|August 20, 2013 -
The City of Knoxville is taking a fresh look at the way it responds to citizen concerns about speeding in residential neighborhoods. The issue will be the focus of a series of public meetings.
As part of the review of traffic calming policy, the Engineering Department and Office of Neighborhoods have scheduled five meetings to hear citizens' views on the best ways to control speeding on residential streets.
The meetings will be held in September and October in different parts of town so that all interested citizens have a chance to participate. Each meeting will include the same introductory information and opportunity for public input.
The public meetings, including date, time and location, are as follows:
Monday, September 16, 5:30 p.m.
Church of the Good Shepherd
5337 Jacksboro Pike
Monday, October 14, 6 p.m.
Northwest Middle School
5301 Pleasant Ridge Road
Monday, September 30, 6 p.m.
Woodlawn Christian Church
4339 Woodlawn Pike
East Knoxville / City Center
Tuesday, October 22, 5:30 p.m.
John T. O'Connor Senior Center
611 Winona Street
Thursday, October 10, 6 p.m.
Arnstein Jewish Community Center
6800 Dean Hill Drive
Citizens' ideas, suggestions, concerns and opinions will also be gathered via a traffic calming website that will be launched by early September. The site will include a list of various types of physical traffic calming devices (such as speed humps), links to numerous traffic calming resources across the Internet, and a survey of traffic calming policies of peer cities in the region.
"Speeding on residential streets is among the top issues identified in every survey of concerns in Knoxville's neighborhoods," said David Massey, Neighborhood Coordinator. "Due to limited resources, it is also one of the most challenging problems for any municipality to address. But we felt it was time to take another look to make sure we are doing everything we can to grapple with this persistent problem."
Utilizing the public input, budget constraints and other factors, City staff will formulate a draft policy and publish it for citizen review and a follow-up public meeting in the first quarter of 2014. Members of City Council will also be asked to weigh in before a final policy is presented for City Council's endorsement. It is anticipated that implementation of the new policy would begin during the second quarter of next year.
Currently the City's traffic calming measures include police surveillance and ticketing of speeders on eligible streets on a rotating basis throughout the year, in some cases lowering the residential speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, and installation of new speed limit signs and rumble strips at the entrance to neighborhoods. Any city neighborhood organization or Knoxville citizen can call 311 to request a review of a particular street for consideration of these measures.
Beyond these measures, citizens often ask for speed humps and other physical devices. For a variety of reasons, the City discontinued installation of physical devices several years ago. Whether to resume the use of physical devices is one of the key questions to be addressed in the policy review.