested in speaking during either meeting about a specific agenda item, email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than noon on the day before the meeting with your full name, phone number, and the agenda item of interest.
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.
Sharath Rereddy recently joined the TPO for a year-long position serving with AmeriCorps. Before moving to Knoxville, Sharath grew up and lived the majority of his life in Fairfax County and neighboring Arlington, VA. He spent four years a little further south while attending Virginia Tech, where he majored in economics. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, he moved back to the DC Metro area and worked in finance as an internal analyst for Accenture. While living and working in Arlington, his interest in planning and sustainability deepened, and he decided to return to school to pursue another degree. Since then he has earned a graduate certificate in sustainable planning from George Washington University, and is excited to gain experience and insight into planning practices before returning to complete a graduate degree.
In the coming year, Sharath will manage bicycle and pedestrian counts and present information to area high school drivers education classes and other interested groups. He is also helping with an annual Title VI data collection and mapping update, and has other projects on his horizon. He hopes to collaborate with Ijams Nature Center to organize a bike safety talk and group ride that ends at a special exhibit at the park.
When he’s not at work, you can find Sharath relaxing or reading at his home in North Knoxville. He also enjoys spending time outdoors while hiking, biking, and playing soccer. Sharath is looking forward to exploring nearby destinations for his favorite outdoor activities as he continues to enjoy the Knoxville and surrounding area.
TPO staff originally released data in 2017 about crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists in the region. Staff continues to maintain this data, and has recently updated it with information through March 2018. Updates include:
For the past six years, the TPO has distributed 5310 program funding to regional nonprofits and government agencies to enhance mobility options for seniors and persons with disabilities.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) provide funding for the program, and each recipient is required to provide some level of local match. The TPO administers the program by overseeing the application process, distributing funds, and managing follow-up reporting.
Projects selected must be consistent with the goals of the TPO’s Human Services Transportation Coordination Plan, which identifies gaps in services, proposes projects to help fill those gaps, and examines ways services can be coordinated. The application process for the grants is competitive, and final approval is given by the TPO Executive Board.
Though the program is not limited to nonprofits, most of the funding is distributed to local organizations, such as Emory Valley Center, Sertoma Center, Cerebral Palsy Center, and ARC Knox County – Sunshine Industries. The 5310 program allows these groups to purchase vans that are used to transport clients to essential services.
To date, the TPO has helped nonprofits purchase 35 vans or mini-buses in the Knoxville urban area, which covers portions of Knox, Anderson, Blount, Loudon, and Sevier Counties.
The TPO is currently soliciting new projects to be funded. Applications can be found on the TPO website at www.knoxtrans.org and are due by 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 25, 2019.
Question can be addressed to:
Mr. Doug Burton
Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization
400 Main Street, Suite 403 – Knoxville, TN 37902
865-215-3824 or email@example.com