The Ijams Nature Center today released a statement opposing the James White Parkway Extension and supporting the No Build option along with improvements to the Moody Ave. connections. Full text of the statement after the jump...
Ijams Opposes the Proposed Extension of the James White Parkway
South Knoxville Organizations Champion Alternatives
Ijams Nature Center's mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world, and preserving the integrity of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness is critical to furthering Ijams' mission.
Ijams has worked closely with Legacy Parks Foundation and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club for several years to create greater outdoor opportunities for the community. Ijams now connects City parks, including Marie Meyers Park and William Hastie Natural Area. New trail connections also provide new opportunities for residents in the South Haven and Southside/Sevierville Pike neighborhoods to directly access parks on foot or on bike.
South Knoxville has changed dramatically since the James White Parkway Extension Project commenced in 1977. Preservation of the sector's richest natural assets is now recognized and supported by community members and local government as vital to the area's quality of life and economic growth. To this end, Ijams Nature Center opposes TDOT's proposed extension of the James White Parkway.
Ijams Nature Center supports the NO BUILD option, seeing the natural termination of the roadway as it exists today. However, Ijams' support of the NO BUILD option is made with the belief that necessary improvements be made to the connection of James White Parkway along Moody Avenue and other connecting roadways in the area. These improvements include a complete streets approach, pursuant to the MPC Chapman Highway Corridor Study that improves access to South Knoxville and Knox County for all (vehicles, bicycles, walkers, runners, the disabled, etc.).
Further to TDOT's recently released environmental impact statement on the James White Parkway Extension, a public hearing on this issue has been set for Thursday, December 6 at 5:00 p.m. at South Doyle Middle School. Ijams Nature Center encourages interested parties to attend.
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