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Jul 31

New sidewalk on Young High Pike improves access to major bus routes

Posted on July 31, 2017 at 2:30 PM by KAT Team

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New sidewalk on Young High Pike connects residents to Chapman Highway Shopping, major bus routes

Vestal community residents now have pedestrian access to a major South Knoxville shopping center and bus routes thanks to a new 1,600-foot-long sidewalk addition connecting existing sidewalk on West Young High Pike to Chapman Highway.

Mayor Madeline Rogero, members of City Council, and other City officials cut the ribbon on the $382,000 addition today. The project includes the new segment of sidewalk, drainage work, accessible ramps, and pedestrian signals and crosswalks that make it possible for residents to cross Chapman Highway to a Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) bus shelter.

“New pedestrian access to diverse shopping opportunities and a bus shelter servicing three major routes mean additional mobility options for this community,” said Mayor Madeline Rogero. “More complete transportation systems like the one introduced with this new sidewalk improve neighborhood lifestyles and enhance commerce.”

Chapman Square, located at the corner of Chapman Highway and West Young High Pike, includes a Kroger store, multiple restaurants, a laundry service, several banks, a Dollar Tree, and more.

The bus shelter that pedestrians can now access from the other side of Chapman Highway services KAT’s Chapman Highway bus (Route 41), the Vestal route (Route 45), and the South Knoxville route (Route 40). Combined, the three routes service 21,075 passenger trips per month.

“The area of Chapman at Young High has always been a busy location for transit passengers,” says Dawn Distler, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “We are so happy to see these pedestrian improvements that will make it so much easier for our passengers to make connections.”

Staff from the City’s Engineering Department oversaw the entire project, completing the design work in-house. The City hired Design and Construction Services, Inc. to execute construction of the project, which was funded through Engineering’s new sidewalk capital funds.

In this year’s budget, Mayor Rogero proposed and City Council approved a quadrupling of the City’s annual budget for new sidewalk construction, to a total of nearly $3.765 million. These additional funds will allow for five new major sidewalk projects to begin in the 2017-18 Fiscal Year that began July 1, 2017.

“Generally, the City has one major sidewalk project built each year like the one we just finished on West Young High Pike, so this bump in sidewalk funds positions us to accelerate our sidewalk program by about four years,” said Jim Hagerman, Director of Engineering. “When you look at the upcoming sidewalk projects, ongoing work on bike lanes and transit options, and new pedestrian features that come with new construction and renovations, Knoxville is staged to have a noticeable upgrade on the pedestrian front in a few short years."

The City’s new Greenways Service Crew is also contributing to connections in Knoxville’s pedestrian network. About a half-mile walk from the sidewalk addition to West Young High Pike, the crew is working to build an extension of Mary Vestal Greenway from the Vestal town center to Mary Vestal Park.

Once the greenway extension is completed, pedestrians will be able to journey on sidewalk and greenway from Chapman Highway all the way to Mary Vestal Park on Blount Avenue. (This would be via sidewalk on West Young High Pike and Martin Mill Pike and the Mary Vestal Greenway extension that passes the Vestal United Methodist Church and South Knoxville Community Center.)

Between the two projects, the Vestal community will soon have pedestrian connections to shopping, dining, KAT’s entire bus and trolley system, and recreation options offered by the City, including a park, a community center, and an indoor pool.

“This is a prime example of how pedestrian options create a higher quality of life for Knoxville residents,” said Mayor Rogero.

For more information on this news release, contact Kathleen Gibi (City of Knoxville) at 865-215-2946.