Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bicycle Program Update

Bicycle Plan
The Bicycle Plan was adopted by Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission in April. While the plan was technically already adopted last May by the TPO Executive Board, we felt we could get more awareness and buy-in through this adoption process. Everyone seemed very supportive of the plan and bicycling in general.

Ellen and Kelley are developing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for the City of Oak Ridge. The draft plan is about to be reviewed by the plan’s bicycle/pedestrian task force and a public meeting is expected in August or September. Link to

We conduct bicycle/pedestrian counts at 10 – 14 intersections in Knoxville and in Blount County twice a year. Recent analysis shows that counts have nearly tripled since 2007. We got front page coverage in the Knoxville News Sentinel and a story on WATE evening news about this increase.

We are working with the City of Knoxville on Phase II and III of greenway directional/wayfinding signs as well as warning/traffic signs (most of Phase II has been installed already). Signage for three bike routes has been ordered. The routes connect Cedar Bluff & West Hills, Knoxville Zoo & Caswell Park, and Harvest Park/Knoxville Center Mall & North Knoxville to downtown & UT. Installation will occur in the fall. Along with signage, there will be shared use lane markings (sharrows) on 6 streets and bike stencil markings at several intersections with sensors to show bicyclists where to position themselves to be detected when there is no other traffic.

We have 6 certified League of American Bicyclists instructors to teach bicycling classes. A variety of classes are available for all ages and skills levels. We hold Confident City Cycling classes about twice a year. Jim Hagerman is teaching a class through UT Continuing Education program. Two bike rodeos for kids were held this spring, on April 17 at EarthFest and May 15 in Townsend as part of Child Safety Day. More than 120 kids participated. A Bike Commuting 101 presentation was held at Fleet Feet Sports in Turkey Creek.

The Bicycle Advisory Committee will unveil an awareness campaign in July that involves placement of lifesize cutouts, with the message that bicyclists are your friends, neighbors and family members. These will be placed at West Town Mall, and other locations are being arranged.

A Bicycling Ambassadors program is starting. Ambassadors encourage bicyclists to ride more often and more safely, and educate motorists on the rules of the road. Ambassadors attend community events and Bicycle Program events to teach bike safety, sharing the road, greenway etiquette and how to bike to work and school. Our message is conveyed through face-to-face interaction allowing for a conversation targeting the specific interests, questions and needs of each individual. Training for the first round of volunteers is starting in July. Ambassadors will staff booths at Farmers Market, along with the “And We Bike” cutouts, and will also present to all Knox County high school Drivers Education classes in the fall.

Smart Trips Month and Bike to Work Day were a huge success, with many people starting to commute by bike, or biking to work more often. The 2010 Tour de Lights will be Thursday, December 16, and planning is already underway. Due to the success last year, City Special Events will be highlighting the ride in the Christmas in the City brochure. More formal judging will occur for the awards, so go ahead and start ordering your holiday decorations!

Enforcement Roll call training on enforcement issues related to bicycling was provided to all Knox County Sheriffs Department and Knoxville Police Department officers in 2009, and to all officers in Blount County through inservice training. Each officer received the handbook developed by the TPO. In spring 2010, the training was given as part of KPD inservice training, which allows more time for presentation than at roll call.

Bike parking
More than 410 bike racks have been installed through the bike parking program, and these locations are now being put into GIS and will soon be posted online.

TDOT Coordination
The TPO coordinator works closely with TDOT staff on bicycle issues. Jessica Wilson, who has been serving as interim bicycle/pedestrian coordinator, has now been posted permanently to that position. TDOT recently held a 2-day bicycle and pedestrian facilities design training in Knoxville. More than 45 local engineers attended.


ck said...

Nice! Like the new look of the blog too. Can I become an ambassador?

kelley said...

Thanks! Blogspot is pretty cool to offer easy transition to new themes. See above for a new post about Ambassador training!