This region’s long-range transportation plan is updated every four years. The update allows us to receive federal money for transportation projects in our region and ensures that we’re making the best long-term decisions for our residents, employers, and visitors.
The update, Mobility Plan 2045, will look 25 years ahead, determining what we need to do now in anticipation of what we will need then. Our vision for the future is determined by looking at our current conditions as well as expectations for growth and infrastructure needs in the future.
We currently have about 877,000 residents who call our region home. Looking ahead 25 years, we expect to add approximately 183,000 new residents, placing our region’s population at just over 1 million by 2045. While Knox County will continue to have the largest population, gaining another 95,000 residents, we also expect every county in our region to continue growing in population and employment.
Our population is diverse, with people living in small towns, big cities, and rural areas, and meeting the needs of so many different groups is challenging. The plan tries to determine the best ways to continue building prosperity and maintaining a high quality of life for all those in our region by looking at several areas of interest. By digging into these topics, we will attempt to uncover ways to make our transportation system safer and more efficient, improve the health of our residents and reduce air pollution, improve links among transportation modes, infrastructure and development, and address equal access to benefits and opportunities.
Those topics include:
• Land use and development,
• Environmental justice,
• Economic development,
• Tourism, and
• Freight and goods movement.
Digging into these issues gives us a big picture look at our region, helping us prioritize transportation projects that accommodate all modes with a variety of different project types. Once these projects are identified in Mobility Plan 2045, they will start to move through the project development process. These projects can take 5, 10, or even 20 years to complete, which is why we need to start planning now. The first step in the process is to get feedback from you. That input not only guides our decision-making, but it ultimately impacts which transportation projects rise to the top of the list when it’s time to fund them.