When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016
Where: Public Works Service Center, 3131 Morris Ave. (main conference room)
Who: Jon Livengood, the City’s Alternative Transportation Engineer, and representatives from Kimley-Horn and Toole Design Group
On Thursday, Dec. 8, the City’s consultants, Kimley-Horn and Toole Design Group, will present concept designs for four bicycle infrastructure projects that, when completed, will provide important links that connect existing bike lanes, destinations and/or greenways. Those projects are:
- Chapman Highway, between Woodlawn Pike/Fort Dickerson and the Henley Bridge. This project may also include improvements to the existing bike lanes on the bridge. It’s a key connection between downtown and several South Knoxville neighborhoods and destinations.
- Middlebrook Pike, between Proctor Street and Western Avenue/University Avenue. This will connect the existing bike lanes on University Avenue with the Middlebrook Pike greenway – extending an east-west bike route.
- Woodland Avenue, between Broadway and existing bike lanes on Woodland. This connection also will tie into the new First Creek Greenway extension to be constructed next year.
- Adair Drive, linking to Old Broadway. It will provide a safer route for bicyclists trying to bypass the heavily congested section of North Broadway at the Interstate 640 interchange.
Jon Livengood, the City’s Alternative Transportation Engineer, said input from bicyclists, motorists and neighborhood leaders is needed, because these four projects involve complicated connections with major roads – and suggestions and comments from the public will be helpful in finalizing the best design options.
“These are important projects that will improve the connectivity of our bicycling infrastructure,” he said. “The whole purpose of the 2015 Bicycle Facilities Plan is to create more bike route options so that people can choose to safely commute to and from work, school, the grocery store, a park or a restaurant.”
Last year, the City adopted the Bicycle Facilities Plan – an ambitious long-range blueprint for identifying and plugging the many gaps in the existing network of bike routes by strategically building connections to improve the accessibility, safety and convenience of traveling by bicycle.
“This was never intended to be a plan that would just be interesting reading and then it would be forgotten and gather dust on a shelf,” said Engineering Director Jim Hagerman. “We’re serious about building out these connections and making Knoxville even more of a bicycle-friendly city.”
Four years ago, the City only had about 5 miles of designated bike lanes. But from 2013 through this year, that total has been increased to 13 miles of bike lanes and 2.4 miles of buffered bike lanes – a tripling of the number of miles of bicycle infrastructure to 15.4 miles.
More than two dozen projects have been completed in those four years – everything from climbing lanes on Western Avenue, North Winston Road and University Commons Way to buffered lanes on streets such as Sevier Avenue, Moody Avenue, Sevierville Pike, McCalla Avenue and University Avenue.
The four projects to be discussed at the Dec. 8 public meeting represent roughly another 2.5 miles of new bike lanes.
Hagerman said additional bike lane projects are in the conceptual planning or early design stage. Those projects include bicycle/pedestrian/transit infrastructure on a stretch of Kingston Pike between Wesley Road and Golf Club Road; bike lanes on Liberty and Division streets; and studying a bicycle/pedestrian connection between Fort Sanders and Tyson Park to traverse existing railroad tracks.
Anyone needing a disability accommodation to be able to attend the public meeting should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Stephanie Cook, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-215-2034. For an English interpreter, contact the City Law Department at 865-215-2050.