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DOWNTOWN NORTH REDEVELOPMENT
Downtown North
Streetscape Steering Committee
Fifth & Broadway Task Force
Broadway, Central, Emory Place Small Area Plan
I-275/Central Corridor Study
Downtown North I-275 Corridor Redevelopment & Urban Renewal Plan
JULY 8, 2008 MEETING

The City of Knoxville along with the Metropolitan Planning Commission and Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation held a public meeting Tuesday, July 8, on planned improvements for the Downtown North/I-275 Redevelopment area. The next meeting is set for July 22.

07/08/08 Meeting Agenda [PDF]
07/08/08 Meeting Presentation [PDF]
07/08/08 Press Release [PDF]
07/08/08 Meeting Notes
Comments from Downtown North Redevelopment

  • I believe the form-based code is the single best idea for this area. It will open the area to alternate projects that would have been restricted in the past and fill the streets with people who will use the parking and shop locally.

  • How fantastic that 125 people (including most of City Council and at least 1 Planning Commissioner) showed up on a Tuesday night to discuss this!

  • In the past, parking lots under I75 / 40 were one of the main reasons people would not walk on Gay St. North of Regas. These lots were barren, dark, and forbidding. Please do not let parking lots be a barrier for walking north on Gay and Broadway. The lots were also a gathering place for drinking, drugs, and other bad acts.

  • We have ownership in a small lot at the end of Gay Street and would like to know how we could be of help in this project. Your presentation offers much optimism for our City, as well as this area.

  • This looks good. However, will this form-based zoning extend further along Central and Broadway? It needs to be extended further north.
    - Bike lanes are great. However, where do they go? Will there be connectivity with other corridors such as Kingston Pike or the Greenways?
    - There needs to be a police sub-station located in this area along with more enforcement. Highly suggest bike patrols as they give a friendlier, more visible presence.
    - There need to be incentives put into place for more sustainable development. The bike parking is excellent, but there also should be additional incentives for permeable parking surfaces and on-site storm water mitigation.
    - We need to ensure that there are bus stops out of the traffic lanes even if it reduces street parking in those areas. In those cases, the parking requirements for adjacent properties should be reduced.
    - There needs to be truck loading lanes on side streets with lanes / paths for trucks to be able to continue forward.

  • I like the road diet plans. Move forward! On the surface, the form-based code seems like the correct way to move forward, but I would like to hear more.

  • Street changes are necessary if progress is to be made. We can’t have a healthy neighborhood if all of our central businesses are 9 to 5 wholesalers and jobbers. The businesses that reflect liability of the immediate area require your street proposals to be implemented.

  • This was a great presentation and an exciting start to the re-development of North Knox. My only concern is having enough road space to the buses. Other than that, it looks great!

  • We need to first correct street people from blocking the sidewalks on Broadway. People are avoiding our area.

  • If you did make Central a three lane, still able to provide parallel parking (or maybe angled parking on one side only?) and bike lanes, could tractor trailers not park in the median for (slightly precarious, but do-able) unloading of shipments for those businesses that don’t have side street access?
    - Also, I agree with Barbara that an ordinance against loitering is needed. The multitudes of homeless or tramps on Broadway are inexcusable.
    - Thank you for your efforts!

  • We support the concepts presented here tonight. It would seem that these concepts would help this area really grow.

  • Anything pertaining to bicycles should also include motorcycles.

  • Bob Whetsel speaking was upbeat and to the point. I am thinking the rest of the program needs to be to the point and fast-paced not to lose interest in what is being talked about. I’m not sure what points were most relevant from other speakers, although it seemed much work was done. Two lanes and bike lane sound great!

  • Informative meeting. Would like to see this go forward.

  • Focus on codes enforcement / blighted properties. Install sensors for signalized traffic lights as current traffic lights are poorly timed. Also would like to see street trees!

  • My interest is seeing energy efficient living (solar), and also good public transport and mixed-use communities. We need to be able to walk and shop in neighborhoods. I really appreciate your efforts so far.

  • I wish this meeting started on time. -I ride a bike through downtown quite often and like the bike lanes and bike parking ideas.

  • Thank you very much for holding this public meeting. The presentation was very encouraging and should help to stimulate further investment in the area. If possible, I would LOVE to have a copy of the Power Point presentation to share with prospective new investors.

  • 5 feet seems narrow for sidewalks.

  • We would be interested in possible façade improvement.

  • It’s a great beginning. Thanks for the effort!

  • It would be desirable to incorporate more “green” planning. Perhaps incentives or tax breaks for solar roofs, even green roofs.
    - “Stoop” fronts are fine, but be certain there is some handicapped access.
    - Overall, a good plan, and a good process to get here.

  • The road diet plan sounds promising. I travel Central daily and have noted that traffic problems occur early in the morning and late in the afternoon. I support the plan.

  • I represent the Renaissance-Terrance – the new building on the corner of Broadway and Bearden Place. This is obviously and attractive, important part of the Downtown North scene. We see and applaud the positive developments. Along with street redesign, building and landscape improvements, we suggest extending the Trolley service to allow residents and employees to go to restaurants, shops, etc., downtown or out Broadway without use of individual cars.

  • The form-based code and road diet plans are very exciting! (It can’t start soon enough!) Right now, I feel the Broadway / Central corridor is not friendly to draw the historic districts into the downtown area, and this appears to make it an actual pedestrian and bike friendly corridor. Great job!

  • Ensure that native plants are used in the landscaping. Also, allow for reasonable use of sidewalks for outdoor seating outside café’s, stores, etc. in order to increase vibrancy of area including serving of alcohol within boundaries.

  • Good concept, good plan, good presentation!

  • Thank you! Change is never easy, and I appreciate the public forum and information.

  • I own a historic home on W. Oklahoma Ave. and am the only non-commercial building left. I will greatly appreciate the bike lane, as well as on-street parking on Central. I would love to see more trees planted, grass areas, landscaping, and coordinated mass transit benches with an upscale look. I bought in Dec. 2005 knowing that the Downtown redevelopment would extend North to my area as well. Thanks for all your efforts!

  • Who pays?

  • I think that redistricting development to 2 story minimums will hamper development in the short term due to ADA, etc. Maybe buildings could be designed for future expansion up? But it would limit development if two stories are required.

  • I am very much in favor of reducing Central to two lanes. We need the additional space for parking and bikes. I support it!
    - I also think that we need to reserve space for KAT buses to pull out of the traffic lane.
    - I am so pleased to see reduced parking requirements. Please consider a max number of spaces for commercial as well as residential.

  • It is a mistake to make Central a two lane road (not good for businesses or traffic flow). Should not allow parking on the street. Dressing up with trees and codes for buildings a good idea.

  • Well organized! Lots of information, and great to have the government agents here to see and talk to. Also love the logo; smart to brand the area.

  • I agree with all of the plans regarding the roads, building codes, etc. Despite criticism, I’ve seen it work in many other cities (Portland, New York, Chattanooga), and it always has a positive impact on the local economy. Thanks for all the hard work.

  • Thanks for encouraging investment and improvement in North Knoxville. Please remember to improve the 300 Block of North Gay Street as follows: 1.) Continue twin street lights (used on new Gay St. Bridge.) from Depot to Magnolia to I-40. 2.) New sidewalks with landscaping and repave the street in that block. Soon please!

  • Wonderful project! Good name, project, turnout, and venue! Underground utilities? Big cost, but BIG impact. Relaxation of blue laws? It would allow more café’s with wine, etc. Plan ahead for Hall of Fame / Broadway intersection (make it a “T” with an urban-friendly solution). Also like Mark Harmon’s idea for solar and green roofs.

  • Good ideas.

  • Do something about prostitutes and the homeless.

  • Thank you for planning “complete streets” for any renovation in Knoxville. Who is working on connectivity through the City and for neighborhoods? How can this be accomplished more quickly in order to make corridors having “complete streets” (like Downtown Knoxville) more effective? Sidewalks and walkways build democracy.
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