Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, greenway planners and Greenways Commission members on Thursday unveiled a detailed plan for strategically adding 24 miles of connective greenways in 13 different corridors.
The Greenway Corridor Feasibility and Assessment Study, three years in the making, is a blueprint for the most comprehensive greenways build-out in the City’s history.
“We’re currently developing multiple greenway extensions and upgrades, plus we’ve identified our best opportunities for building key connections in the immediate future,” Mayor Rogero said. “This study provides a blueprint for creating a true citywide trail network during the next 10 to 20 years.”
The study’s findings were presented by Lori Goerlich, the City’s Greenways Coordinator, representatives of Ross/Fowler landscape architects and members of the City’s Greenways Commission at a Thursday evening public meeting at the John T. O’Connor Center, 611 Winona St.
The study also can be viewed online at http://www.knoxvilletn.gov/greenways.
The new greenway connections will give pedestrians and bicyclists more options, allowing them to walk or ride to work or school or other destinations, in addition to enjoying all the traditional healthy-lifestyle benefits of greenways.
The current greenway network has about 90 miles of trails – 40 paved miles and 50 miles that are dirt or soft-surface trails. The new study proposes strategically connecting to parks and neighborhood centers, accessing several creeks and filling in existing gaps to link together major greenways that are now disconnected.
Mayor Rogero and City Council have budgeted $3 million over the past three years to begin constructing the greenway connections outlined in the feasibility study. That funding is in addition to money allocated for trail maintenance and for numerous greenway and trail projects currently underway.
For example, greenway projects currently being developed include:
- First Creek Greenway – Supported by a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant, bids are being reviewed for building a 0.6-mile stretch between Edgewood Park and Woodland Avenue; a separate 0.25-mile section between Glenwood Avenue and Caswell Park is planned;
- Neyland Greenway – A partnership with Knoxvillle Utilities Board would extend the section in front of the Kuwahee treatment facility by about a third of a mile from Third Creek east to Joan Cronan Way;
- Mary Vestal Greenway – The half-mile trail is being reconstructed and extended to Ogle Avenue and Martin Mill Pike;
- Suttree Landing Park and River’s Edge – Two new sections of the South Waterfront riverwalk, about a half-mile combined, are nearing completion;
- I-275 Business Park Access – A new 0.6-mile greenway component is being added between Fifth and Baxter avenues;
- Sue Clancy Greenway – A 0.78-mile extension from Adair Park to Old Broadway is being developed; and
- Williams Creek Greenway – Partnering with the Tennessee Clean Water Network, a one-mile soft-surface trail will be developed.
Meanwhile, Goerlich announced a half-dozen “immediate opportunities” for near-future connections in six of the 13 corridors analyzed in the feasibility study:
- Northwest Connector – With TDOT building a pedestrian bridge over Western Avenue near Ball Camp Pike, the City will be constructing a new 0.75-mile greenway connecting Victor Ashe Park and the pedestrian bridge; a future connection will continue the greenway 1.3 miles on to Middlebrook Pike (Corridor B);
- James White Parkway bridge – A greenway across the Tennessee River will connect the existing James White Greenway north of the river with planned South Waterfront riverwalk sections; plus, a future greenway extension here to the south will connect directly with the Urban Wilderness (Corridor J);
- Second Creek Greenway – A partnership with Norfolk Southern Railway will create a one-mile greenway connection along Second Creek that will link World’s Fair Park and Bernard Avenue (Corridor D);
- Fourth Creek Greenway – A 0.58-mile Brookview Town Centre section is planned (Corridor C);
- East Knoxville Greenway – Partnering with Knoxville’s Community Development Corp., a 1.2-mile trail is being developed that would link Williams Creek, Dr. Walter Harvey Park, historic sites and the Five Points community (Corridor F); and
- Smoky Mountain Greenway – A 0.94-mile connection is planned that would link Doyle Park and Underwood Park (Corridor L).