The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization voted Wednesday to stop all plans for the James White Parkway extension.
UPDATE: Statement from Mayor Rogero's Office:
Ralph Comer, TDOT's assistant chief of environment and planning, came to the public meeting of the Transportation Planning Organization's Executive Board this morning, and indicated that if TPO removed the JWP extension from its four-year Transportation Improvement Program, TDOT would respect that and call the entire process to a halt. That means no more comment period, no meetings in October, etc. They would just drop the project. Mayor Rogero made the motion to remove the JWP from the TIP, and the motion passed unanimously.
TPO still has to formally adopt the TIP without the JWP. That is expected to happen at next month's meeting. (The TIP is open for public comment until then.)
Note: Here's the draft TPO 2014-2017 TIP...
UPDATE: TDOT Commissioner releases statement:
Today's action by the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) effectively stops work on the James White Parkway Extension Project. Until today, TDOT continued work on the project because it was included in the Knoxville TPO's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The project was developed in part to address safety and congestion issues along Chapman Highway. We remain concerned that our efforts to improve conditions along Chapman Highway will not be sufficient now, and particularly in the future.
TDOT will not build projects that aren't supported by communities and our local partners. Today, we received a clear statement by the current members of the Knoxville TPO that they do not wish to see the project progress. We will no longer commit any further resources to this project.
Now it's official.
UPDATE: Mayor Rogero released the following statement:
I would like to thank Commissioner Schroer for listening to regional representatives at the Transportation Planning Organization and ending TDOT's consideration of an extension to the James White Parkway. This action protects the Urban Wilderness and allows us to capitalize on this incredible regional economic and tourism opportunity as an outdoor recreation destination. I look forward to continuing to work with TDOT to address safety and traffic issues along Chapman Highway and our other vital transportation corridors.
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