Public Review and Comment Period: Draft FY 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Draft Mobility Plan 2045 amendment and associated Air Quality Conformity Report available for public comment from September 22, 2022 through October 21, 2022

The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Executive Board, responsible for comprehensive transportation planning in the Knoxville Urban Area including Knox County and parts of Anderson, Blount, Loudon, Roane, and Sevier Counties, is updating its TIP from the federal fiscal year period of 2020 – 2023 to the federal fiscal years 2023 – 2026.

The TIP identifies projects that will be funded and implemented over the next four years. The TIP is the short-range element of the TPO transportation planning process that advances projects identified in the regional long-range transportation plan known as the Mobility Plan 2045. The Mobility Plan is being amended to align with the latest project information identified through the TIP development process.

An Air Quality Conformity Determination report was prepared to demonstrate that the implementation of projects within the FY 2023-2026 TIP and amended Mobility Plan will conform with the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

In addition to the TPO’s TIP and amended Mobility Plan, the air quality conformity determination also covers projects within the entire Knoxville Region that are subject to transportation conformity, which includes areas outside of the TPO Planning Area. These areas include portions of Anderson, Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane and Sevier counties and cover projects from the updated FY 2023 – 2026 State TIP (STIP) prepared by the Tennessee Department of Transportation as well as the FY 2023 – 2026 TIP prepared by the Lakeway Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization.

The the draft TIP, Mobility Plan amendment and air quality conformity determination may be viewed at the following links:

Draft FY 2023-2026 TIP

Draft FY 2023-2026 Appendices

Draft Mobility Plan 2045 Amendment Summary Memo

Draft Mobility Plan 2045 Amendment – Original and Amended plan pages

Draft Air Quality Conformity Determination Report

Comments can be submitted to Craig Luebke via email at craig.luebke@knoxtpo.org or by phone at 865-215-3825. Copies of the draft TIP are also available for review at the TPO office (400 Main St., Suite 403 Knoxville, TN).

The draft TIP will be discussed at the September 28, 2022 TPO Executive Board meeting and the October 18, 2022 TPO Technical Committee meeting. The TIP is scheduled for final adoption at the October 26, 2022 Executive Board meeting. Each of the meetings will be held at 9:00 am in the Small Assembly Room of the City County Building (400 Main Street, Knoxville, TN). The public is welcome at all meetings.

If you need assistance or accommodation for a disability, please contact the TPO at 865-215-2694 and we will be glad to work with you in obliging any reasonable request.

Pedestrian Activity and Safety – In the U.S. and the Knoxville Region

Smart Growth America recently released a new Dangerous by Design report that looks at pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. between 2016 and 2020 and how the pandemic impacted these trends. The report compares state and metropolitan areas based on the number of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. It also estimates the change in walking activity between 2019 and 2020 based on data from cellphones and other mobile devices. 

A major theme in the report is the continual increase in people being struck and killed while walking. Although there was a decline in driving in 2020 due to the pandemic, there was also a 4.7 percent increase in people killed while walking. This trend of increasing pedestrian traffic deaths can be tracked back to 2009 and has continued into 2021. Specific to Tennessee, the state as a whole had the 17th worst pedestrian fatality rate, and saw an estimated 68 percent increase in walking activity in 2020 compared to 2019. Out of the 100 metropolitan areas ranked, Knoxville came in at number 63 for pedestrian deaths. Memphis was number three, Nashville was 41, and Chattanooga was 65. The report also estimates that the Knoxville area saw a 78 percent increase in walking activity in 2020 compared with 2019. That’s the third highest increase among all 100 metros. Birmingham, AL was ranked number one with an 82 percent increase, and Greenville, SC was ranked second with a 79 percent increase.

A newly released infographic from the TPO provides an analysis of similar information – pedestrian- and bicycle-related traffic crashes specific to Knoxville and the Region. That data shows that while major arterials make up only six percent of surface street mileage in Knoxville, they account for 43 percent of all pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and 35 percent of all serious injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. According to the Dangerous by Design report, solutions to these issues should focus on lowering traffic speeds and changing the design of major arterials. The city has proven its commitment to traffic safety through recent measures such as the city-wide speed limit reduction on all unmarked neighborhood streets and a study conducted earlier this year to identify solutions to speeding on arterials and collectors.

Program of Projects Available for FY2022 FTA Sections 5307, 5310, 5339

The Executive Board of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) will hold a Public Hearing at its regular meeting on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. in the Small Assembly Room of the City-County Building, 400 Main Street, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the purpose of considering public comment both written and oral on the proposed Program of Projects (POP) funded by Fiscal Year 2022 Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Transit, Section 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities, and Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility for Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities grant funds.

The proposed Program of Projects (POP) is a list of projects by each agency receiving FTA Section 5307, Section 5339, and Section 5310 funding. For FY2022 Knoxville Area Transit (KAT), Knox County CAC Transit, East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA), and the Knoxville Knox County Planning received funding.

The City of Knoxville is the official designated recipient of the FTA Section 5307 & 5339 funds. Knoxville Knox County Planning is the designated recipient of the Section 5310 funds. The times established for public review and for allowing public comment on the POP follow the TPO’s Transportation Improvement Plan public involvement process. If there are no changes, the POP will be considered final.

The proposed POP and additional information can be viewed at www.knoxtpo.org. Interested persons, agencies, and private transportation providers are encouraged to participate. To be mailed or faxed a copy of the POP, or to provide comments contact Doug Burton at 400 Main Street, Suite 403, Knoxville, TN 37902; or at (865) 215-3824 or at doug.burton@knoxtpo.org. Comments must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 to be read during the meeting. Clearly indicate your comments are on the POP and include your full name and email address. Comments received will be read into the record during the live meeting.

While not the official public hearing, the POP will be an agenda item at the TPO Technical Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 12, 2002 at 9:00 a.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City-County Building, 400 Main Street, Knoxville, Tennessee. The TPO Technical Committee meeting is open to the public and persons can make comments or ask questions concerning the proposed POP. For more information on the TPO Technical Committee meeting visit www.knoxtpo.org.

Public Review and Comment Period for Air Quality Conformity Determination on Amendments to the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization FY 2020 – 2023 Transportation Improvement Program.

The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) announces a 30-day public review and comment period (June 27, 2022 through July 26, 2022) for an amendment to the FY2020 – 2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) involving existing project #20-2014-038 (Washington Pike Widening). The TPO is soliciting public comments on the Air Quality Conformity Determination made for this amendment. You are invited to comment by phone, email or in-person at 400 Main Street, Suite 403, Knoxville, TN. Additionally, public comments may be made at the TPO Technical Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 held at 9 a.m. in the Small Assembly Room of the City County Building, 400 Main Street, Knoxville, TN. Comments can be made to Mike Conger at 865-215-3813 or at Mike.Conger@knoxtpo.org.

If you would like a printed copy or need assistance or accommodation for a disability, please contact the TPO at 865-215-2506 or Dori.Caron@knoxplanning.org.

July 2022 TIP Amendment – Short Conformity Report

Advance Knox State of the County Report Available

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: 

  • Population,  
  • Land utilization, 
  • Development potential,  
  • Economic growth,  
  • Employment,  
  • Housing, and 
  • Infrastructure. 

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.

For more information, please contact the project team at contact@advanceknox.org. You can also find more information and sign up to receive email updates at advanceknox.org.   

Fiscal Year 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program Development Update: Call for Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) and Surface Transportation Block Grant – Transportation Alternatives (STBG-TA) Projects Complete

Purpose

The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is currently developing the Fiscal Year 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is updated on a three-year cycle and covers a period of four years. A call for projects was issued in January 2022, with project applications due by February 25th. This call for projects allowed jurisdictions to apply for new projects, or roll over and update unobligated phases of projects currently programmed in the FY 2020-2023 TIP.

Funding Availability

  • TPO STBG Funds – TPO staff projects approximately $105.7M in local Surface Transportation Block Grant (L-STBG) federal funds available over the life of the 2023-2026 TIP to cover funding shortfalls in rollover projects and fund new projects. STBG funds are eligible for most project-types, but if used on a roadway project then it must be classified as Urban Minor Collector or higher on the state’s functional classification system. Most projects require a 20% local match.
  • TPO STBG-TA Funds – Approximately $8.1M in local Surface Transportation Block Grant-Transportation Alternatives (L-STBG-TA) federal funds is available over the life of the 2023-02026 TIP to cover shortfalls in rollover projects and fund new projects. Again, projects typically require a 20% local match.
  • Final revenue amounts will be determined by authorizations from the federal transportation bill. In addition, available funding may be impacted by cost increases within the current TIP program.

Evaluation Criteria

Projects will be scored and ranked using the criteria based on the goals and factors developed for the Mobility Plan 2045 process as shown on the project application form. Other criteria that TPO staff will be evaluating in making project selection recommendations will involve an assessment of project completion scheduling and assessment of project delays as determined by TIP programming policies. This assessment will be based on ease of project implementation, past performance of the sponsoring agency in the TDOT project development process and amount/status of other projects already under development by the sponsoring agency.

Project Applications Received

A total of 25 existing project rollover applications were received, requesting a total of $115.2 million in federal L-STBG funds and $4.9 million in federal L-STBG-TA funds.

A total of 18 new project applications were received, requesting $49.0 million in federal L-STBG funds and $1.4 million federal L-STBG-TA funds.

Draft TIP Development Schedule

  • Call for Projects Issued – January 14, 2022 (Complete)
  • End Call for Projects – Friday, February 25, 2022 (Complete)
  • TPO Staff Scoring and Project Prioritization/Fiscal Constraint consultation with project applicants – April, 2022
  • TDOT submits state projects for inclusion in the draft TIP – April-May, 2022
  • Draft TIP to Technical Committee/Executive Board for Review – June, 2022

Final TIP Technical Committee Recommendation/Executive Board Adoption – September, 2022

Deadline Extended to Provide Input for Advance Knox

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.

A series of public workshops took place from March 27 – March 30 at seven locations throughout Knox County. Though the in-person events have concluded, community members can still provide input through May 10. All activities that were provided at the workshops are now available online at advanceknox.org.

For more information about Advance Knox, please contact the project team at contact@advanceknox.org. You can also find more information and sign up to receive email updates at advanceknox.org.