Connecting People and Places by Bike

Anthony Taylor with Slow Roll Twin Cities spoke with our Active Knox audience via Zoom on May 25. Anthony, along with our local panelists, talked about connecting more Black people with bicycling as a way to improve health, community connections, and mobility. 

We were joined by two local panelists:

Jalonda Thompson is a local leader with Black Girls Do Bike, which is committed to growing and supporting a community of women of color who share a passion for cycling.

De’Ossie Dingus is director of Alliance House Community Coalition, an organization committed to addressing racism as a public health crisis in the Knoxville community.

Tennessee Bicycle Law provided sponsorship for this event. You can find numerous clips from our conversation on the Active Knox Youtube channel

Right of Way: A Conversation About the Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths

Angie Schmitt joined Active Knox via Zoom on April 29 to talk about the factors contributing to the increase in pedestrian deaths in the U.S., and what we can do about it.

Angie is the author of Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America, and was the longtime national editor at Streetsblog. Her writing and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, and National Public Radio. She is the founder and principal at 3MPH Planning and Consulting, a small firm focused on pedestrian safety.

Event Video

Equity Matters: Creating a Safe, Healthy and Inclusive Transportation System for All

Active Knox hosted a virtual event on Dec. 3, 2020, featuring Charles T. Brown, founder and managing principal of Equitable Cities LLC.

Alongside local panelist Seema Singh from Knoxville City Council and Dr. Caroline Cooley from Bike Walk Knoxville, Charles shared his insights into how equitable access to transportation connects with public health and climate change.

This event was co-sponsored by the City of Knoxville’s Office of Sustainability and the League of Women Voters. It was the 14th speaker series for Active Knox, and the second one that we’ve held virtually.

Design Matters: Increasing Physical Activity and Understanding Equity in Parks

Active Knox hosted two virtual events on Oct. 13, 2020, with UTK researchers Dr. Gene Fitzhugh and Dr. Cristina Barroso discussing their study of Knoxville’s parks and the impact of design on physical activity and health equity.

This was the 13th Active Knox series, and the first that we held virtually. 

Designing for Traffic Safety (a PechaKucha recording)

Transportation planner Ellen Zavisca discusses how changes to the design of our streets and our vehicles can save lives and prevent unnecessary injuries. Mistakes happen, but they should not be deadly. If we take traffic violence seriously and work to reduce speeds, we can get to a place where no one suffers a life-changing injury, or worse, just trying to get from Point A to Point B.

Getting Back to Basics: Building Walkable Schools

Dr. Ruth Steiner from the University of Florida joined us in Knoxville on Dec. 4 and 4, 2019, to speak with community leaders and the public about the keys to choosing and creating school sites for walkability.

Ruth shared research and best practices on school transportation, and led a workshop with school officials where sites for two new school were discussed. Knox County Schools will be building three new schools in the next couple of years. 

Ruth was the 12th speaker we’ve hosted through Active Knox, which is funded through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health.
If you’d like to receive emails about future events, contact

Grassroots Approaches to Safer Streets

Louise Lockett Gordon from Bike Walk RVA was in Knoxville on Oct. 15 and 16 to speak with community leaders, activists, and a public session on the role a nonprofit can play in getting to safer streets. 

Louise shared great examples of the many ways her organization engages the public and elected officials to make a positive impact on street safety in Richmond, VA.

Louise was the 11th speaker we’ve hosted through Active Knox, which is funded through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health.

If you’d like to receive emails about future events, contact

Building Safer Streets – Together

A panel of local activists and educators joined us for two Active Knox events on May 23 and 24, 2019, to discuss how communities can collaborate on building more walkable, bikeable places.
We heard from Chris Cherry, a professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UTK, about his work with students and others to add transit benches and create safer street crossings. Tanisha Baker, College & Career Access Team Leader for Project GRAD and president of Five Points Up, spoke about walkability challenges in East Knoxville, including lack of infrastructure and concerns about crime. We also heard from Bryan Hill, a certified community planner and the Vision Zero chair for Bike Walk Knoxville’s Advisory Committee, about how other communities are using Vision Zero to collect and share data about traffic safety with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries. The panel shared information with about 40 members of the public on the evening of May 23 at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue campus. They also appeared before about 30 elected and appointed officials for a lunch at the Knoxville Chamber on May 24. This panel was the 11th set of events in the Active Knox speaker series, which is funded through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health. The speaker series will resume in the fall of 2019. If you’d like to receive emails about the events, email