PUBLIC MEETING COMMENTS
JUNE 27, 2006
Below are comments submitted regarding the 100 Block and
Jackson Ramp design.
On the 100 Block Sreetscape, I like Option A.
I prefer to get rid of Back-In parking. Business patrons don't know
what they are supposed to do. They pull in and get a ticket. Parallel
parking is better - safer.
The trees are great. Let's have lots of trees. Like losing the funny
street and having more green space.
On Jackson Ave ramps, I like the Greenway underneath - Option II.
I like two sidewalks on the VMC side. Patrons of VMC block one.
Concerns: What is the traffic pattern going to be? What can be done
about VMC's clients - under bridge and on sidewalks - litter and
I prefer that ramps be one way, that there be no through traffic
on the 100 Block. Vendors o.k. Trucks regularly have to back out
of the Block because they can't make the turn. When the viaduct
opens I still think through trucks should not be traveling into
what is really dead-end.
Loading zones are extremely important for consideration and have
not been clearly represented, as well as handicap parking spaces.
Fire Street: greenway with commercial access (esp. trash collection;
Consideration of NE corner of Gay & Summit for rights turns
from Summit to Gay.
Following the public meeting held
on June 27, 2006, the Board of Directors of the 100 Block Association
met to discuss the proposed plans. The Association respectfully submits
the following comments:
The Association prefers the parking configuration shown in Option
A. Eliminating reverse angle parking on the block, as well as increasing
sidewalk space, are both desirable qualities.
There is concern, however, that no loading zones are depicted in
either plan. Businesses on the block require deliveries. We suggest
eliminating approximately half of the metered parking along Gay
Street in front of the lot used by the Sterchi Lofts at the northeast
corner of Vine, and designating this as a loading zone. Another
loading zone near the Emporium Building on the northern end of the
block is also desired.
With the elimination of the State Street/Vine Street connector many
drivers will be tempted to use the adjacent parking lot as a short
cut. To discourage this, we recommend strong traffic calming through
this lot in the form of substantial speed bumps. The preferred configuration
of access at Gay Street is that it be directly opposite the entrance
to Vine, controlled by a 4-way stop at the intersection. Combined
with the 4-way stop at Jackson, this should assure lower speeds
along the block.
Vine Street should be widened to accommodate 2-way traffic at least
on the block adjacent to Gay Street. The city-owned parking lot
can be reduced to accommodate whatever space is required.
Jackson Avenue Ramps
The preferred configuration of the Jackson Avenue ramps would be
with one sidewalk along the southern side, with the proposed greenway
running below along the northern side. Open staircases should be
employed at the intersection of Jackson and Gay for access.
Other Concerns and Suggestions
Elimination of trash bins and bagged trash on the sidewalk is considered
essential. We feel there should be a comprehensive plan to address
trash containers for homes and businesses along the block. With
the exception of incidental trash receptacles along the street,
accommodations should be included in the plan to remove all trash
containers from the sidewalk. Likewise, businesses which have traditionally
placed trash on the sidewalk for collection should utilize a central
Additionally, we recommend a traffic circle such the one in the
4th and Gill neighborhood be placed at the Jackson Avenue/Gay Street
intersection for further traffic calming.
We are very pleased with the elimination of the State Street/Vine
Street connector. With this modification comes an opportunity to
expand and improve the existing park. We request that as the plan
becomes more specific, that a design charette be held to inform
the design of this area.
We look forward to the planned improvements, and continuing to
work with City of Knoxville to enhance the quality of life along
the 100 Block of Gay Street.
Extra sidewalk is critical.
Plan for Underground Gay.
Restrict to trolleys only.
Like Option B parking lot entrance if added screen on sidewalk.
Turn radius @ Summit into Gay is a problem.
More parking w/Option A
- overhang from bumper is a negative
- Problems with birds
- Questioning how many
- Type is very important; birch trees suggested
Parking: issue for residents
- Entrance to lot by Treble Clef Park
- Keep the parking & don't align with Vine
- "like Option A"
Ramps One-Way Option
- No need for Greenway acquisition @ ground level
- No need for sidewalks on both sides
"Catacombs" - open to pedestrians, like a bridge
- Marketable space
- Close off where there isn't head room to stand up
- No liability to City; private ownership (easements)
60' total for the ramps - how do you use that space?
- Widen sidewalk and eliminate greenway
- Existing ROW = 29'8"; need to acquire for sidewalk, etc.
Greenway - northside & midblock crossing to south side all
the way to Central
- Eliminate land acquisition
- Put flashing light & raised crossing on Jackson
Jackson Ave needs to stay 2-way.
I like the parallel parking option on Gay Street.
I love losing the goofy State Street cut-through.
AS long as the VMC is still on the Block, I don't feel great about
seating being added anywhere. After they move, it might be nice.
If possible, I like idea of having the greenway at ground level.
I don't see any need for the exit from the O.P. Jenkins parking
lot to line up with Vine Avenue.
I am still a huge proponent of making Vine Avenue 2-way back to
the Crowne Plaza.
I think Jackson Avenue needs sidewalk on both sides.
Reverse angle parking is fine for the bridge.
Like Jackson being 2-way.
Love the trees.
Like the greenway at ground level with opening to Fire Street alley.
The more parking the better!
I feel that the Angle parking on the new viaduct is paramount as
it provides significantly more public parking.
Option A - parallel on Gay.
Jackson Greenway at ground level.
The lot @ O.P. Jenkins should definitely have a "parking lot"
type access @ each end. As in a raised entrance.
Rather parallel park then diagonal on Gay
New size of park is good.
4 additional spots in lot are better than lining up parking lot
entrance with Vine.
I like the lower greenway because it is continuous.
Thank you for trees!
I prefer angle parking on Gay Street due to the benefit of creating
more spaces. I was told at the meeting by our moderator that reverse-angle
parking is dictated by city ordinance. I have reviewed the city's
codes and ordinances and can find no such ordinance. Nor was the claim
made at meetings held last year to address parking on the block. I
believe this configuration was suggested by the city's traffic engineering
department based on existing conditions at the time. From my independent
research on reverse-angle parking, I have found that one of the key
elements evaluated is traffic speed. With the proposed improvements
to the block, I expect traffic to move slower along this block, and
would like the city to revisit the reverse-angle "requirement."
Unless head in parking can be employed, I prefer the option of parallel
parking for the block.
Gay Street at Vine
Either make whatever necessary adjustments to Vine to allow for
two-way traffic at least to the entrance of the Sterchi Lofts parking
lot, or stricter enforcement of the existing one-way street law.
To designate this as a one-way street, yet ignore constant violation
of the law creates a very dangerous situation. A casual observation
on any given day would show that many drivers exit the lot in the
wrong direction for easier access to Gay Street. I have never seen
a ticket issued.
IF a 4-way stop can be implemented, I would prefer to see the entrance/exit
to the parking lot directly opposite from Vine. This would serve
two purposes. It would provide much needed traffic calming on the
block, and would provide safe entry and exit from two heavily used
parking areas. Unless this becomes a 4-way stop, I would prefer
to see the entrance/exit from the parking lot offset from Vine.
In either case, very strong traffic calming is necessary in the
parking lot to deter its use as a short cut to avoid the Gay Street/Summit
Gay Street at Summit Hill
I am pleased to see the State Street/Vine Street connector being
closed. I hope to see the area enhanced as an expanded park, and
would object to commercial development on the east side of Gay at
I would like to see this area better defined before any work begins
on the block. While I recognize that the city is committed to improvements
here, there will be budgetary considerations. Many improvements
are proposed. And improvements to this current park area need to
be weighed along side other suggestions. See my comments on trees
Trees along the Street
I am opposed to the number of trees shown in both options along
Gay Street. The 100 Block has a rich character, owing a good deal
to the vintage facades. Placing so many trees along the street would
create a shutter effect, blocking the view of the buildings both
from the inside and out. Planting trees along the block also reduces
the amount of space available for parking. The 100 Block should
be a continuation of Gay Street and not streetscaped so radically
different than the remainder.
Furthermore, the city of Knoxville has proven to be better at planting
trees in downtown than caring for them. There are several former
tree sites throughout downtown where trees have died and been removed,
but not replaced. Nor has the sidewalk been modified following the
loss of these trees. Dirt filled holes and stumps are not uncommon.
I rarely see existing trees downtown being trimmed or otherwise
Currently, at the parking lot at the northwest corner of Gay and
Summit Hill, tree branches have gone unmaintained, and are dislocating
the fencing. At Gay and Vine, it's clear that a tree was removed
after interfering with the fence there. Further up toward Summit
Hill, another has pressed the fence several inches out of alignment.
I expect it will be likewise removed at some point.
I am also concerned that, given the hollow nature of our sidewalks,
tree roots would become a problem over time.
If the decision is made to plant trees, please consider no more
than 6 along the block -- a pair on each end, and another near the
center of the block. A better focus for trees would be at the park
at Summit and Gay.
People at our table mentioned the need for a commercial loading/parking
solution for the 100 Block.
It was proposed that this be where the parking spaces are allocated
within the old 200 Block (across from Treble Clef Park). The rational
for this location was that the large trucks unloading and loading
would not adversely impact people walking, talking or dining on Gay
Street. While this location is not the most convenient for the100
block residents/businesses, I think the point that ultimately needs
to be considered is that the commercial loading area not be on the
west side of the 100 block adjacent to the sidewalk where people will
Secondly, someone at our table indicated that the city is considering
the parking lot on the northwest corner of Gay (across from the mission)
as a potential location for the mass transit center. He also indicated
that the flow of buses would likely move along West Jackson or even
where the proposed greenway is below Jackson! We were all horrified
by the idea of large buses continually moving along Jackson into and
out of the old city and clogging the intersection of Gay and Jackson,
not to mention on or adjacent to the greenway. If we hope to make
the area under the viaduct, Fire Street and Jackson a friendly and
safe area, large buses moving through will not facilitate that. The
eastern side of the 100 block of Gay, continuing around the corner
to the Fire Street building, is the largest and most concentrated
residential area in the city. It is not appropriate to put the mass
transit center in the middle of this heavily congested and pedestrian
The viaduct reopening and changes to the 100 Block are a terrific
opportunity to explore the use of Pay Stations instead of meters for
The City of Baltimore has installed these throughout their downtown,
and they appear to have several benefits:
1. The visual and physical clutter of meters is eliminated by having
just one or two pay stations per block, as opposed to many meters.
2. The pay stations allow multiple forms of payment, including
paper money, coin, and credit/debit card.
3. In some cases, striping may not be required, allowing more cars
to fit in a particular area (although this may not be true of the
100 Block or viaduct).
Perhaps the viability of these pay stations can be evaluated as
a part of your comprehensive signage project.
Option A on Gay is best.
It's all about the pedestrian experience.
Use new pay stations for paid parking.
Alignment of Vine w/entry to parking lot.
Crosswalk in middle of 100 Block and at Vine/parking lot.
Trolley stop on 100 Block.
Buildings in 200 Block!
Greenscaping around parking lot @ knee-waist high.
Vine Ave 2-way?
Alignment to Jenkins lot.
On Gay Street Viaduct - "Forward Angle" Parking
Return Buildings to "200 Block."
Trolleys-only, No Buses.
Design emphasis: Pedestrian First, Transit Second.
Do not preclude "Underground Gay Street" development.
Greenscape edges of Jenkins Parking Lot.
Eliminate parking meters in favor of "Pay Stations."
"Glass-Blocks" back in sidewalk.
Widen turning radius at Gay and Summit Hill.
Sidewalks - Color? Material? Pattern? Water penetration issues?
Brick gutters, Stone curb.
Option 2 for Jackson Ave ramps.
Develop under the ramps.
- Doors to buildings, patio, porch
Fire Street as pedestrian way - link to Old City.
Landscaped "Center Circle" (traffic circle), i.e. 4th &
Gill, Luttrell & Caswell.
Arched entry sign for Arts District - virtual terminus at Gay-Jackson
Vertical stairs from Gay to Jackson at intersection.
Make sidewalks on ramps against building WIDER; even a little!
100 Block Streetscape
- Option A w/wider turning radius @ Trable Clef Park
- Existing w/one way ramps & wider sidewalks
- Open up catacombs
Nose in parking.
Like the park & Elimination of the Summit Hill/Gay Street connector.
Like the parking lot off-set from Vine St to discourage use of the
parking lot for another thru street to Vine.
Jackson stays 2 way.