Annual Report Highlights Transportation Strategies and Projects to Grow Prosperity in East Tennessee
The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) recently published the State of Transportation in East Tennessee 2015 Annual Report. Providing insight into the work of the TPO and who is involved, the report gives an overview of the region’s network of road, transit, biking, and pedestrian options. It also looks at factors that drive the needs for investment in the system – factors like population growth, demand for housing, new employment centers, and shifting trends in travel choices. Here are a few specifics:
- 300,000 new residents and 240,000 new jobs by 2040
- Area residents say maintaining and fixing existing roads and bridges is the highest priority for the future
- Nearly half of the region’s workers commute across county lines, with the average commute being 32.8 miles per day
- 84.5% of commuters in our region drive alone to work
- The average household in our region spends 32% of their income on transportation, compared to 18% nationally
- The Knoxville region was the first to be re-designated an “Attainment Area” by EPA for the 2008 Ozone Standard
TPO staff are currently working on the 2017 update for the Mobility Plan 2040, and the State of Transportation report lends the facts and figures needed to prepare that plan. Updated every four years, the Mobility Plan is the region’s long-range plan calling for stronger connections between regional and local transportation investments, development, and land use. The region is expected to have 300,000 new residents and 240,000 new jobs by 2040; if current development trends continue, only about one in seven households will be within walking distance to transit, and very few new neighborhoods, shopping centers, and workplaces will be walkable.
It’s obvious that changes are coming as the region grows, and how we prepare for those changes is key to maintaining our great quality of life. TPO has been working closely with local communities, receiving input from residents, stakeholders, and elected officials to guide decision-making as the plan progresses. This ensures the plan is one that supports strategies and projects that will bring greater prosperity to East Tennessee for future generations.