Nov 20 2012
03:10 pm

The Knoxville Focus

More than 83% of respondents said they favor extending the parkway to Governor John Sevier Highway.  Just over 16% of voters said they oppose extending the parkway.

According to the report, support is stronger outside the city limits.

SEE ALSO: Public hearing: James White Parkway Extension

Rachel's picture

According to the report,

According to the report, support is stronger outside the city limits

Do tell.

Pickens's picture

Folks are often happy to let

Folks are often happy to let someone else bear a burden.

Treehouse's picture

Robo call

I don't believe the Focus' polling. Ever.

Rachel's picture

I don't really trust robo

I don't really trust robo polls.

This article doesn't say how they selected their sample, which is kind of important info.

500 is a good sample size, but... over half their 500 respondents were over 65 - that seems off.

I can pretty much guarantee that more than 16% of the folks who show up on 12/6 will oppose completion, but whether that reflects the size of their numbers or the intensity of their opposition I can't say.

Somebody's picture

"over half their 500

"over half their 500 respondents were over 65"

That, plus their linking of respondents to specific precincts strongly suggests a land-line only effort.

You'd have to do the research to back this up, but I would postulate that "land line respondent" correlates highly to "old-school thinking with regard to building highways."

AC's picture

I also wonder how much the

I also wonder how much the Henley Street Bridge being closed might influence people's perception of the need here.

Average Guy's picture

Create a problem, offer a solution

TDOT is good at both, even better at timing.

Rachel's picture

I can tell you it's changed

I can tell you it's changed some merchant's minds. And average guy, I mean from "support" to "oppose." The detour has been hard on businesses. Seems to have made some think about the possible effects of a permanent detour around more of Chapman Highwa.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Land line

I guess as someone under 65 with a landline that puts me in a minority. As I voted no that means I'm really in a fringe group. I'm just glad I was in the majority in last week's poll. You know, the one that really matters.

Tonight the robocall asked my answering machine whether or not textbooks should be rated like movies. Not something I'd thought a lot about. Funny thing is, these robocalls don't have a button to push for undecided.

Somebody's picture

"Tonight the robocall asked

"Tonight the robocall asked my answering machine whether or not textbooks should be rated like movies. Not something I'd thought a lot about. Funny thing is, these robocalls don't have a button to push for undecided."

If you consider nothing else about these polls, this one point is sufficient to pretty much invalidate any results from them. Consider the question about textbooks. It's not hard to imagine that lots of people haven't thought about that question. With the "don't know" option available, that question might yield results like: 12% for, 10% against, and 78% don't know. Instead, having only two options means that they will publish results that say a majority of respondents are either for or against the concept, which leads to a very different understanding of the issue.

In the example above with the neutral option, the fact that so few respondents chose yes or no means the two-point difference between them would have little statistical significance. The understanding of that result would be that the vast majority have no opinion on the subject, and those who do are more or less evenly divided. You could not claim that there is any broad support or opposition for the textbook rating concept.

By forcing a binary choice however, even if the results came out 51% for and 49% against, the misguided read would likely be that, while it's close, a majority are in support. That would be wrong. Even in the unlikely event that they came up with a dead-even 50/50 result, the editorial misinterpretation would probably be that it's a hotly contested issue, when in fact it's not, because most people haven't given it any thought.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Tonight the robocall asked my answering machine whether or not textbooks should be rated like movies.

Off-topic, but...

Textbooks relate factual material.

How (and why) might one arrive at any rating as to whether a given set of facts is "offensive???"

bizgrrl's picture

I wish they had labeled the

I wish they had labeled the precincts. Found them on KGIS.

26th precinct - Sevier Ave./Island Home, which includes the existing JWP.

Affected by new JWP ext.

25th precinct - Vestal, which includes Moody Avenue East of Chapman Highway and could include the beginning of the JWP ext.

29th precinct - The heart of South Knoxville, the main area that will be affected by the JWP ext. All East of Chapman Hwy, from Stone Road to just past Little Switzerland to the river.

93rd precinct - East John Sevier Hwy, Seymour, Chapman Hwy from Little Switzerland to the county line.

Not really affected by new JWP ext.

27th precinct - Colonial Village plus some, all west of Chapman Hwy.

89th precinct - Alcoa Hwy and Maryville Pike areas

90th precinct - All West of Chapman Hwy, John Sevier Hwy area, South Knox County.

Not really affected by JWP ext except for access to new road.

92nd precinct - Kimberlin Heights, Bays Mountain, Seymour. All East of Chapman Hwy., to the river.

Not that it really matters. I'm betting I could do a poll and get a completely different response.

Rachel's picture

It's not really true that the

It's not really true that the 27th precinct is unaffected by the JWP. There are lots of businesses along Chapman Highway in that precinct and they could be affected by the change in traffic patterns. (One could argue that the impacts would be negative, as they've been with the detour due to the bridge closing; one could argue they would be positive due to getting rid of through traffic and making it easier for local traffic to access the businesses).

Also, you left out the 28th (did the poll?), which is approximately the south woodlawn area and which is certainly affected by the JWP, both current and proposed. I haven't looked at a GIS map, but I suspect the current end of the JWP is in the 28th.

Stan G's picture

50% Over Age 65

It's not likely that these folks commute to downtown Knoxville or anyplace else on a regular basis. Two possible well used justifications for their response: "We want a direct connection from south Knox County to the interstate." or "It's been planned and we want it built."

Given TDOT's pay-as-you-go policy, perhaps the question should have been, "In the immediate future, would you rather see improvements to Chapman and Alcoa Highways in Knox County or would you rather TDOT build the JWP?"

Thanks Bizgrrl, for researching the precincts. Interesting information.

Somebody's picture

Because there's no "don't

Because there's no "don't know" option, you can't really draw any conclusions from the response. Some unknown percentage of respondents to that survey actually had no opinion, but chose one of the two available options. Their reason for selecting one or the other of the two options could range from "t's been planned so maybe they should build it," to "I like roads," to "what was the last thing they said?" to "Well, my thumb is already on the number 2," to "ice cream!" There's no telling how many people were in that position, and there's no way to know why the people who had no opinion chose one option over the other. You cannot draw any valid conclusions from the survey.

jbr's picture

At one time I thought JWP was

At one time I thought JWP was a hot topic in part to get federal money from the now expired TEA-21 program more than any true functional purpose. Sort of a, hey there is some money, let's find some way to get some of it.


R. Neal's picture

Wonder how they count

Wonder how they count answering machines and other non-responsive responses? Probably as "not opposed" as in "support."

Also, a proper poll would have given the three alternative routes and a "no build" option.

grew up in South Knox's picture

What about Park & Ride MASS TRANSIT Out CHAPMAN HWY...

for the commuters/visitors from outlying neighborhoods and other counties?

Let these folks become more innovative with Transportation DOLLARS.

Let the out of county commuters/visitors from Sevier and other counties create their own Park and Ride/businesses in their own counties so that they can commute to downtown Knoxville or wherever they desire to go?!?

THis idea would save commuters money and time. They could spend time on a Park and Ride bus resting, relaxing, computing, and saving wear and tear on their own vehicles.

I lived in the metro Denver/Boulder Colorado area in the 80's and 90's. They have developed a wonderful mass transit for Park and Ride commuter/visitors. I could catch a regular bus in my neighborhood in east Denver to downtown Denver. Then, transfer to a commuter bus to go visit friends and shop in Boulder. I SAVED SO MUCH MONEY and could relax. The entire trip only cost $2.00 one way.

WHy do some folks think it is necessary to destroy other people's neighborhoods, in an area where they only drive through, in order to make their lives faster by three minutes?!?

LET THEM SPEND THEIR MONEY to create car pools and buses for Park and Rides. THey don't even stop to shop on Chapman Hwy unless it's out near John Sevier Hwy and the big box chains.

AND the world is going to be different in a very short time, after PEAK OIL, during and after the energy descent.

We are finding ways to be more productive whilst leaving neighborhoods intact. We are becoming more innovative and creative.

WE ARE the ones we've been waiting for. Let's create and maintain a GREAT PARK AND RIDE system out Chapman Highway! Let there be a Park and Ride station out near John Sevier Hwy and Chapman Hwy And others along Alcoa Hwy and other main thoroughfares.

Stan G's picture

On a Somewhat Related Note

I am pleasantly surprised to see Google updated its map to include the South Knoxville Wilderness Trails. May have to do a little hiking tomorrow.

Anonymous3's picture

Google Didn't do that

I put in those trails. It's a very time consuming process and required me to be approved by google. I ride the trails with a GPS and then manually trace the trails into Google.

-1 for the iPhone killing google maps and now all my trails have disappeared on apple maps.

Treehouse's picture


Thank you, thank you, for the Park and Ride promotion. All of Knox County and the surrounding counties could use this but it would be particularly helpful for South Knoxville and South Knox County. It could even help get folks to and from Pigeon Forge without so much danger in driving on Chapman Highway. We need Park and Rides all over!

Stan G's picture

Anonymous 3, definitely

Anonymous 3, definitely appreciate both your technical and mountain biking expertise.

fischbobber's picture


Thanks likewise from me anon 3.

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