Improvement Plan for the Strip

By: Gary Loe
By: Gary Loe

Knoxville (WVLT) - The Cumberland Avenue Strip near the UT Campus, is about to get a facelift. Plans are in the works to increase the safety and beauty of the area.

Officials describe this Cumberland Avenue Strip as "a gateway to Downtown Knoxville". Ideas now on the drawing board are aimed at making this area more inviting.

The Glatting Jackson Consultant Team from Orlando, Florida wants to make the strip a safer place for walking and bicycling. To do that, the consultants propose enforcing jaywalking laws, improving the timing of traffic signals.

One potentially controversial suggestion to improve traffic flow calls for reducing the four-lane avenue to one lane in each direction, with a middle turn lane.

Other ideas include providing bicycle stands, planting trees, and improving parking.

"Right now you drive on it and its sort of ugly because of all the signs and the sort of disruption that occurs on the street and so we are looking at ways in the long term to be able to make it a destination," says Jeff Welch, from the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

TDOT and the City of Knoxville will pay to implement the consultant's plan, there's no cost estimate yet.

They'll present their ideas Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the University Center's Shiloh Room on campus.

The presentation is open to the public, the consultants expect to wrap-up their work sometime in March.


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