Ryan Cooper rides his bicycle 60 miles per week, preferably on Knoxville greenways to avoid traffic. Now he'll have an easier time getting to World's Fair Park, thanks to the opening of the Lower Second Creek Greenway.
"It's almost faster for me to ride a bicycle down here from West Knoxville than it is for me to get into a car and ride down here," he said.
Cooper and other greenway users were on hand Thursday at a ribbon-cutting celebrating the 0.15-mile extension's opening. The extension, along Second Creek across from World's Fair Park, connects 14.8 miles of greenways with a 1.1-mile trail in World's Fair Park.
Knoxville now has more than 16 miles of connected greenways. Bikers, runners and walkers can travel from Morningside Park in East Knoxville west to the Bearden Village Greenway.
The greenways provide users with a safe area to run, walk and ride bikes. Kerry Brown, 24, of North Knoxville commutes to work by bicycle and said riding on the road is stressful and dangerous. Now that she knows about the interconnected greenways, she said she plans to use them more often.
"If I have the choice between road and greenway to get to someplace, I'm definitely going to go with the greenway," she said.
Knoxville has more than 40 total miles of greenways throughout the city. The new Lower Second Creek Greenway is an example of the system's continued expansion, Haslam said.
"This is part of a network and the more you connect it, the more the pieces work," he said.