Knoxville Receives Grant From Federal Transit Administration

We are pleased to share some big news – Knoxville was awarded a $200,000 grant through the Rides to Wellness program of the Federal Transit Administration!

Knoxville Area Transit will manage the award, building a program to improve access to healthcare for Knoxville residents.

The FTA grant will fund a project between KAT and the 2-1-1 call center to create a single point of contact that will help older adults, people with disabilities, and others access transit to take them to medical appointments. The project will improve local coordination of transit and healthcare services by training 2-1-1 staff, medical providers, and residents on how to use KAT buses. 

TPO and MPC staff assisted KAT in the grant application by identifying the population to be served by the new program. Local areas with high priority populations, those neighborhoods with greatest social and economic need, were first identified during the Plan East Tennessee initiative. Among the challenges faced by priority populations is limited access to quality healthcare. KAT’s newly funded effort will be a great step in tackling local healthcare barriers.

Strong Towns’ President Chuck Marohn Presentation Open to Public

The annual conference of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Planning Association, co-hosted by the Tennessee Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (TSITE), is coming to Knoxville September 21-23.

Membership in TAPA or TSITE is not required to attend the conference. The conference, Taking It to the Streets: Design for All Ages, will be an opportunity to collaborate, share, and discuss the latest trends and initiatives related to a community’s design for people of all ages and abilities. Practicing planners and engineers, residents, students, and elected and appointed officials can attend numerous technical sessions, network, socialize and learn from each other about the fields of planning and engineering and how those fields connect.

Chuck Marohn, president of Strong Towns, a national media nonprofit working to strengthen financial resilience in America’s towns and cities, will be the keynote speaker during the luncheon event. The luncheon is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, September 22, from 12:15-1:45 pm in the Summit Ballroom in the Crowne Plaza, 401 W. Summit Hill Drive. Conference attendance is not required to attend the keynote luncheon. The cost to attend the luncheon and keynote address is $25, and a reservation is required. Please RSVP to by Wednesday, September 14.

Mr. Marohn will lead this public presentation, centered on the question, “Why, despite all the growth America has experienced, do our cities struggle financially just to accomplish basic tasks?”  For the United States to be a prosperous country, it must have strong cities, towns and neighborhoods. Enduring prosperity cannot be artificially created from the outside but must be built from within, incrementally over time. The Strong Towns approach is a fundamental rethinking of how we work together to build lasting wealth and prosperity within our communities. In the second half of the presentation, Mr. Marohn will specifically speak about issues in Knoxville and will engage attendees during an open discussion. Public officials and local change-advocates are invited to attend.

For more information on Strong Towns, visit For more information about the TAPA/TSITE conference and keynote address, visit

Transportation Planner Joins MPC

Elizabeth Watkins joined the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission at the end of June. 

She and her husband moved to Knoxville from Washington, D.C. where they moved after graduate school. She worked for more than a year as a Regional Planner for the National Park Service. Before that, Elizabeth spent time with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, focusing on brownfield redevelopment and pesticide regulation.

Meet Elizabeth

Missing Link of Foothills Parkway Grant

The Foothills Parkway in Walland, TN was recently awarded $10 million for the completion of the last section of the Parkway in Blount County.

The funds were made available through the highly competitive 2016 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program and will be matched by an additional $10 million from the National Park Service and $15 million from the state of Tennessee.

The $35 million will be used to connect the road in what is referred to as the “missing link” of the parkway in Blount and Sevier counties. Additional safety features, such as guardrails, pull-offs, striping and signage, will also be included in the upcoming work. Officials expect it to be completed and open to the public in 2018.

Read the full article

Better Streets, Better Places: Community Event with Ian Lockwood

It’s no coincidence that we’re kicking off two full days of events with Ian Lockwood on July 27th, Take Your Pants for a Walk Day!

Join us as we learn how to create a more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly community with Ian Lockwood of Toole Design Group. He is a nationally recognized transportation engineer who encourages communities and leaders to think differently about how streets work. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events and join us as we think about how our streets influence our neighborhoods and city!

July 27th

Public event: Ian will speak at the Small Assembly Room in the City County Building directly following the TPO’s Executive Board meeting. The meeting starts at 9 a.m., and Ian is expected to speak at 9:45 a.m.

Public event: Ian will speak in the Auditorium of the Knox County Health Department for this free community event. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m. Afterwards, there will be social time and food trucks at Shulz Brau, which is just around the corner at 126 Bernard Ave. Check out the Facebook event here.

July 28th

By invitation only: There will be a small-group walking audit of a portion of Chapman Highway to discuss traffic safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and land use issues. There will be breakfast and a short presentation directly before the walk audit begins. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. at Flenniken Landing, 115 Flenniken Ave, and the walk audit will depart at 8 a.m.

By invitation only: Ian will speak at the Mobility Advisory Committee Meeting at 11:30 a.m. at Ijams Nature Center. He will share his thoughts on how to think differently about transportation projects and how to move people around the region. If you are a member of this committee and plan to attend, please RSVP.


Smart Trips Program Offers Options to City Parking Changes

As of July 1, 2016, several changes related to garage and street parking took effect in certain parts of Knoxville.

With a focus on downtown and Fort Sanders, the City and Public Building Authority (PBA) are increasing enforcement, adjusting rates, and installing new meters. With all of this, monthly parking fees for garage parking will see a slight increase, most meters will have slightly higher fees and now include Saturdays, and there will be more officers to police these changes.

Get the skinny

Transportation Planning Work Program Being Updated


Draft Update: 2016-2017 Knoxville Regional TPO ̢??‰??Transportation Planning Work Program (TPWP)

The TPWP outlines a two year transportation planning work program for the activities undertaken by the TPO and its federal, state and local partners.  It is updated annually and reviewed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.  The Draft FY 2017 TPWP Update is available for review here:  The public is invited to comment by email at , by phone at 865-215-2500 or at the TPO Technical Committee meeting on July 12, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Small Assembly Room of the City/County Building, 400 Main St., Knoxville, TN or at the July 27, 2016 TPO Executive Board meeting, also at 9:00 a.m. in the Small Assembly room.

Review the draft in its entirety.

Safety Upgrades Scheduled for Clinton Highway

Updates are scheduled for a 2.6-mile stretch of Clinton Highway from Edgemoor Road to the Knox County line.

This particular section of road is known for its safety issues, with a significant number of wrecks occurring there. Upgrades include resurfacing, a continuous center lane and wider shoulders, and new lane markings to show dedicated passing areas. This project is scheduled for next year, and similar upgrades for Clinton Highway from Clinton to Edgemoor Road are planned for 2018.

A public meeting will be held on Thursday, July 7, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Claxton Community Center, 1150 Edgemoor Road.

Read more about these updates at