Nov 12 2012
10:23 am

When asked about the James White Parkway extension project this morning, Mayor Madeline Rogero's office responded:

"The mayor supports Vice-Mayor Pavlis' statement on the project. We certainly encourage everyone interested to come out for the TDOT hearing on the Environmental Impact Statement."

Vice-Mayor Nick Pavlis, City Council member representing the First District in South Knoxville, released a statement (full text here) saying "this is a very politically charged issue because there is strong sentiment on both sides, but I cannot support TDOT's plan to proceed," citing several reasons including investments in the South Knoxville Urban Wilderness projects and the impact on Chapman Highway merchants.

SEE ALSO: Public hearing: James White Parkway Extension

Treehouse's picture


Spoken like a true South Knoxvillian!

jbr's picture

Make improvements to Chapman

Make improvements to Chapman Highway, come up with something for Sevierville Pike and Burnetts Creek Road perhaps along these lines ...

From Wired Magazine ...

Instead of widening congested highways, New Jersey's DOT is urging neighboring or contiguous towns to connect their secondary streets and add smaller centers of development, creating a series of linked minivillages with narrow roads, rather than wide, car-choked highways strewn with malls.

Improving the quality of life in those areas and helping property values.

Roads Gone Wild

Average Guy's picture

TDOT hostage tactic

Four alternatives were fully evaluated in the DEIS, the No-Build Alternative and three Build Alternatives. The No-Build Alternative would mean that James White Parkway would not be extended and no other major improvements to existing roadways, including Chapman Highway, would occur.

This seems typical for TDOT. Go with our 50 year old outdated plan, or get nothing. Regardless the need.

I think jbr has it right. The same time locations all over, including Cumberland, are striving to become more walkable the answer on the other side of town is a dictate to get in your car. Not to say residential areas should be overrun by commercial areas, but there is logic in trying to make the two match.

jbr's picture

Along lines South Knoxville

Along lines South Knoxville is going with the trails, waterfront walk, ijams. Make Island Home bike/pedestrian friendly, maybe an outdoor store, cafe with big porch area. Make it easy to bike/hike to Ijams from several directions. Sort of a Hot Springs NC vibe. Continue out with Burnett's Creek and Sevierville Pike.

I could see high school trail racing teams at the Knoxville schools. Maybe river canoe and kayak interscholastic competitions. I dont know much about it but I assume there is may be some sort of national competitions. They could be held here.

rikki's picture

no build, then back to the drawing board

To the extent that there is a need for highway connectivity south, it is to service Seymour. Neither Sevierville Pike nor Burnett Creek (nor Chapman) are good candidates for widening due to significant ridges that have to be transected.
The better route is to go east from downtown and connect to John Sevier Highway in the vicinity of Forks of the River, where the land is already industrialized. Diverting traffic eastward could help the Magnolia corridor and improve commercial prospects along Rt. 168. Once that traffic has crossed the French Broad, some new or upgraded roads could make the route to Seymour more efficient, but they would not need to be interstate or parkway-grade projects. The terrain would be easier to deal with, and the impacts would be in the community that is being serviced.

jbr's picture

As far as the Seymour to West

As far as the Seymour to West Knoxville route, I think John Sevier would work fine, and be more direct. I think the Chapman Highway/John Sevier intersection would have to be completely redone. It is, for lack of a better word, goofy. Entrance and exit ramps for merging. That would mean some businesses being moved. But that was very short-sited the way that was handled with South Grove. Some poor, or no, planning.

I disagree on Sevierville Pike and Burnetts Creek. Although we may not be disagreeing as much as what we mean by widening etc is different.

rikki's picture

I think for the east-to-John

I think for the east-to-John Sevier route to be adopted by Seymour residents, the Chapman/JSH interchange would need to be bypassed entirely with a new segment that ends where Sevierville Pike merges with Chapman just past Bower Field. The other end would probably be best near the curve where you turn to go to Johnson U. There would also need to be road improvements to make Boyd's Bridge a more efficient way to cross the Holston and get to JSH.

There would still be neighborhood impacts, but you'd segregate Seymour traffic from SoKno traffic much more effectively with a bypass that terminates at that endpoint, and you'd significantly reduce traffic on the most dangerous Chapman curves. Feeding people in around Red Bud or Lake Forest, as the JWP extension would do, does little good.

Think about Sevierville Pike in the vicinity of Fordtown and Nixon. You've got serious slopes and curves to deal with if you try to upgrade that segment.

rikki's picture


Oh hell, I'm not paying enough attention! I just looked at the new maps today. They are already talking about the JSH/Chapman interchange as the new terminus. That's sickening. That means they want to transect the entire Burnett Creek watershed and a huge number of properties and homes. The social cost of any proposed route in that EIS is profound.

The new alternatives do divert people around a couple of the danger spots along Chapman, and it's a fairly effective way to segregate Seymour commuters from SoKno traffic, but connecting to JSH via Magnolia and Boyd's Bridge still makes more sense and costs far less in both literal dollars and social costs.

EricLykins's picture

Be the salamander.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Wal * Mart

This is all about the Wal*Mart which is the largest political contributor of all. Or at least was.

When W*M was closer in the JWM fed commuters into its parking lot at one of the most dangerous curves on Chapman highway. Now that W*M has moved the terminus has moved. Perhaps when W*M builds a store in Seymour Rikki's suggestion will gain traction.

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