Greenways Planning

The TPO partners with local governments to plan and build greenways in order to create more opportunities for safe walking and bicycling.


In general, local governments are responsible for greenway planning within their communities. The TPO often provides funding for local greenway plans.

  • The City of Knoxville’s Greenway Corridor Feasibility & Assessment Study analyzed 13 potential greenway corridors to determine the feasibility, factors, and possible routes needed to fill in gaps between major greenways.
  • Knox County’s Greenway Corridor Study makes recommendations for greenways along five corridors in the County. The recommendations are based on public feedback as well as linkages to schools, neighborhoods, and other destinations. Cost estimates are included.

The TPO has helped coordinate several greenway plans between different communities, in partnership with the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Greenway Council. These projects are funded by the TPO and the Greenway Council, with the Council advising the TPO on regional planning priorities.

The plan for the Maryville-to-Townsend Greenway is part of a larger effort to link Knoxville to the Smokies via greenway trail.

The two most recent regional plans looked at connections between West Knox County and the City of Oak Ridge.

This greenway planning was done in two phases. The first phase looked at connections among three existing greenways:

The conceptual plan is available here. The full plan is broken into sections below for easier download.

Based on public feedback received during the Knox to Oak Ridge planning process, the second phase of the study analyzed the best greenway route from the Pellissippi Parkway corridor to Turkey Creek Greenway.

The conceptual plan is available here. The full plan document is broken into sections below for easier download.

Designing + Building Greenways

The TPO regularly funds greenway projects throughout the region. This page has more information about funding sources and examples of recent projects. Design guidelines created through a collaboration between the TPO and the University of Tennessee are also available.


The TPO works with local governments and deploys its own trail counters to collect data on the use of greenways around the region. The most recent data on greenway use can be found here.

Types of Greenways

Greenways and trails can be classified in different ways. Examples include the types of users (pedestrians, bicyclists, and others); the type of use (transportation or recreation); and the physical nature of the trail (surface type, width, etc.). The TPO funds and helps to plan trails that can be used for transportation. These are typically hard-surface trails (asphalt, concrete, or boardwalk) that are wide enough to carry two-way traffic (10 feet at minimum) and comply with federal standards for accessibility. We recognize the benefits of soft-surface and recreational trails, but we generally can’t fund them.

Ellen Zavisca