TPO Releases Reports Analyzing Pedestrian And Bicycle Crash Data

TPO staff has compiled data on crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the region.

Below is a link to a map of the crashes, followed by reports including a regional summary of crashes, as well as reports for multiple jurisdictions analyzing patterns in crash locations and circumstances. The reports are followed by infographics with some select data in a more digestible format.

View the Map

See More Crash Facts

The City of Alcoa Plans for Revitalization from a New Downtown

The City of Alcoa broke ground on a new downtown in April, marking the start of a project expected to have an impact not just on the City of Alcoa, but the entire Knoxville region.

Nearly twenty years of planning have gone into this project, including a 2015 workshop that was made possible through a Smart Growth America technical assistance grant. That workshop gave residents and planners tools and techniques to implement new development standards to create more compact, walkable places to boost the local economy and reduce public spending on infrastructure.

As the project continues to unfold, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization is working with Alcoa City Planner Jeremy Pearson to develop a master plan. The goal is to create a place that helps increase the value, identity, health, and happiness of the entire city. It will also respect the new downtown’s relationship with the high school, neighborhoods, airport, and the proposed new street.

For this to be achieved, the guiding principles for the plan include:

  • Creating a strong identity;
  • Attracting people and investment;
  • Connecting the site with its surroundings;
  • Providing attractive locations for socializing; and
  • Encouraging economic growth.

The site will consist of 350 acres at Alcoa Highway and Hall Road. The proposal includes commercial, retail, office, and residential uses where an aluminum fabrication mill once stood. Work has already begun on the property with road construction, utility infrastructure installation, and site grading. Construction of a boulevard to connect the Hunt Road interchange with Hall Road and Associates Boulevard and grading of nearly 100 acres are expected next. Once the road construction is well underway, property will be available for development.

More information on this project can be found in this Daily Times article.  

Roadway Repurposing Workshop Brings Attendees to Knoxville from Across the State

The TPO was selected by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to host a training on how to use the new workbook, Incorporating On-Road Bicycle Networks into Resurfacing Projects.

This is part of an effort to integrate more bikeways through regular pavement preservation projects. Forty-five engineers, designers, and planners from across the state attended this training on April 18, 2017. FHWA sent two instructors, Thomas Huber and Eric Mongelli PE from Toole Design Group, to lead the workshop.

The course covered the use of different approaches to repurposing roadway space and addressing internal processes that can be incorporated into the decision-making process. Presenters used case studies from their work around the country along with local examples. They then led participants through a guided exercise to help them develop their own step-by-step processes for incorporating bicycle facilities into resurfacing projects. There was also a discussion about existing barriers that prevent these safety improvements from being included in resurfacing projects. In post-evaluations, attendees cited this discussion as the most beneficial part of the workshop.

Participants walked to two nearby roads, Middlebrook Pike and Liberty Street, and then worked in small groups to propose ways to re-design the roadway, incorporating what they had learned from the workshop. All four small groups came up with either lane or road diets that made it possible to add bike lanes to the roadways.

Transit Funding in Our Region

Our recent online survey had more than 350 responses. Of those responses, there was an overwhelming desire for more transit in our region:

  • More than 42 percent want to be able to take transit around the region.
  • Lack of public transit was ranked second among respondents for the greatest transportation challenge our region is facing.
  • 44 percent selected expansion of transit to more areas to receive the most funding.

It’s clear why those in our region want more transit options. Benefits are wide-ranging and many are economic:

  • Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.
  • Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates more than 50,000 jobs.
  • Every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales.
  • Home values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.

More information can be found at www.apta.com.

However, one major obstacle to providing more transit is that most of the funding managed by the TPO cannot be used to expand transit service. Public transit costs are separated into two categories: capital and operating. Capital costs include long-term costs such as vehicles and facilities. Operating funding pays employee salaries and benefits (“the driver in the seat” – as much as 75% of the total budget), fuel, insurance, maintenance and utilities.

Transit funding comes from a variety of sources, including passenger fares, local tax revenue, as well as state and federal grants. Most state and federal grants (such as those managed by the TPO) require local entities to provide matching funds and are restricted to capital expenditures – which means they can’t be used to increase or expand transit service. In order to expand existing transit service or start new transit service, a significant amount of funding would need to come from the city or county that wants the service.

To give you an idea of where transit funding comes from, here are the 2016 sources for KAT’s funding.

 

 

%of total revenue

City of Knoxville

$8,647,720

46.3%

State of Tennessee

$3,113,900

16.7%

FTA

$4,687,836

25.1%

Fares

$2,222,643

11.9%

Other funding

$0

 

Total Revenue

$18,672,099

 

Operating Expenses*

$17,804,053

 

*under budget due to low fuel prices

 

Workforce Housing Report Available for Download

The Workforce Housing report examines challenges associated with providing adequate housing for Knox County's working families, including transportation costs.

In Knox County many working households are spending more money on housing and transportation than they can afford. The housing market is not supplying enough affordable units, so households have fewer choices and are often left spending more than 45% of their income on housing and transportation expenses.

Learn more here.