Bike Walk Knoxville works to improve biking and walking opportunities in the Knoxville community. We work to make sure all ages and abilities in the community have safe and accessible streets for walking and biking.
Proposed Sidewalk Ordinance Update
The current ordinance states that any new Knox County subdivision development will have sidewalks. This is great!
The proposed revised ordinance states that developers WILL NOT be required to build sidewalks in any new Knox County subdivision developments. This is not good!
Understandably, Knox County wants to spend tax dollars for sidewalk construction and maintenance on public roads where they are most needed, but under this proposed ordinance there will no longer be a requirement for developers to build any internal subdivision sidewalks even in school parental responsibility zones (1 mile for elementary and 1.5 mile for middle and high school). There will be requirements for developers to build sidewalks on their frontage road property where there are schools, parks, commercial areas within 1/4 mile. The county would then be responsible for adding sidewalks to achieve connectivity to these destinations. Since Knox County sidewalk funding has been minimal, the outcome will likely be little actual walking connectivity on Knox County roads.
Bike Walk Knoxville recently met with Knox County engineering staff, Cathy Olsen and Jim Snowden, re: the new proposed Knox County Sidewalk Ordinance. Knox County administration has stressed the need to prioritize costs for sidewalk construction and repairs to ensure that they benefit all county residents. They emphasized that internal subdivision sidewalks built by the developer, then ownership and maintenance transferred to the County only benefits the subdivision property owners. (Isn’t this the same for subdivision streets- they are built by the developer and maintained by the county only for the benefit of the subdivision residents?)
If you are concerned about the lack of sidewalks in Knox County please attend this public meeting and voice your opinion!!
Proposed Sidewalk Ordinance - Update from Commissioners Meeting 12/16/19
Thanks to everyone who contacted their County Commissioner(s) regarding the sidewalk regulations this past week. We wanted to give you an update on what was decided at the meeting. The new sidewalk ordinance passed on the first reading. A public hearing for it is scheduled on January 21st, and the second reading is scheduled on January 28th. Please continue contacting your commissioners and save the date to attend the public hearing!
Click here to view the ordinance.
Proposed Sidewalk Ordinance is a step backwards - We NEED your help!!
In 2018 sidewalk regulations were passed by the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) that require sidewalks in all new subdivisions in the city and county. Because of push back from some developers, Knox County government is proposing an ordinance that requires sidewalks only in specific situations which will result in fewer sidewalks in neighborhoods and to destinations. Knox County Commission voted on this ordinance Monday, December 16th - 11 to 0 in favor of the ordinance. There will be a 2nd reading and vote in January. The proposed ordinance, if passed by County Commission, will be a big step backward in creating walkable neighborhoods.
Please contact the County Commission to express your opposition to this ordinance either by attending and speaking at the Commission meeting tonight, or writing or calling your district and at-large commissioners to express your opposition.
Also, reach out to your networks, especially those who represent Knox County residents who live outside of Knoxville to make them aware of this issue and ask them to voice their opposition.
If County Commission passes this ordinance, MPC will need to adopt the same language for the Knoxville-Knox County subdivision regulations. The sidewalk regs are on page 56 (section 3-16) stating that sidewalks will be required in all subdivisions.
You can call the Knox County Commission office and leave a message re: your opposition to the proposed ordinance at 865-215-2534.
Or directly contact your district commissioner as well as the at-large commissioners. Not sure who your commissioner is, click here to find out!
1st district, Evelyn Gill- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/gill.php
2nd district, Michele Carringer, vice chair- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/carringer.php
3rd district,Randy Smith- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/smith.php
4th district, Hugh Nystrom, chair- https: //knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/nystrom.php
5th district, John Schoonmaker- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/schoonmaker.php
6th district, Brad Anders- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/anders.php
7th district, Charles Busler- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/busler.php
8th district, Richie Beeler- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/beeler.php
9th district, Carson Dailey- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/dailey.php
at large, Larsen Jay- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/jay.php
at large, Justin Biggs- https://knoxcounty.org/commission/commissioners/biggs.php
United Way Workplace Giving Contribution Designation
Did you know you can designate Bike Walk Knoxville as the recipient of your United Way Workplace Giving contribution? United Way of Greater Knoxville supports our Knox County Safe Routes to Schools program that gets kids walking and healthy!
Don’t have workplace giving? You can always give through our website at bwknox.org/donate.
Upcoming Events - Save the Dates
Open Streets Knoxville
Sunday, May 3, 2020
TN Bike Walk Summit
Thursday and Friday, April 16th and 17th, 2020
Support Bike Walk Knoxville
Our ability to affect positive change in Knoxville is only as great as the number of supporters we have. We invite you to support bicycling and walking in Knoxville by making a tax-deductible gift. If you would like to make a donation, click below.