Knoxville Police Department Prepares for Boomsday, UT Football and Labor Day Traffic Enforcement
September 1, 2004 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today announced traffic enforcement plans for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. Special traffic enforcement efforts will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 3, 2004 and conclude at Midnight, Monday, September 6, 2004.
Chief Owen said, "The department has been preparing for the extremely busy holiday weekend for several months."
"The Patrol Unit, Traffic Services Unit, and members of the Crime Analysis Unit have been preparing maps and gathering data that will be utilized to increase the safety of citizens during the three major events this weekend," said Chief Owen.
A traffic enforcement and safety plan has been prepared for each of the three major events: Boomsday, UT Football, and Labor Day holiday traffic.
Throughout the eighty-hour Labor Day enforcement campaign, patrol units will utilize Directed Patrols, Saturation Patrols, and SMART Units to reduce the speed of motorists traveling throughout the city. Officers will aggressively enforce posted speed limits while looking for motorists who are driving impaired or who are driving without their seatbelt.
During the 2003 Labor Day weekend, officers issued 928 traffic related citations to motorists. Officers also investigated 91 vehicle crashes with 19 of those resulting in personal injuries. The last fatality recorded during a Labor Day holiday traffic enforcement campaign occurred in 2002.
The largest crowd to ever witness a Boomsday fireworks show could occur this weekend since the event has been moved to Saturday night. Safety plans for the event have been under development since the close of Boomsday 2003. To allow for the event setup, Neyland Drive, The Henley Street Bridge and the Gay Street Bridge will experience either complete or partial closures during the fireworks event.
All lanes of Neyland Drive from Walnut to Lake Loudon Blvd. will be closed at approximately 5:00 a.m. Saturday. Locust Drive to Neyland Drive will also close at the same time. The closure of Neyland Drive will be extended to the Cumberland Avenue exit off the James White Parkway at 4:00 p.m. Saturday.
The Henley Street Bridge will close for all traffic at 7:00 p.m. Friday. It will be reopened by 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. The Gay Street Bridge will be closed fifteen minutes prior to the fireworks show to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. At 7:00 a.m. Sunday, Neyland Drive will be reopened.
UT Football traffic routes will remain unchanged from last year. Parking on campus will be restricted to parking pass holders only. KAT will be providing rides from the Civic Coliseum parking garages for a small fee. As in years past, no parking will be allowed along Neyland Drive.
Chief Owen said, "We would urge fans to preplan their route to and from the stadium and plan to arrive early."
"Security measures will also be in place to help ensure the safety of the fans. Hand-held metal detection devices will be available for use at all gates," Chief Owen said.
Mayor Haslam said, "We encourage all citizens to exercise patience whether maneuvering along the streets in vehicles or on foot."
"We also ask that motorists be watchful for our officers directing traffic especially after dark when visibilities are reduced," Mayor Haslam concluded.