Update on Accessibility: Design Standards and ADA Transition Plans

Eric Wilson from TDOT Region 1 spoke at a recent TPO Technical Committee meeting about the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) that TDOT has adopted. 

You can see his presentation here.

In his presentation, Eric discussed ADA Transition Plans, which are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). TDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) encourage local governments that do not have ADA Transition Plans to create them. FHWA staff have shared some tools to help local governments with their ADA Transition Plans:

TDOT Announces Cleaner Diesel Technologies Grant Program

TDOT is currently accepting grant applications for projects that reduce particulate air pollution from diesel engines in Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon and Roane counties. Eligible project types include: Add-On Equipment, New Engines and Vehicle Replacements for certain on-road and non-road diesel vehicles. This funding opportunity is open to both public and private vehicle fleet owners.

See the flyer for more information and how to apply.

Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement Pellissippi Parkway Extension (SR-162)

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announces the availability of the approved Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Pellissippi Parkway Extension (SR-162) from SR-33 (Old Knoxville Highway) to US-321/SR-73/Lamar Alexander Parkway, in Blount County Tennessee. 

The FEIS was approved by the Federal Highway Administration on September 10, 2015.

Copies of the FEIS document are available for public review at the locations listed below:

Blount County Public Library
508 N. Cusick Street
Maryville, TN 37804

Blount County Chamber of Commerce
201 S. Washington Street
Maryville, TN 37804

TDOT Region 1
7345 Region Lane
Knoxville, TN 37914

An electronic copy of the approved FEIS is also available at: https://www.tn.gov/tdot/article/pellissippi.

Any comments should be submitted to the address below by November, 18, 2015:

Tennessee Department of Transportation
FEIS Comments 
Attn: Pellissippi Parkway Extension (SR-162)
Suite 700, James K. Polk Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1402

2014 Traffic Counts Available via New Web-based Map

Monitoring traffic volumes on area roadways is an important tool that helps planners and engineers prioritize roadway improvements.

Annual traffic counts, gathered at over 2,000 locations in the region, show trends and identify areas where traffic may be approaching a roadway’s capacity.

For area realtors, bankers and land developers, traffic count information is equally important when analyzing locations for investment and marketing.

With the recent release of traffic counts collected in 2014, retrieval of multi-year histories of average daily traffic is now a point and click operation. The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization has developed a web-based map application that delivers several years of data for hundreds of traffic count stations on area roadways.

Access the map at knoxtrans.org/traffic-counts.

TPO traffic count web map showing fifteen years of data at a Tennessee Department of Transportation count station on Northshore Drive west of I-I40 in Knoxville.

Tips for using the map

Get the data:  click any station to retrieve counts at that location

Find locations:  type addresses, business names, places, or street names in the search box

View aerial photos:  use the Switch Basemap Button to view aerial photos and other basemaps

Download traffic counts:  Data for any count station can be downloaded for use in spreadsheet applications like Excel using the Download CSV button

Open Streets Knoxville Event Planned for October

On Sunday, Oct. 25, Knoxvillians are invited to walk, bike, jog or dance their way through town at the first ever Open Streets Knoxville event.

A 1-mile stretch of Central Street, connecting Happy Holler to Emory Place and the Old City, will be closed to all motorized traffic, allowing revelers a day of shopping, playing, exercising and socializing all on foot or two wheels.

Open Streets Knoxville, hosted by Bike Walk Knoxville and with support from the City of Knoxville and Knoxville Regional TPO, aims to promote physical activity and community interaction during this free event. This international initiative promotes healthy living, local businesses and sustainable transportation in cities.

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 25, Central Street will be closed to motorized vehicles from Willow Street to Oklahoma Avenue. The event will feature kids’ activities, free exercise classes and opportunities for the public to learn and engage in healthful activities. Attendees can try their hand at Zumba or yoga, or peacefully stroll the street while enjoying live music and street performers. The family-friendly event will be stroller- and bicycle-friendly – just no cars!

Organizers currently are asking for sponsors and donations from members of the community to help make Open Streets Knoxville a huge success. For more information on donating or sponsoring, visit IOBY.org or Open Streets Knoxville.

Alcoa Town Center Workshop Report Now Available

Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) staff, City of Alcoa officials and representatives from Smart Growth America hosted a community event and an in-depth workshop on September 1 and 2, 2015 to learn more about innovative approaches to pursuing quality small downtown development and redevelopment. 

View the report here to learn more about key development issues Alcoa faces and the community's options as it moves forward.

Attitudes Make a Difference with Walking/Biking Behavior

At their March meetings, the TPO's Technical Committee and Executive Board learned about the importance of attitudes and culture in implementing programs such as Safe Routes to School.

Jerry Everett, who is the research director for UT's Center for Transportation Research, conducted the study for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. He learned, among other things, that Tennessee parents are more likely to say that their families would not approve of their children walking to school, as compared with parents in more bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities. You can see his presentation here.