| Knoxville Police Announce
Traffic Plans For Labor Day Weekend Events
August 31, 2005 - Knoxville Mayor Bill
Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today announced traffic enforcement
plans for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. Holiday enforcement
efforts will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 2, 2005 and conclude
at Midnight, Monday September 5, 2005.
Chief Owen said enforcement and safety plans for the annual Boomsday
fireworks show, Labor Day holiday traffic, and the first UT Football
home game have been in development since February of this year. Knoxville
could draw over 350 thousand visitors to the downtown area throughout
the holiday weekend.
Owen said, "Every unit within the department has prepared for
an extremely busy weekend. The safety of every citizen is a top priority."
Directed Patrols, Saturation Patrols, and SMART Units will be utilized
to reduce the speed of motorists traveling throughout the city. Officers
will aggressively enforce posted speed limits while looking for motorists
who are driving recklessly or who are driving while impaired.
"Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 and above is
illegal in every state," said Chuck Taylor, Director of the
Governor's Highway Safety Office. "The message is simple *
Booze It and Lose It. With checkpoints, roving patrols, undercover
officers and concerned citizens, chances are if you drive impaired
this holiday, you will be caught," said Director Taylor.
During the 2004 Labor Day traffic enforcement campaign, officers
issued 642 traffic related citations. Officers also investigated
72 traffic crashes with 24 of those resulting in personal injuries.
The last fatality to occur during a Labor Day holiday weekend occurred
UT football traffic routes will remain unchanged from last year
despite the recent construction of the new downtown road project.
Parking on UT campus will remain off limits except to individuals
with parking passes. KAT will provide rides from Civic Coliseum
parking garages for a small fee. No parking will be allowed along
Chief Owen said, "Special security measures will be in place
around Neyland stadium to help ensure the safety of the fans. Officers
will also be equipped with hand-held metal detectors at all gates."
The annual Boomsday fireworks show has been moved to Sunday night
for 2005. To provide enough time for the setup of the fireworks,
several partial and complete road closures will begin Saturday afternoon.
The northbound lanes of the Henley Street Bridge will close at
3:00 p.m. Saturday, which is during the UT football game. All lanes
of the Henley Street Bridge will be closed at 7:00 p.m. Saturday
All lanes of Neyland Drive from Walnut to Lake Loudon Blvd. will
be closed at approximately 5:00 a.m. Sunday. Locust Drive to Neyland
Drive will also close at 5:00 a.m. Sunday. The closure of Neyland
Drive will be extended to the Cumberland Avenue exit off the James
White Parkway at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Gay Street Bridge will
be closed fifteen minutes prior to the fireworks show to both pedestrian
and vehicular traffic. Both Neyland Drive and the Henley Street
Bridge should be completely reopened by early Monday morning.
Chief Owen said, "We urge everyone to leave early and to preplan
their route to and from the stadium or waterfront. We also ask that
motorists exercise patience while looking out for pedestrians and
officers directing traffic."
Mayor Haslam said, "These weekend events will provide an exciting
time for East Tennesseans. We urge everyone to do their part to
make it as safe as possible by slowing down, obeying traffic laws,
and by watching out for fellow motorists and pedestrians."