February 28, 2008 -
The City of Knoxville will hold a public meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, to discuss implementation of proposed changes in the street circulation pattern near Market Square.
The meeting will be held in the Market House Room in the Knoxville Chamber Partnership’s office at 17 Market Square.
The City is proposing to change the traffic patterns for several streets near the Square – including making some that currently feature one-way traffic into two-way streets.
The plan would also convert Market Street from a one-way street with southbound traffic, heading away from Market Square, into a one-way northbound street that will send traffic toward the square.
The goal of the changes is to simplify traffic around the Market Square area, making it easier for visitors to find the Square and easier for drivers to circulate around it once they do.
“We think these will be helpful changes,” said Madeleine Weil, the deputy director of the Knoxville’s Department of Policy and Communications. “Market Street, for instance, should be the entry to Market Square but it’s heading in the wrong direction.”
Other streets that would be affected include sections of Locust and Walnut Streets and Summer Place.
The street flow changes grew out of recommendations in a downtown redevelopment plan in 2003. The City’s initial suggestions were modified in favor of the current plan after downtown residents and business owners described this as their preferred alternative at a public meeting in late summer.
The Market Square District Association is supporting the plan.
Weil said the meeting is an opportunity to get one more round of public feedback and also to talk about the process of implementing the changes.
They would be phased in over several weeks to help drivers and pedestrians – used to the current traffic patterns – become accustomed to the changes.