The TPO completed work in June on a Regional Roadway Safety Action Plan. This plan is the first of its kind for the Knoxville region. It builds on the work we’ve been doing for years to analyze, share, and put to use traffic crash data. It also recognizes the movement across the U.S., including within the U.S. Department of Transportation, to take a Safe System approach to traffic violence. The Safe System approach acknowledges that humans make mistakes, and that deaths and serious injuries are not acceptable and can be prevented.
The safety plan serves as a blueprint for the TPO and our partners as we work toward the ambitious goal of reducing fatalities and serious injuries in our region by two-thirds by the year 2045.
The plan process included a regional survey, which found that:
- 92% of respondents were willing to add at least a few minutes to their commute in order to achieve safer streets
- 90% supported creating more sidewalks and high-visibility street crossings to make walking safer in our region
- 86% favored adding Complete Streets elements such as bikeways, street trees, and lighting to our roadways
- 76% supported removing traffic lanes and/or on-street parking to help create Complete Streets
- 53% favored reducing speed limits to boost roadway safety
The plan identifies projects, strategies and action steps that the TPO and our partners can take to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
Members of the public play a role as well. Drivers can seek out education, such as driver’s ed for young drivers and this class for teens offered by the Knoxville Police Department, classes through AAA and AARP for experienced drivers, and classes offered by Bike Walk Knoxville. Drivers can also explore other ways to get around – including transit, carpooling, and bicycling – through Smart Trips. And bicyclists – or those curious about bicycling – can learn about riding safely with tipsheets, videos and links to local classes through the League of American Bicyclists.